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Grapeseed Oil 101

The Martha Stewart Show, April 2008

Cooking oils are the foundation of many recipes and add flavor and nutrients depending on which oil you choose. Grapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of grapes, a by-product of the winemaking industry. It mainly comes from France, Italy, or Switzerland, with a few sources now in the United States.

Grapeseed oil has a high smoke point -- the point at which the oil begins to smoke, generating toxic fumes and harmful free radicals -- of 420 degrees Fahrenheit, and it can be safely used to cook at high temperatures. Good for stir-frying, sauteing, and baking, grapeseed oil has a clean, light taste that holds flavor quite well. Because of its neutral taste, it is often used as a base in salad dressings.

Grapeseed oil can be used as a substitute for virgin olive oil, which has a similar high smoke point. (Virgin olive oil has a similar high smoke point; peanut oil has a high smoke point; and extra-virgin olive oil has a low smoke point.) Grapeseed oil contains a high amount of omega 6, which help the body burn fat and increase energy, and contains omega 9, omega 3, vitamin E, C, and beta-carotene. It should be stored for up to six months in a cool, dark place or in the refrigerator.

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