_             Approximately three summers ago, I was in The Cook's Cupboard in Southampton, Ontario.  It's a glorious kitchen store and sells pre-packaged gourmet meals as well!  While I was in there this one day, a gentleman had a table set up inside and was praising the virtues of Paltita Avocado Oil.  He was a representative of the company and had a lovely dip prepared for customers to taste, which I've since made several times.   This little known oil is quite amazing for cooking with and for cosmetics.  

             Nutrionists put it on a par with olive oil and in fact, alot of olive oil producers revert to making avocado oil in the off-seasons.  It's high in mono-unsaturated fats (to help lower bad LDL's in people with high cholestrol) and Vitamin E.  The Paltita Avocado Oil brags that it is 100% cholestrol free, and free of additives.  Put through a cold extraction process, it's made as an extra virgin avocado oil.  Most importantly, it has an unusually high smoke point of 520F...that's higher than most cooking oils, especially ones that are good for you!

            This excerpt from Wikipedia about smoke points in oils should pretty much explain why I believe Avocado Oil is a healthy alternative to any oil you can buy!

Smoke point From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 The smoke point generally refers to the temperature at which a cooking fat or oil begins to break down to glycerol and free fatty acids, and produce bluish smoke. The glycerol is then further broken down to acrolein which is a component of the smoke. It is the presence of the acrolein that causes the smoke to be extremely irritating to the eyes and throat. The smoke point also marks the beginning of both flavor and nutritional degradation. Therefore, it is a key consideration when selecting a fat for frying, with the smoke point of the specific oil dictating its maximum usable temperature and therefore its possible applications. For instance, since deep frying is a very high temperature process, it requires a fat with a high smoke point.

Robert Wolke argues that smoke point for an oil varies widely depending on origin and refinement.[1] The smoke point of an oil does tend to increase as free fatty acid content decreases and degree of refinement increases.[2][3] Wolke argues that heating oil produces free fatty acid and as heating time increases, more free fatty acids are produced, thereby decreasing smoke point. It is one reason not to use the same oil to deep fry more than twice.[1] Intermittent frying has remarkably greater effect on oil deterioration than continuous frying.[4]

Considerably above the temperature of the smoke point is the flash point, the point at which the vapors from the oil can first ignite when mixed with air.
(Click on "Smoke Point from Wikipedia" to see a chart of all the oils)

            As a topical oil, Avocado Oil is high in sterolins which are said to reduce age spots, help heal sun damage and scars.  It relieves dryness and itchiness  caused by psoriasis or eczema as it's so easily absorbed into deep tissues of the skin.  And ladies....studies have found that avocado oil significantly increases the amount of collagen in the skin...which of course is great for us "older" girls.

            The only drawback I find with this oil is it's colour...it's a fairly bright green colour which sometimes...you don't want your food to look green, but I still use it all the time.  I use it when I make rice, instead of the requested bit of butter and my rice is always perfectly wonderful!  I don't find that it has a strong flavour at all and I quite like it better than olive oil, because I find olive oil can change the whole flavour of a food.  I would say, even though it's a bit pricey (around $16-22.00/bottle), to buy the Paltita, because you get what you pay for.

            Please check out In the Kitchen for a delicious appetizer recipe from Paltita...it was the one I tasted that day in the Cook's Cupboard!

            Try it out!  Your body will thank you....

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