Almond oil, along with walnut and pecan oil, is a popular nut oil favoured by gourmets for its smooth, buttery flavour. One of the lightest nut oils on the market, the oil has a clean flavour that pairs well with fish, white asparagus, cream soups, or light vinaigrettes.
To preserve its delicate flavour, almond oil should be treated as more of a finishing oil, added just before the meal is served. While you can cook with refined oil, it is not recommended to heat cold pressed oil to high temperatures, as this will mar the subtle nuances of a quality, cold-pressed oil. It can also be used for baking to add fruity, nutty flavours to carrot cake, biscuits, spiced muffins, or cinnamon buns. Just replace a 60ml or 120ml of butter with almond oil.
Sometimes you may see a light coloured oil labeled as “Refined Almond Oil.” Refined oils are highly processed through a mechanized system, which is extremely efficient at separating out the oils. This efficiency makes refined oils very cheap for consumers, and the processing allows them to be heated to much higher temperatures without burning or producing off flavours. Unfortunately, this processing also removes much of the flavour and natural colour of the oil, giving them a flavour similar to rapeseed oil. Cold pressed almond oil, or any cold-pressed oil for that matter, is much more of an artisan product. Since the oil is not heated during the pressing, it retains all of its natural flavour and nutritional benefits.