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  • Writer's pictureSarah Skelton

Oil, myths, facts and tips!

Virgin, not Virgin, cold pressed and more.....

Choosing the right oil for the job can be confusing!

“Did you know lard is actually rich in monosaturated fats, which are the good ones!”

Oils do have health benefits, they contain omega 3 oils which are good for

the heart - but it's like most things, too much of something is not so good for

us. It's all about balance and using fats and oils only if you really need too.

So what does it all mean?

Virgin/Extra Virgin oils -These names are only used in the olive oil sector, although

some other oil producers many naughtily use the terms on their oils too. The

terms provide an indication as to how many times an oil has been pressed.

Extra virgin olive oil means the oil was extracted from the first pressing. whilst

Virgin olive oil means the oil has been extracted from the second pressing.

Cold Pressed – Cold pressing is a process of extracting oil through

pressing and grinding the nut or seed. The temperature cannot rise above

120°F. Cold pressed oils tend to retain their aroma, nutritional value, and

importantly their flavor. These oils are also tend to be more delicate and

should be stored in cupboards or dark bottles away from heat and light.

Cold pressed oils are the most nutrient dense and beneficial for skin care

and consumption. The downside is that cold pressed oils such as Rapeseed

oil are more costly.

Personally I'm a rapeseed kinda girl! It has more monosaturated fats,

better for higher temperature cooking and is so versatile. On top

of that it has a lovely golden colour and is perfect for my new hobby

of confit cooking - especially garlic and chillies. But if I'm making dressings

then extra virgin or sesame oils are my thing - you always need more

than one oil in the cupboard!

My new love comes from a French classic confit du canard. The process

of confit is to cook food at a low heat in oil normally at around the 90-93C

mark (frying is normally about 165C). The food has an amazing flavour

and texture. I confit garlic cloves, unpeeled for about 20-30 minutes, allow

them to cool and pop into a jar with the cooled oil for later use. Try making

garlice bread with confit garlic, simply slip the garlic flesh out of it's skin,

mash gently with a little salted butter and OMG you are ready to go! I also

do the same with chillies - this process gives an absolutely beautiful flavor

and texture, it's so subtle no-one could not like them! Plus nothing gets

thrown away because it will keep for ages. And there's more the oil

becomes naturally flavoured and can be used in it own right in dressings.

#basicfoods #food #cooking #oil #healthyheart

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