What comes to your mind every time you hear the word, argan oil? For many people, argan oil is the golden oil from Morocco with tons of skin and hair benefits. In fact, many cosmetic companies produce and incorporate argan oil in their line of products because of its promising results. It is also rich in ingredients, which boost and promotes overall health.
A native plant to Morocco, argan oil, from the argan tree, is one of the rarest and most highly valued oils today. It takes two kilograms of argan kernels or 25 to 30 kilograms of argan fruit and up to 20 hours of manual labor to produce one liter of pure argan oil.
- Strengthens Nails
- Aids In Digestion
- Treats Itchy and Dry Scalp
- Increases Hydration in Skin
- Treats Acne
- Prevents Wrinkles
- Reduces Bad Cholesterol Levels
- Helps Fight Chronic Illnesses like Cancer
Aside from its cosmetic and medicinal properties, did you know that you could use argan oil in the kitchen?
Culinary Argan Oil: A New Breed of Superfood
Culinary argan oil is an edible oil with a golden brown color and a roasted, nutty flavor. You can use it for cooking, or as a nutritional supplement for various health issues, such as high cholesterol and cardiovascular illnesses. It takes 30 minutes to roast two kilograms of argan kernels to make just one liter of culinary argan oil, which explains its desirable nutty aroma and roasted flavor.
Aside from the roasted and nutty flavor, culinary argan oil can add more flavor and richness, especially in sweet and savory dishes. This only shows the oil’s versatility, since you can use it in almost all dishes, such as salads, yogurt, soups, breakfast spreads and creamy desserts, among others.
Where to Buy Culinary Argan Oil
You can buy culinary argan oil in specialist food shops, at your local deli, and in health stores. You can also order online from legitimate websites such as Amazon. If you want to ensure the quality of argan oil, it is best to buy directly from the argan oil cooperatives. It is a woman-run cooperative, which helps not only the women in the community in terms of health care and education, but also preserves and protects the argan tree forest.
However, culinary argan oil can be expensive for some people. Considering the manual labor Moroccan women have to go through to produce argan oil, it’s not surprising if a 200-milliliter bottle costs around 20 dollars or more, plus a shipping fee if you order online.
Culinary argan oil has always been a part of every Moroccan household. Are you ready to cook? Check out these nine recipes where you can use argan oil.
9 Ways to Use Culinary Argan Oil
1. Eat Culinary Argan Oil the Healthy Moroccan Way
What is the best way to enjoy culinary argan oil? Do it the traditional, Moroccan way, of course. All you need some hearty French bread, organic culinary argan oil and organic honey.
Pour argan oil and organic honey in two separate dishes. Tear a bite-size piece from your hearty bread, dip it in argan oil then in some honey, and eat it. This is the best way to taste and enjoy argan oil, especially if it is your first time. It is also a classic breakfast and afternoon snack, which Berber people of Morocco enjoy, as well.
In case you can find Moroccan mint tea in specialty stores, make sure to get some. This simple and classic recipe works well with a cup of Moroccan mint tea.
2. Amlou: A Classic and Nutritious Moroccan Dip
Moroccans are blessed to have an abundant supply of argan tree in their country. This is why it is not surprising if their meals have argan oil in it. An example of this is amlou.
Amlou is a delicious Moroccan dip consisting of toasted almonds, raw honey, and argan oil. This specialty Berber dish, which is well loved by tourists as well, is served during breakfast or teatime together with bread. You can also use it to garnish couscous or add it on your favorite dessert.
To do this, you will need the following ingredients:
- 200 grams whole almonds
- One half to three-fourth cup argan oil
- Three tablespoons of warm raw honey
- One tablespoon granulated sugar
- One-eight teaspoon salt
To make amlou, just follow these steps:
- Spread the almonds in a baking pan and roast for 15 minutes or longer until the almonds are crunchy and dark.
- Grind the almonds using a meat grinder or food processor to make a smooth, oily-looking paste.
- Add argan oil until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Pour warm honey, sugar and salt. Adjust the taste according to your preference.
3. Add a Nutty Flavor to Your Ice Cream with Culinary Argan Oil
If you are an ice cream lover and want to add something healthy in your dessert, then culinary argan oil could be your best friend. Even if you simply want to add flavor to your ice cream, this simple recipe could spice up your favorite dessert. All you need are vanilla ice cream, argan oil, honey and flaked almonds, which you can buy in supermarkets, and health and specialty stores.
To enhance your favorite ice cream, just:
- Roast flaked almonds in a frying pan for 15 minutes or until the almonds look toasted.
- Place a scoop or two of the vanilla ice cream and sprinkle it with toasted almonds.
- Pour one to two teaspoons of argan oil over the nuts.
- Top it with honey.
This is definitely an ice cream with a twist.
4. A Nutty Chocolate Dessert Topping – The Moroccan Way
Let’s say you want to add more sweetness to your ice cream or any dessert, such as cakes and fruits. If so, then this one is for you.
To make this simple chocolate dessert topping, you will need:
- Culinary argan oil
- Dark chocolate, preferably with 60 to 70 percent cocoa content
To do this dessert topping:
- Place dark chocolate in a small bowl and melt.
- Once melted, add a teaspoon of culinary argan oil to taste. You can add more or less depending on your desired taste.
You can pour a bit of this mixture on ice cream, cakes, cookies, breads and even fruit. You can also combine the chocolate toppings with toasted flaked almonds or pure coconut oil. The best part is these ingredients are readily available in supermarkets.
