Walnut oil is edible and is generally used less than other oils in food preparation, often due to high pricing. It is light-coloured and delicate in flavour and scent, with a nutty quality. Although sometimes used for pan frying, most chefs do not use walnut oil for high temperature cooking, as heating can remove some of the oil's flavour & nutrition and produce a slight bitterness; instead it is used primarily as an ingredient in cold dishes such as salad dressings, where its flavour more easily comes through. In addition, the antioxidants present in the oil are easily destroyed in cooking.
Walnut Oil Health Benefits
The health benefits of walnut oil are becoming more readily apparent with each passing year. Several medical studies have conducted research that indicates that walnut oil offers a rich source for antioxidants, specifically ellagic acid. This antioxidant has been found to detoxify several substances linked to the development of certain cancers. In addition, ellagic acid also helps to obstruct these cancer cells from replicating themselves. Walnut oil is also rich in manganese and copper, as well as melatonin, a hormone that aids in regulation of the body’s internal clock. As if this weren’t enough, studies have revealed that walnut oil helps in lowering endothelin levels. Endothelin is a chemical that assists in inflaming the arteries. By lowering the levels of endothelin, plaque cannot accumulate in the blood vessels as efficiently. In other words, consumption of walnut oil may help prevent the chances of developing heart disease. In addition to these benefits, the high content of omega-3 oils provides heart-protecting effects, as well as anti-cancer and weight-reducing properties
The cost of walnut oil is higher than that of most other oils, but the payoff is worth it. In addition to providing a delicate flavor that enhances many foods, walnut oil also has therapeutic properties when applied to the skin, and may even act to ward off both cancer and heart disease.