A top priority in starting a healthy eating program is eliminating inflammatory foods, and one of the foods that is most hazardous and most common is vegetable oil. Even "healthy" canola oil belongs in the "not-so-fast" category with cottonseed, safflower, and soy oil. Easily contaminated with GMO or non-organic, their main drawback is that they are high in omega-6 polyunsaturated oils, an inflammatory food that we've already had more than our share of!
Before you say you never use vegetable oil, think about your mayonnaise and your salad dressing. If you're not making them at home, you're almost certainly eating vegetable oils. And before you say it sounds hard, let me reassure you that 1) it's easier than you think and 2) once you taste home-made mayo, you won't want to go back to the store-bought variety with not only vegetable oils, but sugar as well.
I learned how to make mayonnaise many times... and promptly each time until I came across Melissa Joulwan's basic mayonnaise recipe in her beautiful! easy! delicious! cookbooks, Well Fed and Well Fed 2. You can see the recipe on her website here, and see how nicely she explains things. She even has useful ideas for failed mayo recipes, which has never happened since I've followed her lead.
1 entire raw egg
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1-1/4 cups healthy oils of your choice (I use 2/3 cup light olive oil, 1/3 cup avocado oil for flavor, and 1/4 cup MCT oil)
1/2 tsp each salt and dry mustard
- In your blender, allow the lemon juice and egg to come to room temperature.
- Add the salt, mustard and 1/4 cup of your oil choice, blend and leave the motor running...
- Slowly drizzle in the remaining cup of oil, taking 2-3 minutes. Sing a song, meditate, take your time.
Enjoy! It keeps in the refrigerator for 7-10 days but if you keep reading, you'll use it up before that.
Salad Dressing tasty and good for you x 2
The next place that vegetable oils are hiding in plain sight is in that bottle of store-bought salad dressing. Keep the bottle, it's great for your homemade dressing. Here are my two main go-to salad dressings I can whip together without consulting a recipe.
In a bowl or wide-mouthed jar combine homemade mayo and a light-colored vinegar in about a 4 to 1 recipe (1 cup mayo, 1/4 cup vinegar), whisk til blended. I use champagne or sherry vinegar, but anything you like will do. My current flavor choice asks for a few sprinkles each of freshly ground sea salt and crushed dry thyme. I have also used dill weed, mustard, tarragon, and even curry spices. Suitable for potato or green salads, dressing on cooked and chilled salmon, what else?
Again, in a wide-mouthed jar or bowl, combine an extra virgin olive oil you like with much less balsamic vinegar. I do about 3/1 oil to vinegar, but I used to like equal amounts. I add salt and pepper, a little prepared Dijon mustard, and that is just fine. On wild and crazy days, the sky's the limit, any spice or herb that matches the meal. I make up 1-2 cups at a time, it stores at room temperature and dresses salads for a week or two.
That's it, hidden vegetable oils are a thing of the past!