Blog: All About Oil
Love British Food’s Member Ownsworth’s produces a fantastic cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil, so Ronnie Ownsworth tells us all about it here...
The oilseed rape that goes into “Ownsworth’s” Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil” is a single variety and is grown by Andrew Ownsworth in the limestone soils of Fulbeck in Lincolnshire. After harvesting the crop in August the seed is stored on the farm and is pressed constantly throughout the year to meet the ever increasing demands for a single variety British rapeseed oil.
The process of extracting our high quality, fully traceable culinary rapeseed oil involves gently squeezing the seed to allow the first cold pressed oil to travel down into its first tank. Allowed to settle, the oil then goes through a set of filters to remove any impurities, such as the husk particles, before resting in the final tank ready to bottle, cap and label the 250ml and 500ml glass bottles, which are then boxed up and delivered to farm-shops, delis, butchers and bakers, as well as the 5 litre and 25 litre cans.
The rich, golden colour of our “single estate” rapeseed oil is a visual indicator to the delicious, rich and buttery aftertaste (which means you get all the rich mellow taste you expect when you cook or bake with butter but without the high saturated fat content).
Cold pressed rapeseed oil is truly versatile in all its culinary uses from shallow and deep frying to roasting and stir-frying; to replacing butter and margarine in baking most cakes, biscuits, breads and pastries. Use it in marinades, salad dressings, mayonnaise and dips such as hummus (check out www.thedipsociety.co.uk for their Great Taste Gold Star “Super Duper Hummus” made with our rapeseed oil – that’s two Lincolnshire businesses working together!); or mix it with balsamic vinegar to make a smooth dipping oil. Our rapeseed oil is dairy and gluten free, suitable for a range of health needs, including vegetarians, vegans, coeliacs and those wanting to reduce their cholesterol levels to help prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Check with your doctor or dietician.
Ownsworth’s Rapeseed Oil is high in vitamin E and is only 6.5g of saturated fat (compared with 15g of saturated fat in olive oil, 33g of saturated fat in both duck and goose fat and 55g of saturated fat in butter). Our rapeseed oil is rich in healthy omegas 3, 6 and 9 and contains no preservatives and is trans fat and GM free.
With a high smoking point of 240oC, it is the perfect oil for all high temperature cooking, such as barbecuing, frying (including stir-frying) and roasting and is the perfect replacement for ghee (which has 60g of saturated fat) for all your Indian curries and breads. With high levels of type 2 diabetes in the Asian community, rapeseed oil could prove a popular alternative to ghee without losing any of the quality of taste and cooking ability.
Quality restaurants report back to us that our rapeseed oil is cost effective, even against the cheapest refined oils, telling us that our oil “does not foam” when frying (as our oil is pure and natural with no chemicals or preservatives to interfere with the taste or cooking quality). They also tell us that it lasts much longer between oil changes in their fryers. This combines with full traceability for their customers who demand a quality, well known and trusted brand of rapeseed oil. They also like the handy 5 litre and 25 litre cans and drums for their commercial kitchens. For our larger customers who create delicious, wholesome food for the bigger market we supply our rapeseed oil in 1000 litre ibc’s.
At “Ownsworth’s” we care passionately about our farm, the environment, our workers and recycling. Our mixed arable and stock farm is a traditional, but modern family farm (read more about us on “Ronnie’s Blog www.ownsworths.co.uk and www.fulbeckgardenscottage.com). After we have harvested our oilseed rape crop in August of each year, the stubbles are ploughed back into the soil as a soil improver. When we press the rapeseed, we get our delicious rapeseed oil, but a by-product of the pressing are inch long green pellets (which basically are the husk and a residual amount of oil). These pellets collect in hoppers and as they are high in protein and still contain an amount of oil – we feed this by-product to our beef suckler herd on our farm as a feed mix. We only produce our first cold pressed rapeseed oil, but, refiners and processors can buy these pellets from other producers (in this country or anywhere in the world) to produce the “cheap culinary oils”. Getting a second or third pressing from these pellets extracts the maximum oil content by chemically removing the oil and then stabilising it for culinary use. This oil does not contain the same health benefits of a first cold pressed rapeseed oil.
We employ local workers who are an integral part of our community and who are as passionate about the environment and good farming practice as us. We actively promote and educate our local and national audience on how we farm and produce our rapeseed oil, with an annual visit from societies and groups, as well as local schools. Food tastings and demonstrations by us and other local chefs and demonstrators using our oil and other local foods all help raise awareness of British and local independent growers, farmers and producers. Me (Ronnie) I spend a lot of time creating and developing recipes using our rapeseed oil in my farmhouse kitchen. I love to use locally produced foods from fellow farmers and producers in my recipes to cross promote and raise the profile of the excellent British food out there. We are proud to be members of our own county’s food branding “Select Lincolnshire” as well as members of “Love British Food”. To find out more of what we are doing regularly check out our website for my recipes and news and follow us on Facebook.