I was convinced I had written about one of most used ingredients in my kitchen, something that adds so much to salads, roasted veg, and for cooking too… I am talking about OIL. Rapeseed, coconut, olive, linseed so many types and so many benefits.
Summer food is always associated with extra virgin olive oil and as I am having a quick break in Italy – I know it will be what I drizzle on pretty much everything I eat there! It really is the most delicious on fish, cold meats, vegetables and salads, enhancing the flavours and just makes me think ‘sunshine’. The best olive oil will have a pure, intense flavour, slightly fruity. The colour will depend on the variety, but generally ranges from greenish yellow to intense green. A really important point is good extra virgin olive oil should never cost less than £8 per 500ml.
Rapeseed oil has many health benefits, including the following:
It is high in the essential fatty acids omegas 3, 6, and 9.
Its omega 3 level is 10 times that of olive oil.
It has the lowest saturated fat levels of any oil, half that of olive oil.
It is an excellent source of vitamins E and K.
It has virtually no trans-fats.
It has no artificial preservatives.
It is not genetically modified.
Since rapeseed oil has an exceptionally high smoke/burn point, it can be used to cook food at very high temperatures. My favourite local producer of rapeseed oil is Kentish Oils. “Kentish Oils
Coconut oil is purchased in a little tub and in a more solid form than for pouring but is brilliant for baking, and cooking with. The health benefits of coconut oil are too many to list, a versatile ‘superfood’ ingredient also brilliant for hair, skin and joints.. add a spoon to cook with your curry or better still a spoon raw for ‘energy balls’.
Linseed or flaxseed oil is another alternative and farmed and produced here in the south east, Horsham, Sussex.