In all of our granola, we mix a little bit of rapeseed oil with our jumbo oats, along with apple juice and honey, before baking. This helps binds the oats together and gives them a crisp and crunchy finish. But why do we choose to use rapeseed oil instead of olive oil? Read more about the benefits below.
(Image source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/11710297/Goodbye-olive-oil-why-weve-all-fallen-in-love-with-rapeseed.html)
What is rapeseed oil ?
Rapeseed oil comes from the black seeds of the unsurprisingly named oilseed rape plant, which actually comes from the same Brassica family as nutrient-rich broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. During spring, the plant helps brighten up countryside fields as it produces beautiful, sunshine-coloured flowers. Fun fact - apart from linseed oil, this is the only oil that is grown and bottled in the UK!
Other uses for Rapeseed oil
Rapeseed oil is found in two different forms. The first is cold pressed, sometimes labelled as premium, virgin or extra-virgin. This is considered to be a lot less greasy than other oils with a light, nutty flavour. The cold pressed oil makes a tasty addition to marinades, salad dressings and dips, and also adds a lovely golden colour to your dish.
In its refined form, often labelled as vegetable oil, rapeseed oil is still non-greasy, but doesn’t carry the same flavour as the cold-pressed version. This is actually a benefit, however, when it comes to cooking because it is ideal for those dishes where you want to preserve the natural flavour of your other ingredients. It also has a very high smoke-point which means that, unlike other oils, it won’t burn when heated to high temperatures. This makes it the perfect oil for frying as it will not lose any of its antioxidants or character when heated.
As in all, rapeseed oil is a culinary superstar, as not only can you can also use it for dressings, roasting and frying, it is also a fantastic substitute for butter. Use it when baking (like we do!) if you want to cut down on saturated fats.
As a staple favourite in the Mediterranean diet, many people are well aware of the many benefits of olive oil in the diet. Could rapeseed oil really replace what many consider to be a kitchen cupboard essential? Rapeseed oil is certainly a wealthy competitor when it comes to health. It has the lowest saturated fat content of all the cooking oils, up to 50% less than in olive oil in fact, so is a great healthy alternative if you need to cut back on the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Its high level of unsaturated fats also helps maintain a normal level of cholesterol and, in turn, combat heart disease. Rapeseed oil is also rich in vitamin E and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
So, next time you’re driving past one of those golden fields, why not pop to the shop and buy a bottle of British-grown rapeseed oil. Your tastebuds and heart will thank you for it!