What is Hazelnut Oil?

Hazelnut oil is an increasingly popular nut oil, usually cold  pressed from roasted hazelnuts, which may be alternately called filberts. It’s not the easiest oil to find, and it is fairly expensive. Most brands of hazelnut oil are exports from Turkey and parts of Asia where the hazel tree is native. A few brands of hazelnut oil are made in the US and come from Washington or Oregon. You may even find a brand or two grown and made in France.

If you like hazelnuts, you may really enjoy this oil. Its taste is quite similar to the hazelnut, and many call it a fairly strong taste. You might want to consider using part hazelnut oil in a recipe and mixing it with lighter oil like canola. This can increase its stability when exposed to high heat, and can cut down a bit on the flavor of the oil.

People use hazelnut oil in salad dressings, in baked goods, and in various cooking applications. It’s not the best nut oil for deep-frying, and it is high in saturated fat. It does not contain cholesterol though, for people looking for cholesterol free oils. A tablespoon (3.6 g) of this oil won’t make a significant difference in your diet, though it can impart extra calories. In a tablespoon, you get 120 calories, and 5% of the US recommended daily allowance (RDA) of saturated fat. It does have a high amount of poly unsaturated and mono unsaturated fat too, and the three types of fat in combination can haves some health benefits.

Since hazelnut oil has such a strong taste, you can often use less of it, if you’re trying to impart flavor to a dish, but keep it lowfat. You can certainly cut down on the amount of oil you use in dressings and possibly in baked goods. Even while using a lesser amount, you’ll be providing lots of rich, creamy and nutty flavor.

One of the most delightful marriages of food is the combination of hazelnut and chocolate. People in Europe, and now increasingly in America, adore Nutella®, a hazelnut and chocolate spread. If you want to get that same kind of flavor, consider using hazelnut oil in place of less flavorful oils in baked goods with chocolate. A chocolate cake or brownies made with this oil can be decadent.

You’ll also find hazelnut oil as an essential oil, and in a number of skincare products. Companies boast of its restorative qualities and the fact that it has some astringency. It may be one of the oils best used on people who have occasional skin breakouts.

Look for this oil in natural foods stores, specialty stores and on the Internet. Do be prepared to pay quite a bit for it. This is an expensive oil and can easily cost about two US Dollars (USD) an ounce (.03 L).

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