It took me about 30 years to come across a superfood Peruvians have known for centuries: Sacha Inchi oil, from the Peruvian Amazon, is being touted as the healthiest oil out there. It has a high protein content (27%), and is extremely high in Omegas: 48% Omega 3, 36% Omega 6, 9% Omega 9. Compare that to a can of tuna which contains less than 1% Omega 3... pretty shocking. The oil is also rich in iodine and antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin E.
Sacha Inchi oil has gained popularity in the Northern Hemisphere in the last few years due to increased production and some high profile attention. For instance in 2007, the oil won the Médaille d'or (Gold Medal) prize at the AVPA Specialty Foods Commodities competition and the gold medal for excellent organoleptic qualities at the World Edible Oils competition in Paris, in 2004.
I stumbled across the stuff at an open air market in Washington, D.C. one Saturday afternoon. After sampling delicious chocolate-covered nuts, I bought a bottle of the oil itself.
The oil can be substituted for any vegetable oil out there, but is best unheated. When heated, it loses the bulk of its nutritional value. So how to use it?
I suggest (and have been) trying Sacha Inchi in salads instead of olive oil. It has a nice light nutty flavor that you can play around with. Try mixing it with honey, different sorts of vinegar, mustards, and different herbs and spices until you find your perfect Sacha Inchi vinaigrette to drizzle over your salad.
Also, try using it as a dipping oil for your dinner bread or appetizers.
Getting your hands on it can be the bigger problem: try your local health food store, and if not, try doing a google search for a vender of the oil near you.
Let us know what you think!