It’s time to change up your cooking oils!
With an increasing focus on healthier alternatives, the debate between hemp oil and canola oil has emerged. Both oils have their unique characteristics and nutritional profiles, so let’s explore the differences and determine which one might be the better choice for your culinary needs!
Comparing hemp oil vs canola oil
|Hemp oil/hemp seed oil
|Solid or Liquid?
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)
|Good for Cooking…
|Raw, low heat
|Raw, low, moderate, and high heat
|Hemp seed, cannabis
Differences between hemp oil and canola oil
Hemp oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant, while canola oil is extracted from the seeds of the canola plant, a variety of rapeseed. Hemp oil is typically cold-pressed, preserving its natural nutrients, while canola oil is often refined and undergoes a heating process.
Hemp oil is commonly used as a dressing or finishing oil due to its robust flavor. Canola oil has a milder taste and higher smoke point than hemp oil, making it more versatile in a wider range of recipes. It’s often used for baking, frying, and sautéing.
Baking and cooking with hemp oil vs canola oil
Hemp oil can add a delightful nutty flavor to baked goods such as muffins, bread, and granola bars. Its low smoke point, typically around 330°F (166°C), makes it unsuitable for high-heat cooking methods like frying.
Canola oil, on the other hand, has a high smoke point of approximately 400°F (204°C), making it perfect for frying, roasting, and grilling. It is a wonderful option for sautéing vegetables, making stir-fries, and baking dishes that require higher temperatures. For example, I love using hemp oil to drizzle over roasted vegetables after they come out of the oven, while canola oil works wonders when frying crispy chicken or making homemade French fries.
Can hemp oil and canola oil be substituted for each other?
Although hemp oil and canola oil have distinct characteristics, they can be substituted for one another in certain situations. For instance, if you want to add a subtle, neutral flavor to your salad dressing, you can replace hemp oil with canola oil. Similarly, if a recipe calls for canola oil in baking, you can use hemp oil instead, but keep in mind that it will impart a nutty taste to the final product.
It’s important to choose wisely when substituting. If a recipe requires high-temperature cooking, such as deep-frying, it is best to stick with canola oil for its higher smoke point and neutral taste, or go with something like grapeseed oil instead.
Nutrition: Hemp oil vs canola oil
Hemp oil is rich in essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6, which are important for brain health and reducing inflammation in the body. Additionally, hemp oil contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid that may have potential health benefits.
Canola oil, on the other hand, contains more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, so canola oil boasts a healthier ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids.
As I mentioned, it also has a higher smoke point, making it a practical choice for high-heat cooking methods that won’t break down and create harmful free radicals when cooking.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)
|Hemp oil/hemp seed oil
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store hemp oil and canola oil
To ensure the longevity and quality of both hemp oil and canola oil, proper storage is crucial. It is best to store them in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Exposure to light and heat can cause the oils to deteriorate and lose their nutritional value. Additionally, tightly sealing the bottles after each use will prevent oxidation and preserve the flavors. Both oils have a shelf life of approximately 1-2 years, but it’s always a good idea to check the expiration dates and discard them if they appear rancid or have an off smell. Yes, oils can go bad!
Hemp oil vs canola oil: Which is better
After careful consideration, canola oil emerges as the better option between hemp oil and canola oil. With its higher smoke point and versatile nature, canola oil is suitable for a wide range of cooking methods. It also contains a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, making it a heart-healthy choice. While hemp oil has its own benefits, canola oil’s practicality, availability, and overall versatility make it a solid choice for those looking to make a healthier switch in their cooking oils.
One potential disadvantage of hemp oil is that it may have a distinct taste that some individuals find unpleasant or difficult to tolerate.
Yes, hemp oil can be used as a cooking oil, but it is important to note that it has a low smoke point, so it is best suited for low-heat cooking or as a finishing oil rather than high-heat cooking methods like frying.
Cooking with hemp oil can be a healthy choice as it contains a good balance of essential fatty acids, but it’s important to use it at low temperatures to preserve its nutritional properties.