One of the most popular oils used in cooking is sweet almond oil.
This clear, colorless oil is made from the kernel of almonds, and its subtle flavor pairs well with almost any dish.
However, since one of the main components of almond oil is a fatty acid, it has a relatively low smoke point (~210 °C or 410 °F) and can turn rancid quickly.
When using this oil in a recipe, keeping it at just the right temperature and for as little time as possible is important.
Some chefs don’t want the flavor of almond oil at all but instead choose other options that have a higher smoke point and longer shelf life.
In this article, we will explore other options than sweet almond oil that you can use in place of it.
Some alternatives are healthier than others, while others have a different flavor profile from the original.
What is Sweet Almond Oil?
Sweet almond oil is pressed from the seeds of almonds.
The first documented evidence of almond cultivation comes from Biblical times, and today there are approximately thirty-nine recognized cultivars of almonds.
There are two main forms that sweet almond oil can come in: refined, which has a light color and delicate flavor, and unrefined or raw, which has a pale yellow color and more intense flavor.
This oil has many uses, both cosmetic and culinary.
In terms of cooking, it is commonly used in desserts like marzipan and biscotti.
It can also be added to salads or mixed with salt for a simple, delicious snack; it has a website dedicated to sharing recipes that use sweet almond oil.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Sweet Almond Oil
If you consider using an alternative to almond oil, you must choose something with a similar texture.
Here are five alternatives that can be used in place of sweet almond oil:
1 – Olive Oil
The second substitute is olive oil.
As with almond oil, this is packed with nutrients and antioxidants.
The two oils have a very similar vitamin E content.
However, unlike almond oil, it is not high in essential fatty acids.
It is rich and complex in its virgin state with a full-bodied taste.
It can be used in desserts or salads alike. Olive oil has a low melting point.
This means that it won’t hold up in very cold climates or refrigerators.
You should only use it when the item is eaten immediately when it comes to cooking.
2 – Peanut Oil
Peanut oil is a vegetable oil made from peanuts.
It has a mild nutty flavor and is easily interchanged with almond oil.
In addition, some people believe that this may lead to a peanut allergy.
While many believe that this oil is high in unsaturated fat, it contains a fairly large amount of saturated fat.
The United States Food and Drug Administration classifies this oil as containing too much saturated fatty acids.
In comparison, almond oil is 76% oleic acid, while peanut oil is 49%.
Peanut oil has a high smoking point, making it excellent for deep frying.
In addition, it can be used repeatedly since all of the flavors are gone after each use.
3 – Canola Oil
The fourth option is a blend of almond and canola oils.
This can be a bit tricky since they are both very similar.
This mixture will also need to be blended with another oil or fat at home, usually extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.
This is an option that has a lot of controversies.
Canola oil was developed using naturally cross-bred rapeseed plants, but it’s unclear whether this was genetically modified (GM).
The controversy comes from using naturally cross-bred plants but genetically modified food.
People are concerned about the lack of testing GM foods have undergone.
Also important to note is that canola oil may contain traces of cyanide.
Though the amount is small, this could be dangerous for those with compromised immune systems or certain diseases.
However, if you are healthy, this should not be an issue.
4 – Avocado Oil
Another substitute is avocado oil – this has a rich, buttery flavor and can be used in many different recipes.
It is pressed from the fruit that has gained quick popularity for its nutritional value.
It is very high in monounsaturated fat and low in polyunsaturated fat compared to other cooking oils.
This translates to a healthier oil.
This type of oil may also reduce insulin levels if you have diabetes.
In addition, it quickens the effects of phytochemicals from your food, leading them to take effect faster.
This means that any pharmaceutical drugs will work better with this oil.
Some people believe avocado oil is good for the skin, especially when used in skin treatments.
5 – Coconut Oil
The final option is coconut oil. This has a similar texture to almond oil and can be used interchangeably.
It also tastes, of course, like coconuts.
It contains lauric acid, linked to increased metabolism, aiding weight loss efforts.
People with Alzheimer’s have also been shown to have lower levels of this acid in their blood.
Coconut oil comes with many benefits, including protection from heart disease, obesity, and cancer.
In addition, it can be used as a moisturizer for both the hair and skin.
It is also believed that it can boost the immune system due to a high concentration of Vitamin E.
Cooking with coconut oil can be difficult because it is not suitable for high-temperature cooking.
It should only be used when the food is eaten immediately, so you may want to use another oil to make something like pancakes.
Sweet almond oil is a versatile ingredient in the kitchen, but it doesn’t come without trade-offs.
Peanut, canola, and avocado oils are all great substitutes.
However, the best substitute may be using a blend of almond and canola or almond and olive oil.
Each of these oils is relatively healthy and can be used in many different dishes.
If you don’t wish to use any of the substitutes, coconut oil may also work as a good replacement for sweet almond oil.