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A Guide to Truffle Oil: Health Benefits and 3 Ways to Cook With It

As more and more Americans go back to cooking healthy foods from scratch, interest is also increasing in finding new ways to experiment with herbs and spices in new recipes. Likewise, more people are trying out different oils for cooking and adding to foods. Oils infused with other flavors are an especially interesting way to add complex flavor to ordinary dishes. Truffle oil is one of these. It also has health benefits you may not have expected.

What Is Truffle Oil?

An image of black truffles and a glass bowl of oilTruffle oil is made by infusing vegetable oil with truffles. The most common oils used for this include olive oil, grapeseed oil, or even sunflower oil. The truffles added to these oils during the infusion process add a delicate flavor that some people describe as earthy, woody, fruity, or garlicky. The oil also has a unique truffle smell.

Usually, truffle oil is better used as a finishing oil and not a cooking oil. This means you should add it to your food after it has been cooked as a flavoring. This will give you the full benefit of the oil’s taste. A tablespoon or two of truffle oil is more than enough to give any food a touch of the gourmet.

Note, it's also important to be choosey when buying truffle oil. Many truffle oils contain chemical compounds to give the oil a truffle smell and flavor. These are not oils infused with actual truffles. So, before buying a bottle, you'll need to read the label to ensure you are purchasing genuine truffle-infused oil.

What Are Truffles?

Simply put, a truffle is a type of mushroom, or a fungus, that, unlike mushrooms that grow on top of the ground or on plant vegetation, grows under the ground on tree roots. To find them, you have to dig for them.

We mainly use two types of truffles in cooking or in truffle oil: black truffles and white truffles. These grow in different locations and climates. The white truffles commonly used in these oils, for example, mainly come from Italy, while the black truffles come from France. A truffle’s unique flavor also depends on the weather, the bacteria found within a truffle, and the type of tree root it grows on.

They are also one of the most expensive foods around. This is because truffle farming is exceedingly difficult. Truffle farmers also have to make use of highly trained dogs to sniff out the truffles. Truffles also only grow in specific climate conditions and on the roots of certain trees of a certain age. Using truffle oil is a way to get the flavor of truffles without the expense of buying them in their natural form.

The Health Benefits of Truffles and Truffle Oil

Before we look at the possible health benefits of truffle oil, let us first look at truffles.

Truffles are a good source of amino acids and minerals, including, amongst others, copper, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, manganese, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and K. Furthermore, the many natural compounds in truffles may protect against free radicals that cause cell damage.

Furthermore, literature suggests truffles may have other health benefits. These include:

  • Antibacterial properties
  • Helping to control blood sugar levels
  • Cancer prevention
  • Protection against liver damage
  • Managing cholesterol levels
  • Fighting inflammation

Truffle oil may have several similar properties. Further potential health benefits of truffle oil include promoting brain health and healthy skin and fighting the development of certain cancers.

The oil itself adds additional health benefits as well. Olive oil, for example, may promote heart health due to its ability to help with blood pressure control, cholesterol levels, and inflammation.

The Importance of Addressing Inflammation

A woman laying on the couch holding her headWhat many people do not know about inflammation is that it is a direct response to stress. And this stress can be physiological, such as in response to your diet, an injury, or environmental toxins, for example, or psychological in nature. Inflammation occurs with the activation of your NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response.

A certain amount of inflammation is a good thing, and it tells you that your immune response is fighting to heal you. Continued inflammation, however, could contribute to the formation of many health issues that may seem unrelated. Yet each issue has inflammation involved. Amongst these health issues are high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, acid reflux, and fibromyalgia, to name but a few.

Conventional medicine practitioners often miss the direct cause of these conditions, which are often due to compromised adrenal health and inflammation. But rather than taking an endless array of medications, addressing inflammation may go a long way in helping you avoid these issues. And making sure your diet contains healthy, anti-inflammatory foods like truffle oil may help you in this process.

How to Use Truffle Oil

It is relatively easy to incorporate truffle oil into your diet. We will look at three different recipes that show off this earthy oil.

Truffle Oil Risotto Recipe

You can use any combination of mushrooms for this recipe.

Ingredients A:

  • 1 pound of sliced mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons butter (either salted or unsalted)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or sliced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced

Ingredients B:

  • 3/4 cup water or white wine
  • 1 ½ cups risotto rice

Ingredients C:

  • 8 cups of vegetable stock

Ingredients D:

  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or other hard cheese
  • Truffle oil to taste

Method:

  1. Add ingredients A to a large frying pan and cook until mushrooms turn a light brown color.
  2. Add ingredients B and cook until rice becomes transparent and liquid has mostly evaporated, stirring constantly.
  3. First, warm the broth. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time while stirring. The cooked rice should have a creamy texture.
  4. Add ingredients D, stir through your rice, take off the stove, and serve.

