Drizzle over baked vegetables, in soups, meat or fish dishes, in hummus, pesto or on pasta and for dipping bread. It can also be used for light sautéing. Be creative and have fun!
Can I fry or use high heat with Culinary Argan Oil?
No. There are other types of oils recommended for high heat. Use it as a finishing oil to savor its delicious flavor or for light sautéing.
What are the benefits of eating Culinary Argan Oil?
Traditionally argan oil was used by the North African Imazighen or Berber tribe for medicinal purposes. Argan oil is extremely beneficial when taken internally and applied externally. The health benefits of using argan oil are numerous and it has been used to treat aliments such as: psoriasis, eczema, acne, scars, inflammation, diabetes, heart disease and the regulation of blood sugar levels. Argan oil has also been used as a preventative measure against: cell destroying free-radicals, reducing cholesterol, nourishing and protecting the skin from UV radiation and boosting the immune system.
High levels of vitamin E make argan oil a very powerful antioxidant. Consisting of 80% unsaturated fatty acids and high levels of essential fatty acids the body cannot produce like alpha lanolin acid (Omega 3) which helps prevent and treat heart disease, linoleic acid (Omega 6) responsible for stimulating circulation, strengthening the body's natural defenses and suppressing inflammation and Oleic acid (Omega 9) helping to lower LDL's or "bad cholesterol". Schottenol and spinasterol, two sterols rarely found together, are present in argan oil and exhibit anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumorigenic effects. The presence of squalene is also anti-carcinogenic and protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation. Polyphenols like caffein acid act as an antioxidant, oleuropein is a natural antibiotic boosting the body’s immune system, and ferulic acid decreases blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels and prevents damage caused by ultraviolet light. Carotenes promote healthy skin, protect the arteries, heart and lower the risk of inflammation. Culinary argan oil should definitely be added to your diet.
What is the difference between cosmetic and culinary argan oil?
The kernels of culinary argan oil are lightly roasted. Consequently, this allows more oil to be extracted from the kernels and roasting them creates a nutty flavor and aroma. The kernels of cosmetic argan oil are not roasted but do have a light nutty scent. Non-roasted kernels produce less oil therefore making it more expensive. Only use culinary argan oil for cooking purposes. Once the kernels are roasted you loose some of the benefits meant for your skin!
How do I store Culinary Argan Oil and what is the shelf life?
Because of argan oil's high vitamin E content, it does not degrade as quickly as olive oil. It should still be stored away from heat and light. Shelf life is approximately 24 months after bottling.
Where does Argan Oil come from?
Argan oil is derived from the argania spinosa tree which grows in the semi-desert region of south western Morocco.
How is Culinary Argan Oil made?
Argan fruit is collected and left to dry in the sun for a minimum of a few days up to a week, after drying the fruit is discarded. Beneath the dried fruit is a very hard shell that must be hand-cracked with a rock for at least 10-15 hours to produce one liter! Inside the argan shell is 2-3 argan kernels that are lightly roasted before the oil is extracted to give a delicious nutty flavor.
Who is responsible for the labor and production of argan oil?
This work is done by local women and the skilled indigenous North African tribe known as the Berbers. They were also the first to realize the benefits of argan oil and have been extracting it for at least 1,000 years. At Victoria Akkari we work directly with our Women's Cooperative to insure good working conditions and fair pay. Women's Cooperatives are extremely important because they offer an opportunity allowing women to earn income in a poor region.
How do I know if my Culinary Argan Oil is real?
Always buy your argan oil from a reputable supplier to insure that it has not been mixed with any other oils diluting the health benefits and taste. We do offer wholesale orders, please contact us with an inquiry. The only ingredients listed on the label should be 100% argan oil or 100% argania spinosa. It should have a nutty smell and real culinary argan oil can often have a sediment that settles at the bottom of your bottle. Give it a gentle shake before using it!
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