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Rapeseed oil guide: all you need to know

Somerset rapeseed oil producer, Andy Fussell, shares his expertise on the wonders of rapeseed oil and how to make the most of this versatile home-grown oil in your cooking

Ten years ago, I decided to make cold-pressed rapeseed oil in small batches on my farm. By cold-pressing the seed, I was able to preserve the natural goodness and flavour of the oil inside. The result was a very different oil, of extra virgin quality, that stands comparison to imported olive oil (and in many instances is considered superior) – plus you can see it growing in our countryside.

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Technique

Like wine grapes, the character and quality of cold-pressed rapeseed oil can vary according to the season, sunlight, soil and more! Cold pressing is a simple but effective way of producing oil without heating it and without adding to or taking away from the natural product – allowing the individuality of the oil to shine.

Once the pressed oil has settled, it’s filtered and then bottled. There’s nothing more to it than that. Feeling inspired? Try one of olive’s recipes that makes the most of rapeseed oil here


Qualities

There are two big benefits to cold-pressed rapeseed oil. Firstly, it’s one of the healthiest oils around, with half the saturated fat of olive oil – 7% compared to 14% – and high monounsaturated fat levels. It’s also a rich, natural source of Vitamin E, an important antioxidant well known for its role in protecting the body’s immune system.

Another real nutritional bonus is its blend of omegas – it contains omegas 3, 6 and 9 that work together to reduce cholesterol and maintain healthy joint, brain and heart functions. In fact, on average it has ten times the omega 3 level of olive oil!

Secondly, cold-pressed rapeseed oil has a high flash point and maintains its integrity much better than the vast majority of other cooking oils. It’s therefore one of the most versatile cooking oils around and certainly a kitchen staple in my household.


Cooking with Rapeseed

Because cold-pressed rapeseed oil is still relatively new and is often sold as a ‘speciality’ oil, it’s too often treated as something precious; untouchable. Actually, we should be grabbing and glugging it into a whole host of dishes!

There’s no reason why we shouldn’t all be baking, roasting, stir-frying and deep-frying with it – not to mention drizzling over salads and as a base for a dressing or dip.


Top Tips

*Try chilli rapeseed oil drizzled onto warm cauliflower rice

*Roast your Sunday tatties in garlic rapeseed oil tossed with a few sprigs of rosemary

*Rapeseed oil makes for a beautiful fish marinade

*Rapeseed oil is a great healthy alternative to butter in sweet baking. My favourite is a chocolate beetroot cake

*Try swapping in smoked rapeseed oil in place of butter in mashed potato


You can learn more about Andy’s rapeseed oil at fusselsfinefoods.co.uk


Try one of our recipes that uses rapeseed oil

Roast fennel-stuffed bream

Jam jar salads

Blueberry breakfast muffins

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Cheese and garlic pull-apart bread