When it comes to cooking oils there are many to choose from and it can be confusing. In fact, one of the most common questions I get asked is which is the best type of oil to cook with?
There are two types of rapeseed oil generally available in supermarkets, high quality cold pressed rapeseed oil and refined rapeseed oil, that is sometimes labelled as vegetable oil. In some parts of the world, particularly the USA and Canada, rapeseed oil is known as canola oil. The refined version is often a fairly cheap oil and doesn’t have a distinctive flavour or much colour. This oil is chemically extracted with lots of processes, whereas the cold pressed version, such as Farrington's Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil, is gently squeezed, without any heat or chemicals, producing a high quality oil, with a subtle nutty and buttery flavour. Very different to the refined rapeseed oil that is often found in large plastic bottles!
One of the most important things to consider when choosing an oil to use in the kitchen is the temperature it will be used at. The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which the oil will start to burn and become rancid. This means the flavour will change and the nutritional benefits of the oil will decline. The higher the smoked point of an oil, the more stable it is as it can resist heat at a higher temperature. This means you can use it for frying and roasting at much higher temperatures.
Compared with other oils, cold pressed rapeseed oil has a smoke point of 230°C whereas olive oil smokes at 190°C. Generally, oils high in saturated fats have a higher smoke point which you may think means it is good to cook with these oils, however having a high consumption of saturated fat within your diet can be linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease(1). Cold pressed rapeseed oil is low in saturated fat compared to many other oils, so along with its high smoke point, it is a brilliant choice.
Farrington's Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil has a mellow, buttery flavour and is perfect for using in dishes that are roasted, fried or baked. The flavour of the dish can be left to you and it won’t be impacted by the oil, whereas something like an olive, coconut or avocado oil has a much stronger taste which will transfer that taste onto the food it is served or cooked with.
Moroccan chicken and veg traybake – chicken thighs seasoned with ras el hanout, mixed vegetables (red onion, new potatoes, green pepper, tomatoes seasoned with Farrington's Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil and salt & pepper. Served with Tenderstem broccoli. Dressing made with Greek yoghurt & mint.
Black bean chilli with avocado salsa – fry onions and garlic, add cumin, paprika and chilli flakes. Add tinned tomatoes and black beans. Serve with steamed rice. Avocado salsa – a mix of chopped avocado, coriander, lemon juice.
This article was written by Registered Associate Nutritionist Kate Law who is the Founder and Director of The Food Boss a nutrition consultancy specialising in women’s health, sports nutrition and working with the food industry. You can find Kate on Instagram @the_food_boss_.