Extracted from the seeds of apricots, this delightful oil is not only a versatile ingredient but also a secret weapon for nourishing your body.
So, let’s dive in and discover why apricot kernel oil deserves a spot in your kitchen!
What is apricot kernel oil?
This golden colored oil boasts a distinctive, almost marzipan-like flavor, which pairs wonderfully with fruit dishes, desserts, and Asian marinades.
Be cautious of potential allergies (birch pollen, tree nuts, apricot fruit) or sensitivities to stone fruit pits when introducing it into your recipes.
How is apricot kernel oil made?
Apricot kernel oil is made through a process involving the extraction of oil from the kernels, the inner part of apricot seeds.
First, the kernels are collected and washed to remove any impurities. Then, they are dried and crushed to release the oil.
The crushed kernels are typically subjected to a cold-pressing method, where pressure is applied to extract the oil without using high heat. This helps preserve the oil’s nutritional properties.
After extraction, the oil is filtered and refined, if necessary, to ensure a pure and clear final product suitable for cooking purposes.
Benefits of apricot kernel oil
Apricot kernel oil’s delicate, marzipan-like taste enhances both sweet and savory dishes, making it a versatile, unique choice that offers numerous health benefits.
Apricot kernel oil is packed with vitamin A, vitamin E, and healthy fats, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are known to support heart health.
Being plant-based, it is free from cholesterol and contains no animal products, making it suitable for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets.
100% natural, cold-pressed apricot kernel oil is also free from synthetic additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors, which can be found in some processed oils.
Apricot kernel oil nutrition facts
|Serving size||1 tbsp (15mL)|
|Total Fat||13.6 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to cook and bake with apricot kernel oil
Apricot kernel oil’s high smoke point of around 480°F makes it suitable for high-heat cooking methods. Use it to sauté vegetables, stir-fry meats, or sear proteins.
Brush apricot kernel oil on vegetables, meats, or seafood before grilling or roasting to add flavor and prevent sticking.
Whisk apricot kernel oil with vinegar, lemon juice, or your preferred seasonings to create tasty dressings or marinades for salads, grilled meats, or vegetables.
For sweet recipes, I love using apricot kernel oil for fruit dishes and desserts…
Drizzle a small amount of apricot kernel oil over fresh fruit salads for a light and aromatic dressing. It pairs well with fruits like peaches, nectarines, berries, and citrus.
Incorporate apricot kernel oil into the crust of fruit tarts or pies. Substitute a portion of the butter or oil in your recipe with apricot kernel oil to infuse the pastry with a delicate flavor.
Lastly, try apricot kernel oil in fruit compotes or sauces. It can enhance the flavors of cooked fruits like apples, pears, plums, or cherries – perfect for summer! Serve the compote or sauce over pancakes, waffles, or ice cream.
Ways to use apricot kernel oil
Here are some more delicious dishes and treats where apricot kernel oil shines:
- Grilled peach salad with apricot kernel oil dressing
- Stir-fried tofu and vegetable medley with a drizzle of apricot kernel oil
- Apricot tart with a golden crust made with apricot kernel oil
- Buddha bowl with apricot kernel oil dressing
- Porridge or yogurt parfait with apricot kernel oil
How to store apricot kernel oil
To preserve the quality and flavor of apricot kernel oil, proper storage is essential.
Keep it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. A pantry or kitchen cabinet is an ideal spot.
When stored correctly, unopened apricot kernel oil can last for up to one year, while opened bottles should be used within six months for the best quality.
What are the best substitutes for apricot kernel oil?
While apricot kernel oil is a unique ingredient, it’s not the most common oil. The good news is that there are a few good substitutes that work well in different situations…
Almond oil is the best due to its similar nutty profile. It can effortlessly stand in for apricot kernel oil in various recipes.
For high-heat cooking, pecan oil is an excellent alternative, offering a similar flavor and a higher smoke point.
On the other hand, if you prefer a more neutral taste that won’t break the bank, peanut oil can step in and deliver satisfying results. It’s often used in Asian recipes and for frying.
Besides its culinary applications, apricot kernel oil is often used in skincare for its moisturizing and nourishing properties. It can help soothe dry skin, reduce inflammation, and promote a healthy complexion.
Yes, apricot oil is typically derived from the flesh of the fruit, while apricot kernel oil comes from the seeds. They may have different flavors and uses.
Apricot kernel oil is generally safe for consumption and topical use. However, individuals with nut allergies should exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional before using it.