You may know wheat germ oil and coconut oil as moisturizing ingredients in skincare and haircare, but today I’ll focus on how to cook with these oils.
Wheat germ oil, derived from the nutrient-rich germ of wheat kernels, offers a delicate nutty flavor and is rich in essential fatty acids. On the other hand, coconut oil, extracted from mature coconuts, boasts a tropical aroma and is renowned for its high saturated fat content.
So, which one should you choose? Let’s start by comparing these two oils…
Comparing wheat germ oil vs coconut oil
|Wheat germ oil||Coconut oil, Virgin/Unrefined||Coconut oil, Refined|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Semi solid||Semi solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||225 degrees||350 degrees||400 degrees|
|Good for Cooking…||Low heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat|
|Allergens||Gluten, wheat||Coconut, tree nut||Coconut, tree nut|
|Gluten-free?||May contain traces||Yes||Yes|
Differences between wheat germ oil and coconut oil
Wheat germ oil is cold-pressed from the germ of the wheat kernel and is rich in vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. On the other hand, coconut oil is derived from the meat of coconuts and is known for its medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and lauric acid content.
It’s important to note that since wheat germ oil is made from wheat kernels, it may contain traces of gluten, while coconut oil is completely gluten-free!
Wheat germ oil is a liquid oil, while coconut oil can be found in both solid and liquid forms, depending on the temperature. That’s because wheat germ oil is mostly UNsaturated fat and coconut oil has more saturated fat. Wheat germ oil also has a much lower smoke point, which means it starts to break down at lower temperatures compared to coconut oil.
Virgin/unrefined vs refined coconut oil
When it comes to coconut oil, you’ll often encounter two main types: virgin/unrefined and refined.
Virgin coconut oil is extracted from fresh coconuts using a cold-pressed method, preserving its natural flavor and aroma. It’s great for baking, sautéing, and even using as a spread.
Refined coconut oil, on the other hand, undergoes a refining process that removes the coconut flavor and aroma. It has a higher smoke point, making it ideal for high-heat cooking methods like frying and roasting.
Baking and cooking with wheat germ oil vs coconut oil
Wheat germ oil lends a nutty flavor to dishes. Drizzle it over roasted vegetables, salads, or cooked grains like quinoa and couscous for added nuttiness and nutrition. Avoid high-heat cooking methods since it has a low smoke point. It’s better as a finishing oil.
Coconut oil, on the other hand, is incredibly versatile in the kitchen. Its subtle tropical taste works wonders in both sweet and savory dishes. Use it to fry up some crispy coconut shrimp or to give your morning smoothie a creamy boost. It’s also a great replacement for other oils or fats when making vegan desserts like coconut oil-based fudgy brownies. The possibilities are endless!
Can wheat germ oil and coconut oil be substituted for each other?
Wheat germ oil and coconut oil can be substituted for each other in certain situations, but keep in mind their different flavors and smoke points:
Wheat germ oil has a nutty taste and a low smoke point, making it better for salad dressings or low-heat cooking. Coconut oil has a tropical flavor and a higher smoke point, making it suitable for higher-heat cooking and baking.
Nutrition: Wheat germ oil vs coconut oil
Wheat germ oil is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. These nutrients promote heart health, boost the immune system, and support overall well-being.
Coconut oil, on the other hand, contains beneficial MCTs that can provide a quick source of energy and support weight management. Additionally, its lauric acid content has been shown to have antimicrobial properties. As with any oil, moderation is key, as they are high in calories.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Wheat germ oil||Coconut oil, Virgin/Unrefined||Coconut oil, Refined|
|Polyunsaturated||8.4 g||0 g||1 g|
|Monounsaturated||2.1 g||1 g||1 g|
|Saturated||2.6 g||13 g||12 g|
|Trans||0 g||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||13.6 g||14 g||14 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store wheat germ oil and coconut oil
Because wheat germ oil is mostly composed of polyunsaturated fats, it goes rancid quickly and should be kept in the fridge to keep it fresh.
Coconut oil, whether solid or liquid, is stable at room temperature. However, if you live in a warm climate where coconut oil tends to liquefy, you might want to store it in the fridge to maintain its solidity. Both oils should be sealed tightly to prevent oxidation and off-flavours.
Wheat germ oil and coconut oil: The ultimate verdict
Both wheat germ oil and coconut oil have their own unique qualities and culinary applications. Wheat germ oil adds a nutty flavor and is an excellent choice for a finishing oil, while coconut oil’s versatility shines in both sweet and savory dishes. Personally, I lean towards coconut oil as my go-to oil due to its distinctive taste, nutrition benefits, and wide range of uses in the kitchen.
Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your personal preferences and the specific dish you’re preparing. So, go ahead and explore these oils in your culinary adventures, and enjoy the fantastic flavors they bring to your table!
Yes, you can mix wheat germ oil with coconut oil to create a unique blend of flavors and enjoy the combined benefits of both oils.
Wheat germ oil can be mixed with various ingredients such as vinegar, lemon juice, herbs, and spices to create flavorful salad dressings or marinades, or it can be blended with essential oils and carrier oils for skincare and haircare formulations.
Individuals who have a wheat or gluten allergy or sensitivity should avoid wheat germ oil, as it is derived from the germ of wheat and may trigger adverse reactions.