We grew up knowing three oils; sunflower, vegetable and olive. These days’ supermarkets donate whole isles to the stuff – avocado, canola, flaxseed, palm, coconut etc. So it’s understandable our brains could do with an oiling themselves when it comes to choosing!
We health nuts rave about coconut oil, and its many incredible uses. Silky hair, softer skin, whiter teeth…you name the problem, coconut oil cures it! However, on this occasion our pick of the day is rapeseed.
Rapeseed oil is made by extracting the oil from the rapeseed plant. Most rapeseed is grown in the UK, it is the fields of bright yellow flowers that decorate the British countryside in the summer. When choosing your rapeseed oil go for one that is cold pressed or extra virgin and as local to you as possible to ensure the best quality. Try to avoid vegetable oils which contain rapeseed oil as you cannot be sure which other oils they may have included. Our personal choices are Hillfarms and Mr.Hugh’s as they are both cold pressed and extra virgin.
So why have we crowned rapeseed our King of the oils? Well it comes down to a mixture of health, taste and texture.
Smoke point may have been something you’ve heard thrown around when on the topic of oil, but what does it mean? The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil becomes volatile and begins to smoke causing the fat structure to change. On the whole the higher this number the safer the oil is to cook with. Rapeseed oil has a smoke point around 240 degrees which is 70 degrees higher than that of coconut oil. It is also packed full of omega-3, -6, and -9 all of which have been linked to a reduction in cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease and an improvement in memory and joint flexibility. The ratio of low saturated fats to high mono-unsaturated fats and poly-unsaturated fats further lends rapeseed oil to cardio protective properties by balancing and reducing cholesterol levels. Rapeseed oil is also an excellent source of Vitamin E, which has been linked to strengthened immune systems and healthier skin.
Rapeseed oil lends its self to many recipes due to its light earthy taste, unlike coconut oil or olive oil, it doesn’t overpower the taste buds.
Another winning factor is the texture! This is due to the fact it is liquid state at room temperature unlike ghee or coconut oil. This means that you can lightly drizzle the amount you desire, and when you using it in curry pastes and pesto it remains the right consistency even when chilled.
Our two favourite rapeseed oil recipes are:
– Kale and basil pesto
– Jalfrezi curry paste