5. Pack More Nutrients in Your Salads with Culinary Argan Oil
Olive oil is a perennial crowd-pleaser when it comes to salads. In fact, a salad will never be complete without it. However, if you want to add a twist to your salads, give other oils a try, without compromising all the nutrients and health benefits. Consider this recipe for Kale and Quinoa Summer Salad.
You will need the following ingredients:
- One cup of quinoa
- Half cup of corn kernels
- Four cups of chopped kale
- One teaspoon diced red onions
- Five to six pieces cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Here’s how to make this salad:
- Cook one cup of quinoa with two cups of liquid.
- Once cooked, removed quinoa from heat.
- Add corn kernels, kale, red onion and cherry tomatoes. Mix well.
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt and drizzle with argan oil for nutty, roasted flavor.
- Serve in a small bowl.
The good thing about this salad is that aside from the nutrients you can get from kale, the nutty flavor from argan oil will surely change the way you eat salads. Check out your local produce markets, grocery stores and health food stores for the ingredients.
6. A Healthy Kind of Pesto with Culinary Argan Oil
Who would say no to pesto? There are pesto sauces from different brands sold in the supermarket. However, nothing beats growing your own pots of basil at home. If you are among millions of people who appreciate pesto, then you should try this recipe.
This pesto recipe is a twist to a classic favorite. The secret ingredient: argan oil, but you will also need:
- One package of pasta noodles of your choice.
- One pound package of fresh basil leaves.
- An eight ounce bag of walnuts, shelled.
- A small container of parmesan or pecorino cheese.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
These ingredients are available in health stores, specialty food stores, and supermarkets.
To bring a different flavor and aroma to your pesto, here’s what you need to do:
- Boil one package or nine ounces of your choice of pasta noodles. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine two cups of fresh basil leaves and one-third cup of walnuts, and then grind them well.
- Add one-third cup of freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese, and a pinch of salt.
- Pour one-third cup of culinary argan oil.
- Mix the pasta and pesto sauce together.
- Serve with grated cheese on top.
Instead of white pasta, go for whole-wheat variations for added health benefits.
7. Power Up Your Morning with Argan Oil and Chia Pudding
The phrase, “Small but mighty” definitely applies to this powerful little seed. Chia seeds are popular among health enthusiasts these days. They are rich in essential nutrients, such as calcium, phosphorus, omega 3 and manganese, which keeps your health at bay. Aside from this, chia seeds come with the following benefits:
- Chia seeds are a good source of fiber.
- Chia seeds slow down digestion, making you feel fuller, longer.
- Helps maintain bone and oral health.
- Fights belly fat by curbing your attitude.
Chia seeds work well with culinary argan oil. To power up your mornings, try this recipe:
- In a mason jar, mix one-third cup of chia seeds, two-third cups of coconut cream, a tablespoon of organic honey, and a teaspoon of argan oil.
- Keep it chilled overnight
- Once ready, top off the chia pudding with fresh berries and drizzle with honey and more argan oil.
This is an excellent way to start your mornings without limiting yourself with nutrients and calories. You can even bring chia pudding anywhere you go.
8. The Two-Minute Chia Pudding: A Quick and Easy Argan Oil Power Breakfast
If you prefer something sweeter or you want to add some chocolate flavor into your chia pudding, then you can try this recipe. You’ll need:
- One-third cup chia seeds
- One tablespoon cocoa powder
- One-quarter teaspoon organic honey
- One-half cup almond milk
Here’s how to make this delicious and nutritious pudding:
- Fill one-third of the Mason jar or any container you wish to use with chia seeds.
- Add a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and few drops of organic honey, which you can get in supermarkets and health food stores.
- Fill the rest of the jar with almond milk, also available in supermarkets.
- Put it in the fridge and leave it overnight.
Before going to work, take your chia pudding out of the fridge and add your preferred toppings. You can use bananas, cocoa nibs, walnut pieces or the nutty chocolate dessert topping, above. Don’t forget to drizzle with a few drops of argan oil.
9. Create A Sophisticated Dish with Culinary Argan Oil and Yellowtail Fish
Yellowtail fish is a migratory fish, commonly seen in the Pacific Ocean and Sea of Cortez during the summertime. It is similar to tuna, but this type of fish comes with a yellow stripe across their body and tail; hence the name. This recipe requires the use of raw fish, so make sure to use only the freshest fish you can find that’s suitable for raw consumption.
Yellowtail, or hamachi in Japan, works well with culinary argan oil. After getting your fish from the fish market or supermarket, try this recipe:
- Thinly slice the yellowtail fish in one-fourth of an inch.
- Place it on a nice plate.
- Sprinkle avocado and pine nuts, which you can get in local markets.
- In a separate bowl, mix basil leaves and culinary argan oil according to your taste.
- Spread the mixture on top of the hamachi.
- Top it off with coarse sea salt, although this is optional.
Keep in mind that culinary argan oil and cosmetic argan oil are quite different. Culinary argan oil belongs in the kitchen, while cosmetic argan oil is for beautification and skin care purposes. The roasting process is what sets these two oils apart. Therefore, never use or substitute cosmetic argan oil when you run out of the culinary variant.
In case you find yourself buying a bottle of culinary argan oil, keep in mind that argan oil is not suitable for high temperature cooking. At the same time, surprise your family with one of these nine simple and easy-to-do recipes tonight. They will love them, for sure.