In a world dominated by palm oil, there’s a hidden hero waiting to be discovered: pumpkin seed oil. While palm oil has taken center stage, pumpkin seed oil has quietly been making waves with its unique flavors and health benefits.
Join me as we delve into the lesser-known qualities of pumpkin seed oil and compare it to the ubiquitous palm oil. Let the battle for the better cooking oil begin!
Comparing pumpkin seed oil vs palm oil
|Pumpkin seed oil||Palm oil/Red palm oil|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Semi solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||320 degrees||450 degrees|
|Taste||Intense, nutty||Mild carrot|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw, low heat||Raw, low, moderate, and high heat|
|Allergens||Pumpkin seed||Oil palm fruit|
Differences between pumpkin seed oil and palm oil
Pumpkin seed oil and palm oil differ in their origins and extraction processes. Pumpkin seed oil is derived from roasted pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas), while palm oil comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree.
The extraction of pumpkin seed oil involves pressing the roasted seeds to extract the rich, nutty oil, whereas palm oil is extracted from the fruit’s pulp through a pressing and refining process.
When it comes to texture and appearance, pumpkin seed oil and palm oil couldn’t be more different. Pumpkin seed oil has a beautiful dark green color that is often described as vibrant and earthy. It has a relatively thin and smooth consistency, similar to other vegetable oils.
On the other hand, palm oil has a distinct look. It is naturally semi-solid at room temperature, with a creamy and buttery consistency – similar to coconut oil. Its color can vary from a light yellow to a deep red, depending on the processing and level of refinement.
One of the main differences between the two oils lies in their flavor profiles, with pumpkin seed oil boasting a distinct nuttiness, while palm oil has a more neutral taste, which makes it a popular choice for all kinds of cooking.
Baking and cooking with pumpkin seed oil vs palm oil
When it comes to cooking with these oils, it’s important to consider their smoke points. Pumpkin seed oil has a relatively low smoke point compared to palm oil and other oils, which means it’s best used in low-heat cooking or as a finishing oil to drizzle over dishes. It imparts a delightful nutty flavor to salad dressings, roasted vegetables, or even as a topping for soups.
On the other hand, palm oil has a higher smoke point, making it suitable for sautéing, stir-frying, and deep-frying. Use palm oil like you would other vegetable oils in stir-fries, curries, and soups.
Palm oil also adds moisture and tenderness to baked goods. Plus, its solid state at room temperature helps create flaky and crumbly pastries and pie crusts.
Can pumpkin seed oil and palm oil be substituted for each other?
While pumpkin seed oil and palm oil both have their unique flavors and characteristics, they can’t be easily substituted for one another due to their different properties.
Pumpkin seed oil’s distinctive nutty flavor is difficult to replicate, and its low smoke point makes it unsuitable for high-heat cooking.
Similarly, palm oil’s higher smoke point and milder taste can’t provide the same depth of flavor that pumpkin seed oil brings. It’s best to choose the oil that complements the specific dish you’re preparing.
Nutrition: Pumpkin seed oil vs palm oil
When it comes to nutrition, pumpkin seed oil takes the spotlight. It’s packed with essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins like vitamin E and beta-carotene.
On the other hand, palm oil is a source of vitamin E and antioxidants, but it’s important to note that it is also high in saturated fats, so it’s best to consume it in moderation.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Pumpkin seed oil||Palm oil/Red palm oil|
|Polyunsaturated||7.5 g||1.2 g|
|Monounsaturated||6 g||5.0 g|
|Saturated||1.5 g||6.7 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||14 g||13.6 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store pumpkin seed oil and palm oil
When it comes to maintaining the quality of your oils, proper storage is paramount. Both pumpkin seed oil and palm oil require careful handling.
Shield them from the enemy of freshness—direct sunlight and excessive heat—by storing them in a cool, dark sanctuary. This ensures their flavors remain untainted and guards against the dreaded rancidity. Remember to tightly seal those precious bottles to fend off oxidation.
However, it’s worth noting that pumpkin seed oil, with a shelf life of 6 to 12 months, is more prone to oxidation and keeps better in the fridge, while palm oil, if treated right, can stand tall for up to 2 years at room temperature.
Pumpkin seed oil vs palm oil: Which is better
When it comes to choosing the better oil, it’s all about personal preference and the specific dish you’re creating. If you crave a delightful nutty flavor to elevate your salads or roasted veggies, look no further than pumpkin seed oil—there’s nothing else like it! However, if you’re after an oil that can handle high-heat cooking like sautéing or deep-frying, palm oil takes the crown with its high smoke point. Of course, it’s wise to keep an eye on the saturated fat content in palm oil for nutritional reasons.
Pumpkin seed oil has a low smoke point, limiting its usage in high-heat cooking. It also tends to be more expensive compared to other oils.
Walnut oil can be a good alternative to pumpkin seed oil, as it offers a similar nutty flavor profile.
No, palm oil is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree, not from seeds.