Pecan Oil: The Most Delicious, Buttery, Healthy Oil You've Ever Tasted.
by Kiki Athanas
June 11, 2018
Who isn't sick of hearing about how coconut oil is SOOOOOO great.
Okay, it is - in moderation.
I'm also an even more passionate fan of olive oil.
But this post is about to introduce you to another oil...just as delicious...just as healthy...but WAY under the radar.
After trying just a teaspoon at an Expo I was at last month - my mind was officially blown (and by mind, I mean tastebuds).
This has probably got to be one of the most rich and luxurious things I've ever tasted. Bonus: it's healthy AF.
And not in the controversial way that coconut oil is (which is after all a saturated fat, so there's arguments on both sides as to why you may want to be cautious with having it as toooo much of a staple in your diet).
Ready for it?
Meet: PECAN OIL!
Pecan oil has, dare I say, the PERFECT fats profile: low in saturated; high in monounsaturated, and with just the right amount of polyunsaturated. To top things off, its high in antioxidants, and great source of select vitamins and minerals (magnesium, manganese, selenium, etc.).
Oh, did I mention it tastes like butter - but better?
Vegans: get hella excited. You're about to make a new friend.
So the question arises:
Why haven't we heard of pecan oil before?!
I connected with the goddess of pecan oil herself, Founder of The Art of Pecan, Wendy Polland, to get the scoop (on the story...and more oil - I've become an addict and officially use it in and on just about everything!).
"When I first learned of pecan oil, I asked myself the same thing.
One major reason has to be the lack of collective marketing power to this point by the pecan industry. Unlike almonds and other agricultural products (Got Milk?; Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner; etc) the pecan industry has previously never had a marketing order with the USDA.
That’s changing this year, so you’re about to hear a lot more about pecans and their health benefits. With that (hopefully), you’ll start to hear more about derivative products like pecan oil.
It’s unfortunate but marketing, rather than science, can really propel some health crazes.
A good example is coconut oil. The American Heart Association had to conclude that marketing must be responsible for the popularity of coconut oil, because the science just isn’t there. You could say the opposite for pecan oil. So we think we’re in the better position; we’ve always had the science, and going forward we’ll have the publicity."
Okay, so you're officially swooning for some pecan oil - I get it!
But before you run to the store (or my new online shop - where YASSSS I CARRY THIS GOLD TREASURE) - here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind as you hunt out your source - direct from Wendy herself:
"Look for the gold.
The deeper gold colour and a detectable pecan flavour signal a more pure oil, and in particular an oil that’s higher in phenolics/antioxidants. Lighter pecan oils with little flavour have likely been refined or over-filtered, probably because the quality of the pecans they use is lower.
Pecans are expensive, so a shortcut some producers use is to use older, lower-quality Lnuts to press for oil. We’ve been told by several pecan growers that some producers even use rancid pecans. So, beyond the deep gold colour, look to see whether the producer boasts about using “recent crop” pecans, and whether they identify the variety of pecan they use. We only use recent crop, American native pecans to press our Pure Pecan Oil."
Last but certainly not least, I wanted to get some insights as to how to best use this stuff...as I'm still a newbie so have been dousing it over just about everything.
Wendy admits her favourite indulgence using pecan oil is on popcorn, with shredded parmesan and a little salt - BUT she truly uses it in all her cooking.
"As much as I recommend the popcorn drizzle to people, I hesitate a little, because I want them to think of pecan oil as more than just a finishing oil. The high smoke point and high oxidative stability of our Pure Pecan Oil means you can stir fry with it, and the buttery flavour makes it great for baking."