Let’s discuss the items you will need for your stir-fry, such as the cookware to use. What cooking oil is best, and also the vegetables and the use of protein in your stir-fry’s.
Stir-fry can be made in a Wok, which is a great cooking method as it cooks this food properly without having to add a lot of oil. A wok is built to heat up in such a way that food cooks fast, meats get a nice sear and vegetables cook quickly so they are not overcooked and retain their nutrients.
But, if you don’t have a Wok, you can use a cast iron skillet, hard anodized or ceramic coated cookware, but make sure they are really hot before adding the ingredients.
To cook your stir fry for heart health, you need to choose cooking oil that has a high smoking point because of the high temperature of frying.
Chinese cooks normally use peanut oil, which has a high smoke point and a pleasant nutty flavor, for stir-frying (and deep-frying). The Peanut Institute states that highly refined peanut oil does not contain allergen-containing proteins and is safe for people with even severe peanut allergies.
Keep in mind that peanut oil is 18% saturated fat, not a healthy fat for the heart, according to the medical community.
Almond oil is suitable to stir-fry with as it has a smoke point of 420 degrees. Almond oil contains the second highest percentage of monosaturated fats, behind olive oil. This type of fat has a number of potential health benefits including lowering total cholesterol, normalizing blood clotting and controlling blood sugar.
Olive oil is also suitable to stir-fry with, but only when using extra light olive oil, because it has a higher smoke point at 468 degrees over EVO oil which is 350 degrees.
Avocado oil has many uses and is great for lowering blood pressure. Avocado oil has a smoke point to 500 degrees. This oil is great for searing meats and frying vegetables. When the food hits the hot oil, the sugar content in the food caramelizes and proteins will be denatured and form a thin coating. This allows the food not to soak up any oil. Also because it is thicker than olive oil, you will find yourself using less of it in the pan. In the USA, if you live near a Costco, the price of the avocado oil for 1 litter is about $10.99 (2014). It isn’t certified organic, but it does state non-gmo avocados used.
The flesh of an avocado, including its oil have 20 vitamins and minerals, which include B-6, an essential B-vitamin for healthy red blood cells, nervous system, gums and teeth. Other nutrients include iron, potassium, lutein and folate. Avocado oil also contains potassium, pantothenic acid, copper and the phytonutrient lutein, which helps boost eye health as we age.
Each serving of avocado oil, 1 tablespoon contains about 1.6 grams of saturated fat, with no omega-6 fatty acids, which cause inflammation in the body.
Vegetables – Low in Calories and Fat
One of the best things about a stir fry is the variety of vegetables you can use, such as cabbage, broccoli, peas, green beans, mushrooms and peppers. Most vegetables are high in fiber, keeping you full for long periods of time. Vegetables are low in calories as well and have no fat and so they can be eaten in abundance.
Protein in Your Stir-Fry
You can choose to use meat, like pork, beef, or chicken. But if you want an all vegetarian stir-fry, you can still have protein as well, by adding nuts or seeds.
Peanut sauce is a high-protein food offering 8 grams per 2 tablespoons. Also 1/4 cup of slivered almonds adds 6 grams of protein or 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds adds 7 grams of protein.
However you choose your protein, make sure to add it to your stir-fry. Protein is an essential building block for healthy tissue and muscles in the body.
Enjoying a good stir-fry also ensures you are getting your daily need of vegetables that provide all of the amino acids you need plus fiber and phytonutrients for a long healthy life.
What Others are Saying About Stir-Fry and Cooking Oils: