Cooking oils make for the essential base of almost all the meals we cook. We are spoilt for choice with a large variety of cooking oils available to choose from. Rapeseed or canola oil recently caught everybody's attention for several health benefits it offers. Rapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of the Brassica napus plant, which is related to mustard, turnips and other cabbage plants. In Canada, rapeseed oil was refined to make it more suitable for ingestion. The resultant produce was named canola oil - a contraction of 'Canada' and 'ola', meaning oil. Nutritionists all over the world are propagating the use of canola oil in everyday cooking as it is the lightest of all edible oils with high nutritional value.
Why Canola Oil Is Good For You?
-Canola oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids that reduce abdominal fat and help people suffering from obesity and diabetes.
-Omega 3 present in the oil is a key element in the process of brain development. It also soothes the nervous system and relieves the mind of depression and anxiety.
-Canola oil contains as less as seven percent saturated fats, which is a boon for people with high cholesterol level or heart problems.
-It contains high range of vitamin E, which is an antioxidant and protects the body from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
As canola oil is loaded with high heat-resistance properties, it can be used for normal cooking at home. Experts suggest using it for frying, sauteing, baking, adding it to a smoothie and smattering in salad dressings.
To get you started with using this oil, here are some meals you can try cooking with canola oil:
Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad -
2 cups of grilled/roasted corn kernels
1 chopped onion
2 cups cherry tomatoes
Half tsp. cumin powder
1 tbsp. olives
3 eggs, boiled and cut into 4 pieces
1 lettuce leaf, finely chopped
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 garlic clove, shredded
Juice of 1 lemon
Step 1 - Mix together corn, eggs, lettuce, onion, tomatoes and olives.
Step 2 - In a separate bowl, whisk together cumin, garlic, coriander, canola oil and lemon juice.
Step 3 - Combine the paste and the mixture, and serve.
1 litre milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup broken rice
2 tsp pistachios
1 teaspoon of saffron
2 tbsp canola oil
1 pod green cardamom seeds
Step 1 - Roast the rice with canola oil for 3-4 minutes in a deep-bottom pan. Pour in milk and add cardamom seeds. Let the rice soak in the milk and cook on a slow flame.
Step 2 - Add pistachios, saffron and sugar and stir thoroughly.
Step 3 - Let the cooked phirni cool down at room temperature, then refrigerate for at least half an hour.
200 gms. palak or spinach leaves
1 green chilli
250 gms. whole wheat flour
4 cups canola oil
Salt to taste
Step 1 - Boil some water and add spinach in the bowl. Let it sit for 1 minute. Take out the spinach and wash it through cold water. Then drain excess water and grind till it forms a fine paste.
Step 2 - In a wide bowl, knead the flour by adding spinach, green chilli, 1 tbsp. canola oil, salt and water. Make small round balls of the flour and keep aside.
Step 3 - Heat the rest of the canola in a kadhai and fry the palak balls until golden brown.
Step 4 - Place on absorbent tissue towel and serve hot.
You'll notice that all the meals cooked with canola oil feel lighter and are easier to digest. But, remember, variation is the key when it comes to cooking oils. Don't just shun away other oils you have been using till now as they have their own nutritional characteristics. Just get canola oil as an addition and use it alternatively with other oils. Whichever oil you pick, use in moderation to avail their optimal benefits.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.