Basalmic Truffle Oil Vinaigrette

This vinaigrette pairs beautifully with any salad. You can also put it in a sealed container and store it in your refrigerator for up to one week.

Ingredients A:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil
  • 1 crushed clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (optional)
  • 1 minced shallot (optional)
  • Salt and crushed black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Add ingredients to a bowl and whisk well.
  2. Drizzle vinaigrette dressing over the salad of your choice.
  3. Place any truffle oil vinaigrette that is leftover in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for your next salad.

Grilled Cheese and Mushroom Sandwich With Truffle Oil

An image of slices of bread with melted cheese and mushroomsThis grilled cheese sandwich makes a quick and easy lunch or late afternoon snack. This is also one recipe where you add the oil before cooking.

Ingredients A:

  • 2 slices of good quality bread – white, whole wheat, or rye bread are all good choices
  • 2 teaspoons truffle oil

Ingredients B:

  • 5 ounces of sliced cheddar cheese of choice
  • 2 ounces of sliced cooked mushrooms

Method:

  1. Using a pastry brush, brush the truffle oil over one side of the bread and put one slice of bread with the oiled side face down in a hot skillet over medium heat.
  2. Top one slice of bread with the cheese and then the mushrooms, adding the other slice of bread face up on top.
  3. Cook until the bottom slice is browned and the cheese starts to melt. Then flip the sandwich over.
  4. Cook the sandwich until the other slice is brown as well.
  5. Take out of the pan, cut as desired, and enjoy.

More Ways to Use Truffle Oil In Your Cooking

You can incorporate truffle oil into just about any recipe that uses oil so long as you add it after cooking and before serving. Good options include the following:

  • Drizzle some of the oil over your salted popcorn and mix thoroughly.
  • Add some over a pizza without a tomato base.
  • You can add this oil to any non-tomato pasta – it works well with a creamy pasta sauce.
  • Try it drizzled over French fries with salt or your favorite spicy salt mix.
  • Add it to eggs, whether fried, boiled, poached, or scrambled. Drizzle a teaspoon of the oil over before eating – it elevates eggs to the next level.
  • This oil is an excellent addition drizzled over any fish dish.
  • Adding truffle oil, salt, and herbs of your choice to steamed vegetables elevates a simple dish to one bursting with flavor.
  • Adding truffle oil to any dish containing mushrooms enhances the mushroom flavor and adds depth to the meal.

The Best Way to Store Truffle Oil

Most cold-pressed unrefined oils like extra virgin olive oil will keep for up to six months when stored in a cool dark location. But when it comes to truffle oil, the best place to keep an opened bottle is in the refrigerator. This is because the oil quickly loses its hallmark aroma very quickly. Keeping it in the refrigerator will slow this process down.

A Word of Warning About Truffle Oil

Some people suffer from mushroom allergies. Typical symptoms of such an allergy include nausea, vomiting, swollen eyes, wheezing, skin rashes, swollen lips, swollen, throat, a runny nose, and diarrhea. If you have these symptoms, it's best to stop eating truffle oil and talk to your doctor. Truffles are a variety of underground mushrooms, so if you have a mushroom allergy, it is best not to eat truffles or use truffle oil.

In Closing

You can incorporate truffle oil into almost any recipe. It is a healthy oil with anti-inflammatory and other beneficial properties.

If you would like to eat more truffle oil, here are a few things you can do.

  • Keep truffle oil vinaigrette in your refrigerator to drizzle over your salads.
  • Use it as a seasoning before serving soups, stews, pizzas, or any other dish.
  • Store the oil in a refrigerator to ensure a long-lasting aroma.

If you would like to know more about truffle oil or its various uses for different conditions, especially reducing inflammation, the team at Dr. Lam Coaching can help. We offer a free** no-obligation phone consultation at +1-626-571-1234 where we can discuss any concerns or questions in private. You can also send us a question through our Ask The Doctor system by clicking here.

© Copyright 2022 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Lam’s Key Question

Addressing adrenal fatigue takes a many-pronged approach, and diet is just one aspect to consider. Truffle oil does, however, have many beneficial properties like its anti-inflammatory ability that may help fight certain health issues related to adrenal fatigue, thereby supplying adrenal support.

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