Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed Oil

Season for Grapeseed Oil Available Year Round

Grapeseed Oil Described

Grapeseed oil could be construed as a highly eco-friendly oil, for it’s extracted from the seeds of grapes – typically wine grapes – that would otherwise be discarded (but extracting the oil can be laborious). For all intents and purposes a vegetable oil, this actual fruit oil enjoys a reputation as a mild, delicate and pleasantly neutral kitchen companion, but it enjoys much of its fanfare in the cosmetic’s industry. Many a product that boasts moisture and anti-aging properties takes its efficacy from this wine byproduct. 

How to Buy and Store Grapeseed Oil

When purchasing grapeseed oil (GSO) for your culinary needs, first make sure it’s clearly marked food grade. GSO – like most oils – can go rancid easily, so look for oil in a dark bottle kept away from light. Once you get your oil home, store it in a cool dark place or your refrigerator where it will go rancid much more slowly.

Because each seed yields a small amount of oil, grapeseed oil is usually extracted chemically to make it more affordable. When purchasing grapeseed oil, avoid those that have been extracted using hexane, a harsh chemical that has no way of being fully removed from the final product. Look for brands that are expeller-pressed, a chemical-free mechanical method of oil extraction.

How to Cook Grapeseed Oil

When it comes to cooking with GSO, it’s actually quite controversial. It’s often said that owing to GSO’s high smoke point, that it works exceptionally well for sautéing and frying. Others argue that grapeseed oil is an unstable oil that begins to go rancid the moment it’s exposed to heat, sort of making the smoke point irrelevant.

This we know for sure: GSO has an unobtrusive, mild flavor that lends itself to blending with other flavors, and it emulsifies very well. So, if you’re a mayo eater, grapeseed is your oil! Include GSO in dressings and sauces, or use it as a base for infusing or flavouring with garlic, rosemary, or other herbs and spices. Many people also bake with grapeseed oil. 

Health Benefits of Grapeseed Oil

Aside from the antioxidant content in GSO that helps fight aging and disease, such as cancer, this oil has also been shown to have beneficial flavonoid effects on cholesterol. Aside from its culinary use, grapeseed oil’s benefits are largely cosmetic. Its soothing, emollient properties lend themselves beautifully to lotions, cremes, massage oils and conditioners. Mildly astringent, grapeseed oil has been found to lighten and tone the skin, making it an effective anti-aging ingredient. 

Why Buy Natural and Organic Grapeseed Oil

In addition to the chemical extraction often used in grapeseed oil, most conventional oils start going rancid immediately due to the air and high heat of commercial pressing. That means they have to be refined, bleached and deodorized, essentially destroying the oil (and its health benefits). Get your oil organically from your local farmers market where you can actually ask the farmer what went into making it, and buy it in smaller quantities to ensure the highest quality. 

image: jronaldlee