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Scottish Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil…Probably Superior to Olive Oil in Health Terms

It’s always good to be told that the food you are eating is good for you and a piece by Cate Devine in todays  Glasgow Herald about Scottish Rapeseed Oil confirms that.  Research carried out by Dr Jayne Mckenzie of Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh analysed Black and Gold oil from East Lothian and confirmed that Scottish cold pressed rapeseed oil  is probably superior to olive oil in health terms.

Rapeseed oil is one of my kitchen staples for a number of reasons and one of those is the balance between the omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Dr McKenzie’s research was able to confirm that the balance between the omega 3 and 6 in the East Lothian oil confirms to the World Health Organisations guidelElse’s.

Looking through cook books, you will see many of the older books mentioning vegetable oil, olive oil or butter but in recent years rapeseed oil has crept onto that list and is now a favourite of many chefs, including 2011 Scottish Chef of the Year Neil Forbes at Cafe St Honore in Edinburgh.

As a supporter of local food producers and healthy cooking ,cold pressed rapeseed oil ticks that box for me and there’s rarely a day passes that I don’t use it in my cooking.

Like many of the products I use, there are favourites and when it comes to rapeseed oil my favourite and nearest producer is ‘Summer Harvest,  an award winning rapeseed oil produced by Mark and Maggie Bush at their family farm, Madderty Farm in Strathearn,  Perthshire.

If you attend Scotland’s farmers markets on the east side of Scotland or the various food festival and shows you will,no doubt have come across their oils, delicious  dressings and mayonnaise and of course tasted them.

A recent addition to the product range has been the wonderful vinegars that are used in the Summer Harvest dressings .  Like the oil, these are a must have and my favourites are  the Bramble and the Raspberry, a real taste of the Scottish Countryside in a bottle.

When I mention my love of rapeseed oil to others the first thing that is usually mentioned is   Olive oil, a long time favourite of cooks and the oil that is well know for its health giving properties.

There is no disputing the health benefits of Olive and it’s place in the kitchen and its not my intention to compare them, rather to concentrate on the benefits and way rapeseed oil can be used in everyday cooking.

If you are health conscious, have problems such as high cholesterol then rapeseed oil is an obvious choice when it comes to cooking with oil.  With a saturated fat content of around 6%, a high monosaturated fat content of over 60%,  polyunsaturated fat at over 27% along with a good balanced of omega 3 6 and 9, cold pressed rapeseed oil is definitely one for the store cupboard and everyday use.

The Summer Harvest website , http://www.summerharvestoils.co.uk has  some great recipes for using rapeseed oil and lots interesting facts about the oil and also how it is produced. In addition to cold pressed rapeseed oil there’s Chilli infused rapeseed oil along with four delicious dressings/marinades, several fruit vinegars and mayonnaise

Rapeseed oil,is a storecupboard staple for me and in the past where I always used Olive oil, I’ve adapted many of my recipes and use cold pressed rapeseed instead. In this post I’ve include a couple of my recipes and there are some fantastic recipes on the Summer Harvest Website including the Chocolate Beetroot Cake which is one of my favourites.

As I cook for my mother who has a cholesterol problems, rapeseed oil has been an ideal replacement for butter in cakes and if I need an oil for Sauteing then rapeseed is my choice. With a flash point of 240 c, it’s my choice when it comes to roast potatoes and also for any deep frying. It’s ideal is a dipping oil having a milder nutty flavour and also a drizzle over salads and pizzas.

Hummus 

This is my basic recipe but you can adapt to suit your own taste by increasing or reducing the amount of lemon juice and yoghurt.

1 400g can of chickpeas

3 desert spoons of Tahini

2 large garlic cloves

2 – 3 desert spoons of natural yoghurt

3 – 4 tbsp of rapeseed or for an extra kick use the Chilli infused oil.

Juice of 1 lemon

Seasoning.

Place all the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, yoghurt, oil and half of the lemon juice and seasoning in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Taste and adjust the seasoning and if needed add the remaining lemon juice.

This is a good healthy snack and would be ideal in lunch boxes or simply as nice light lunch.

Hummus also makes a nice vegetarian starter with vegetables and pitta bread or on one big platter with the accompaniments for everyone to share. Add some extra small dishes such as olives, sundries tomatoes and its a perfect starter to a meal rather than a snack.

Chocolate and Orange Pumpkin Cake.

My healthy cake offering is a Chocolate & Orange Pumpkin cake and although it contains sugar , there are no artificial colourings, it’s made with fresh pumpkin and rapeseed oil which lowers the saturated fat content. Nothing like a healthy cake!

Ingredients

Cake,

300g self raising flour

300g light muscovada sugar

1tbsp ginger

2.5 tsp cinnamon

60g cocoa powder (Green and Blacks gives the best flavour)

1/2 tsp salt

4 eggs beaten

140 ml rapeseed oil

30 ml natural yoghurt

Zest of 1 orange

650g pumpkin grated.

Oven Temp 180oc/ fan 160oc gas 4

30×20 cm loose bottomed cake tin – greased and lined with baking parchment

Put the dry ingredients, flour,sugar, spice, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and salt in to a large mixing bowl.

Beat the eggs, add the oil and yoghurt and orange zest and mix well. Fold in to the dry ingredients and then stir in the grated pumpkin ensuring that it is mixed well.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake for 35 – 40 mins or until springy to touch.

Orange drizzle icing.

Juice of 1 orange and zest of 1/2.

100g granulated sugar

Mix ingredients together and drizzle over cake.

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