Cooking with Oils

sunrise

He is coming

The parable of the 10 bridesmaids had 5 brides with oil and 5 brides without and identified them as “wise” and “foolish” because if the groom came at night, the 5 without oil (the foolish 5) would not have oil enough in their lamps to be able to see in the dark to follow the groom to the feast. The parable teaches us to be prepared for Christ’s second coming. In the parable, he is the groom and his church is the bride. The story is an old one.  I know that we don’t use oil in our lamps anymore; we use lightbulbs. Now, we eat oil but we can sometimes eat oil very foolishly.

Oil of any type is a calorie-dense product made entirely of fat. Oil goes directly into the fat cells of our bodies without stopping. Used mostly for taste, like in salads, and for frying or sautéing, oil can quickly add calories to any meal. The best way to eat oils is in moderation first, remembering that for some oils, the original form of the food will be the better choice, for example, olives are better for you than olive oil. Oil is good for our brain, our heart, and our joints. Consuming foods rich in oil like nuts, avacados, and olives are good for us and help us absorb nutrients.

I usually use grape seed oil to fry onions because it has a high smoke point. The smoke point is the temperature at which oil will smoke, turning it into a carcinogen. Free radicals explode from oil when it starts to smoke. If this happens to you while frying, get rid of the food and start again. (Frying with water, wine, broth and other liquids can also make a delicious meal.) Most unrefined oils begin to smoke around 250-350 degrees F (107-177 degrees C) which is a low to moderate heat. Refined oils have a higher smoke point and are very light colored in appearance. Refined oils are good for deep frying or frying with a wok, or any time the oil is set to very hot. Peanut and coconut oil are great for hot frying. Canola and soybean oil are the worst oils to use because they become carcinogenic when heated long before they even reach smoke point, so be careful with your choice of oils.

Generally, a fresher oil will fare better under heat.  Most bottles of oil have an expiration date stamped somewhere on it. Toss out oil that reaches the expiration date because all oils become rancid over time when exposed to heat, light, and oxygen. I buy oil in small quantities and store them  in a cool, dark place.

I love the story of the 10 bridesmaids because it such an easy thing to do, bring extra oil. I mean really, how dense of those foolish brides. Preparing for Christ’s second coming is easy too. Who doesn’t want the earth and all its beauty transformed into what God created it to be? I know when Christ comes again, my heart is ready for Him. Every day is so precious because it is more time to get to know Him and to share what we know with others who seek Him. Look for Him today in the New Testament. Read about Jesus and how He has transformed this world and all of creation, and us, too. We are on a wonderful journey to eternal life. Start that journey right now because every moment is precious.

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