by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez / Monday, February 25, 2013
Stir-Fried Rainbow Chard
Corn oil? Hmmm...I'm not really sure. I know I've picked it up in the past. I've used it where I would use vegetable oil - for frying up some tostadas or tortilla strips. I think it may have made its way into a batch or two of brownies or a loaf of bread. But what I never realized was that corn oil is actually high in plant sterols (phytosterols) - it actually has four times more than olive oil and 40 percent more than canola oil. What's so great about that? Well, studies done by the FDA show that when plant sterols are consumed as a part of a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat, they can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the gut, which in turn can lower LDL cholesterol (plant sterols and cholesterol actually compete for absorption by the gut due to their similar structures).
As a way of taking another look at how I cook, Mazola sent me a bottle of their corn oil to use in place of my normal cooking oils during February (since it is National Heart Health Month). And do you know what I found? It worked great, and really, the difference was not noticeable. I will definitely keep a bottle in my kitchen to use in place of vegetable oil from now on (can you say 100 mg high in plant sterols) - say for baking recipes that call for vegetable oil, stir-fries, pan-frying, etc. It won't replace olive oil for uncooked applications or butter for making eggs, omelets, or enriched breads - but it has definitely earned its place among them.
- 1 Tbs. corn oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½" piece ginger, peeled & minced
- 3 scallions, sliced thinly
- pinch crushed red chile flakes
- 8 oz. rainbow chard, sliced into ¼" ribbons
- freshly ground pepper
- big pinch sugar
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- splash sake
- 1 tsp. mirin
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
disclosure: I received a free bottle of Mazola Corn Oil for the purpose of testing and taking a new look at corn oil. All opinions stated in this post are my own. I am not a doctor and have no authority to issue diet/medical advice, please consult your physician or nutritionist to work out a diet plan that will fit your lifestyle.
Michiana-based food, drink, and travel writer with a fondness for garlic, freshly baked bread, stinky cheese, single malt Scotch, and Mexican food—who believes that immersing herself in different cultures one bite at a time is the best path to enlightenment.