Coconut Oil vs. Olive Oil
Considerations for Olive Oil and Coconut Oil
We’ve already broken down some of the differences and benefits of using some popular alternatives to olive oil, such as avocado oil. But what about another sought-after option, often turned to for its high smoke point and perceived healthiness: coconut oil?
As previously mentioned in some of our other blogs, there are many considerations when choosing which fat to use for a dish. This includes the recipe’s required smoke point, the influence of the oil or fat’s taste (which often makes up the base flavour for the dish and, of course, the overall health benefits and nutritional value of the oil.
Let’s delve into some of the benefits and considerations of using coconut oil and how this compares to extra virgin olive oil.
How is coconut oil produced?
Let’s consider the various production methods used for coconut oil as this inevitably influences the quality. (And if you’re curious: we’ve previously written about the process of creating extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil here and here.)
Coconut oil is produced by pressing fresh coconut meat, resulting in virgin coconut oil, or dried coconut (called copra), resulting in refined coconut oil. Out of the virgin coconut oils, the oil can be produced through a process of expeller-pressing (using heat) or cold-pressing, which uses minimal heat.
If you are using coconut oil, we recommend using unrefined, cold-pressed virgin. Something to be aware of is the terms “virgin” and “extra virgin” are not regulated for coconut oil - so be aware of these various claims as you are reading coconut oil labels.
So what’s the benefit of coconut oil? When should you use it?
According to an article published by Harvard University, the health benefits of coconut oil are largely disputed. Although many people perceive coconut oil to be healthy (73% of people), 37% of health experts actually agree when it comes to coconut oil’s health benefits.
Flavour, Smoke Points & Daily Use
Contrary to popular belief, EVOO’s smoke point is quite high, with a smoke point anywhere 190–220°C if it’s super fresh. Generally, the fresher the olive oil is, the higher the smoke point. This makes EVOO great for baking, frying, drizzling or using as a base for most of your meals.
Coconut oil has a higher smoke point at 270°C, it lacks the delicious flavour that fresh extra virgin olive oil has. And if you’re worried about the “overpowering” taste of EVOO, our recommendation is to choose EVOO that is balanced and has less tasting notes of rocket or grass (like our Smooth EVOO). Coconut oil is great to use to add sweetness to dishes, particularly in cuisines that have traditionally used coconut oil (such as Southeast Asian and Indian cuisines).
Traceability & Source
Something to consider when choosing any oil is the actual source. This enables you to ensure its quality and that you are getting exactly what is listed on the bottle.
At Goldi, we can only speak to the source of Goldi EVOO and the standards of the Australian olive oil industry. When buying any oil, whether it’s EVOO or coconut oil, we recommend researching the country of origin and their food standards to determine how big the supply chain is for the product you are buying. For example, Goldi olive oil is single origin. It comes from one place and one place only: our family’s farm in Kialla, Victoria. It hasn’t travelled thousands of kilometres around the world, giving extra opportunities to be diluted, repackaged or mislabelled.
We recommend taking into account the country of origin as a major contributing factor when it comes to its quality and (unfortunately) guaranteeing it is what the label says it is.
A time and place for coconut oil
We love variety and are the first to admit that there is a time, place and recipe for any ingredient. When it comes to coconut oil, we don’t doubt this type of oil would go great with Thai green curry or laksa soup.
In saying this, using olive oil for those recipes that traditionally use coconut oil may add a new complexity, spin and uplifted nutrient profile to the dish. Simply put: coconut oil may add sweetness when you need it, but it simply isn’t as versatile when it comes to daily cooking in the kitchen and doesn’t have the nutrient density of EVOO.
Olive oil for the win
Unsurprisingly, we love extra virgin olive oil and choose EVOO as the go-to for most of our cooking endeavours. It’s deliciously convenient (especially when delivered straight to your doorstep) and is great to have on hand as a healthy option regardless of what you are cooking. Not to mention, EVOO is great for your skin (when eaten and applied topically) and is ultimately the healthier option out of the two, particularly when considering the nutrient profile and monounsaturated fat content.
EVOO is our go-to option that never disappoints!
Not sure which to try? Our Power Couple bundle gives you the option to try both of our signature oils.