Choosing the Right Oil

Choosing the Right Oil


Exploring the variety of cooking oil types


The world of cooking oil is vast and diverse. Choosing the right oil depends on which ingredient you’re using, or which cuisine you’re handling them in. Here’s a handy guide of cooking oils to help determine which oils to use on which occasion, their health benefits, and more.


Animal Oils (and Alternatives)


Cooking oils from animal sources mostly consist of saturated fats that raise the level of cholesterol in the blood, which may increase chances of stroke and heart disease [2]. Butter is one of the most well-known types of animal oil, with its creamy and versatile taste. However, about 63% of its fat is saturated [3], and it has high calories of 100 per tablespoon—which makes it a not-so-healthy option for cooking.


Vegan Chocolate Cake with Coconut Milk Fudge Frosting [4]


If you want to cut down on butter but are reluctant to give up its rich flavour, try coconut oil. This plant-based butter alternative does not contain cholesterol, but delivers just the same richness. 

Its slightly sweet taste easily complements desserts, including this classic.




(Cake - single 20cm)

1 cup all purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

1 cup sugar

⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon Borges Specialty Apple Cider Vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅓ cup virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled

1 cup coconut water/juice



¼ cup virgin coconut oil

1 ½ cups sugar

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Instructions for the cake: Preheat the oven to 175℃. Grease the pan with coconut oil and line the bottom with parchment paper. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix Borges Specialty Apple Cider Vinegar, vanilla, coconut oil, and coconut water. Whisk the wet and dry ingredients together until smoothly combined. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes. Cool and remove from the pan, then firm it in the freezer for half an hour. Cut in layers for icing.


Instructions for frosting: Melt coconut oil in a saucepan and stir in sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Add in coconut milk and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture begins to thicken, remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool for about 20 minutes. Beat with a spoon until it thickens to desired consistency before icing the cake.


Vegetable Oils


The vegetable oils we find in markets are processed from a variety of plant seeds and grains like soybean, canola, and corn. One of the most widely used vegetable oils is grapeseed, which is loved for its high smoke point [5]. Its mild flavour makes it applicable for a variety of dishes, dressings, and vinaigrettes. Grapeseed oil is also a great source of “healthy fats,” or  polyunsaturated fats, which contain antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamin E [6].


Vegan Basil Pesto with Wheat Pasta [7]


Enjoy the flavour of fresh grapeseed oil with this simple yet tasteful vegan basil pesto recipe! Serve it over pasta like in this recipe, or explore your options with cooked vegetables or grilled fish.




(16 servings of pesto)

2 cups fresh basil leaves

3 Tbsp pine nuts or walnuts

3 cloves garlic (peeled)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

3-4 Tbsp nutritional yeast

¼ tsp salt (more to taste)

2-3 Tbsp Borges Grapeseed Oil

45-90 mL water

100g (per serving) Borges Quality Durum Wheat Pasta of your choice


Instructions: Blend basil, nuts, garlic, lemon juice, yeast, and salt in a food processor or blender. Blend on high until a loose paste forms. Add Borges Grapeseed Oil a little at a time while the blender is on. Add water, 15 mL at a time until the paste reaches desired consistency. Taste and adjust flavour: nutritional yeast for more cheesiness, lemon juice for acidity, and garlic for bite and texture. Cook and drain your choice of Borges Quality Durum Wheat Pasta according to package instructions. Toss each serving of pasta with 1 Tbsp pesto.


Olive Oils


This Mediterranean staple belongs in the vegetable oil branch, but deserves its own category due to its wide variety and popularity. Olive oil contains a high concentration of monounsaturated fat, boosting immune function and preventing cell damage.


What we call “regular” or “classic” olive oil has a smoke point ideal for low- and moderate-heat sauteing and baking [8]. For higher-heat cooking, use light or “pure” olive oil, which has a higher smoke point. 


Extra virgin olive oil is a different story: while regular olive oil is artificially processed and refined, extra virgin olive oil is naturally extracted without heat or chemical additives [9]. This gives EVOO the strongest olive flavour and the highest content of natural vitamins and minerals. EVOO is typically used uncooked for dippings, dressings, and as finishing oil, but Borges Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be used for cooking as well, as it withstands low to medium heat.


Gambas al Ajillo (Spanish Garlic Shrimp) [10]


Here’s a flavourful Spanish recipe perfect for shrimp and olive lovers. Make sure to leave plenty of olive oil sauce for dipping!




(4 servings)

450g large shrimp (about 20-25 count)

4 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon paprika (optional)

¼ cup Borges Extra Light Olive Oil

1-2 Tbsp Borges Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp dry sherry (or white wine with a pinch of sugar)

1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Salt to taste


Instructions: Slice garlic into thin pieces. Thaw (if frozen), peel, and devein shrimp, then season with salt and paprika. Heat the garlic and Borges Extra Light Olive Oil over low to medium heat. Simmer for about 2 minutes, or until the garlic starts to turn golden. Add shrimp and turn the heat up to high, cooking for another 2 minutes while occasionally tossing and turning. Pour in sherry and cook until the sauce comes to a boil and shrimp is completely cooked, stirring continuously. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Drizzle generously with Borges Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil for flavour. Serve with sliced bread.


The “right” choice of cooking oil makes up a significant portion of taste and flavour in dishes. It has a whole lot to do with our health, too. Find the cooking oil that matches your diet—and don’t forget to do it with research!

Photo Credit:










[4] Adapted from:



[7] Adapted from:



[10] Adapted from:


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