Thursday, December 10, 2015

Healthy Cooking with Canola Oil | Healthy New Year 2016

These days people are becoming aware of more and more about eating healthy and eating right. But are you sure you are actually eating right? Ofcourse you are substituting butter ,ghee and shortening with oil but is the oil right? 
How about reusing oil?You have also heard conflicting opinions about the reuse of frying oil.. Some say you can't reuse the oil used for frying? But others say you can? Whos is right? And Why? 

What is smoking point and how is it different for different oil and how it affects health?

If you have all these doubts then please read on..

I had the opportunity to attend a cook off event by Canola council of Canada. The event conducted to create an awareness of canola oil  showcased culinary delights from Chef Surjan Singh (a.k.a Chef Jolly), director F&B, Marriott Hotels at Spice Terrace, JW Marriott, Bengaluru on December 3,2015.

Canola oil is one of the friendliest and versatile cooking oils which can be used for all types of cooking.This can be vouched by yours truly who has used it while in US. Its the commonly used cooking medium in US and Canada from where it originated.

Bruce Jowett, VP, Market Development of Canola Council of Canada spoke about the origin of the oil, how it got its name and the intention to create a world wide awareness on Canola oil. 

Canola oil comes from canola seeds , a variation of rapeseed. Rape seeds contain around 45% of erucic acid whereas as per standards lesser percentage is needed in food or cooking oil. So in short the rape seeds are modified to obtain the canola seeds from which the canola oil (Canada Oil Less Acid) is obtained.The canola oil so obtained has just under 2% acid and gives 45% of oil per seed. 

So roughly 1kg canola seeds gives approx 450mls of oil which is quite good..

As for flavour, the oil is neutral in taste and blends into the dish without giving a distinct taste or flavour unlike certain oils. It is an excellent supporting actor especially when you want to showcase the ingredients you cook with and not the medium. This can be vouched for by me as I have used canola while baking and even regular routine Indian cooking.

That means you can use it in cooking , baking and deep frying as well. Wait did you hear deep fry? 
What about the smoking point? Can we reuse the oil after frying? Read on...

Smoking point is the temperature at which the oil gets separated into fats and other contents and usually oils like rice bran, soybean, coconut oil etc reach this point/temperature very quickly. We can see this when smoke starts coming out of the oil pan. They simply get separated into several compounds which do not take heat well and some are not needed in food at all. We commonly say that they have low smoking point.Such oils are not suitable for deep frying.

The smoking point of canola is 242Deg Celsius and deepfrying temperature is 190°C. So the oil never reaches its smoking point and can be reused later for whatever dish you want. 

All these facts was demoed by Chef Jolly who served a simple spinach stirfry on top of  mini missi roti rounds as excellent canapes. The stirfry was very simple with no masalas for taste giving but was perfect as a starter.

Also demoed were the pickled dal stuffed into bhavnagari chillies which were deep fried to perfection and this also verified the facts on smoking point of canola. The oil blends in perfectly with any of the ingredients making sure the ingredient is star in whole. 

This was asserted by Chef Jolly's new signature dish Phool Tikki - broccoli florets marinated in spices, canola and little cheese and grilled to perfection. The taste of star broccoli brought to front by the supporting actor canola which  literally made us all stop talking and simply eat ,eat and eat....

Other facts that make Canola a star performer

  • Its high in mono and poly unsaturated fats
  • High in plant based Omega 3 fat
  • Lowest in saturated fats 7% - which is less than that of ricebran oil  (25%), Sunflower Oil (12%), ground nut (19%) and olive and even soybean (12% each) oils
  • Its free of transfats
  • Reduces the risk of heart diseases when used in place of butter.. 1.5 Tbsp a day keeps the cardiologist at bay

As of now..
I have rarely seen canola in the local supermarkets. It is available only in certain upscale supermarkets and shops. Its perfectly suitable for Indian cooking and also makes them heart healthy. It is economically priced and will fit any budget too. 1 Litre of canola is roughly priced around Rs.130/- 

Hope this post helps you to start thinking about canola and its advantages. Please visit the website here for more information.

More awareness about the oil helps to ensure its available even in local shops or kirana stores and helps take you the first step towards a healthy life this coming year 2016.


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