It is characterized by high nutritional value, therefore it is considered one of the most valuable vegetable oils for food. Due to the high content of oleic acid – omega-9, experts call it the “oil of the north”.
Compared to other vegetable oils, rapeseed oils contains a healthy proportion (1:2) of omega-3 acids (9.8%) and omega-6 acids (20.6%).
Importantly, unlike other oils, rapeseed oil has a high content of omega-3 alpha-linoleic acid which the human body cannot produce and must consume with food. A body of research suggests that omega-3 acids help to mitigate inflammations, prevent cardiovascular diseases by regulating cholesterol levels, and contribute to the development of the brains and to body growth.
A relatively low proportion of saturated acids (ca. 7%) has an extra beneficial impact on blood cholesterol levels.
Refined rapeseed oil is fit for frying, baking, and broiling. With a high smoke point, it retains nutritional value and flavour. Raw rapeseed oil is rich in vitamins A, E, K and D2 but can only be used cold. Rapeseed oil is also used to produce high-quality soft cup margarines. The healthiest margarines have the highest proportion of liquid oils including rapeseed oil.
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How to fry safely
Frying is one of the most popular methods of preparing food. Many products can be prepared this way – from meat, fish, seafood, cheese, eggs, to vegetables and fruit. Food from the frying pan tempts both with its taste and smell, but in order to fully enjoy eating it, we should remember about several very important principles.
Although frying itself is not a particularly complicated way of processing food, it is worth paying attention to a few rules which will not only make our dishes tasty, but also safe for our health. In order not to harm yourself, you should first of all fry with the right fat, at the right temperature and with good equipment.
So how can you fry safely? Below we present good frying practices as well as a few kitchen tricks which will make your everyday cooking easier.
Good frying practices
- For frying, choose a saucepan or a frying pan with a thick bottom and high walls, covered with a non-stick coating. This will help to maintain the oil at a constant temperature.
- Use purified (refined) vegetable oils with the right chemical composition. Pay attention to the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids – the more of them, the higher the amount.
- Use purified (refined) vegetable oils with the right chemical composition. Pay attention to the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids – the more of them, the higher the smoke point of the oil. There should be much more monounsaturated acids in the oil composition than saturated and polyunsaturated ones. This information can be found on the label.
- Choose oils rich in natural compounds that delay oxidation during frying e.g. rapeseed and sunflower oils naturally contain vitamin E, which is an antioxidant.
- Remember to use only fresh oil for frying. Once used oil cannot be reused.
- Do not overheat the oil! If you see it begin to smoke, this means that the smoke point (the safe moment until which you can fry) has been exceeded and the oil is no longer suitable for use. Maintaining the right temperature has a major impact on the quality of the oil. It determines whether the food will be properly and evenly fried – whether it will be crispy and not soaked in fat.
- How can you check whether the oil in the pan is at the right temperature for frying? You can throw a pinch of breadcrumbs or a drop of batter (from pancakes or crumpets) onto the heated oil. If they start to sizzle, the oil is hot enough. You can also do a bread test – see in tricks.
- Try not to overfill the pan, so that all the food can cook evenly. Do not overdo it with the amount of oil either.
- Prepare the products before placing them in the hot oil: do not defrost deep-frozen products, but carefully dry them and remove any excess ice crystals, flour or coating.
- Remove any flour, breadcrumbs and spices from the oil with a spoon, so that they do not burn and degrade the oil.
- In order to avoid oil splashing, dry the products before frying and do not overheat the oil. Splattering also depends on the composition of the fried product, especially its water content.
- It is extremely important never to leave a pan unattended. Frying is a quick process, food can burn and become a potential fire hazard if fried for too long.
- Oil for frying should be properly heated. How do you check this? We wrote above about breadcrumbs or a bit of dough. We can also do a test with bread. Depending on the temperature of the oil, the fried bread will brown at different times. Put in a piece of bread – if it browns in 50-60 seconds, this means that the oil is ready for frying.
- How to prepare crispy French fries? To fry French fries use oil at 175°C in the proportion of 1:10 (e.g. fry 250 g of French fries in 2.5 l of oil).
- If you want to extract the aroma of herbs and spices with oil, put them in a cold pan and heat up gently. If you put herbs and spices in hot oil, you will burn them and not get their full aroma.
- Fry the cheese in a double coating so that it does not fall apart and burn during frying.
- Add spices, including salt to the meat, not to the coating.
- After removing the cutlet or pancake from the pan, it is worth placing it on a paper towel to get rid of excess fat.