You are probably accustomed to using shelled pecans and pecans pieces in all kinds of recipes. But pecans have another form you may be less familiar with; pecan oil. Pecan oil is a delicious and healthy food with a variety of uses and benefits.
DRESSINGS AND DIPS
Pecan oil can be used as a healthier alternative to oil or butter in salad dressings and dips. Pecan oil contains only half a gram of saturated fat per tablespoon, as opposed to canola oil’s 1 gram per tablespoon, olive oil’s 1.9 grams per tablespoon, and butter’s 7 grams per tablespoon. Some varieties of pecan oil have a nutty pecan flavor and scent. Others have a light, neutral flavor and almost no scent. Depending on the recipe, you may want to use more strongly flavored pecan oil to create unique flavor combinations, or a more neutral pecan oil for its versatility.
One major benefit of pecan oil is its high smoke point of 470 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than the smoke point of corn oil (440 degrees), peanut oil (450 degrees), and soybean oil (460 degrees). This high smoke point makes pecan oil ideal for deep frying. The more neutral varieties of pecan oil are best for high-temperature cooking.
Pecan oil can be one of the best ingredients to use in pecan sandies, pecan pie, or any other baked good featuring pecans, maple, or cinnamon. Simply substitute pecan oil for any other oil called for in the recipe. In recipes calling for butter, use three-fourths of a cup of pecan oil for every cup of butter.
HAIR AND SKIN CARE
Like many oils, pecan oil can make a great moisturizer for dry skin. It’s also a great source for Vitamin A and E. Pecan oil is lighter and less comedogenic than olive oil and coconut oil, making it suitable for use in oil cleansing or as a face moisturizer. If you suffer from dry hair, split ends, or dandruff, try rubbing pecan oil into your hair before showering.