Although many people know that canola oil is widely used in most kitchens all over the world, some still ask, “How exactly is canola oil cooking-friendly?”.
A look at the oil’s history and nutritional profile would show its versatility and usefulness, especially considering its cheap price on the market.
What is Canola Oil?
Canola oil is a genetically engineered cooking oil obtained from the crushed seeds of the rapeseed plant. This invention was created in Canada in the 1980s to satisfy the increasing demand for a cheap but healthy cooking oil in the world market. The phrase “genetically engineered” means that the oil is not in itself subject to scientific tampering; it is only the plant from which the oil is derived that is subject to selective breeding. Thus, the oil itself is not genetically tampered with, as others would like to believe.
Also, contrary to popular belief, this oil is perfectly edible and safe to use. This is so because it is not the same as rapeseed oil, which is high in Eruric Acid and is popularly used in industries and factories. The refined canola oil is bereft of the toxic content of rapeseed oil due to the intensive manufacturing process it undergoes. In fact, this edible cooking oil is actually abundant in nutrients that improve one’s heart condition.
Why Use Canola? Benefits of Canola Oil
- Cheap and Widely Available – Find a bottle at the nearest grocery store at a low price.
- Long Shelf Life – One can store a bottle for many weeks without deteriorating the quality of the oil.
- Versatile – The oil has a neutral taste, mild aroma, and a light and smooth texture. This makes the oil easily blend well with other ingredients and spices. Moreover, the neutral taste brings out the flavour of the other ingredients; the oil does not clash with the other flavours. Lastly, the light texture allows the cook to control the amount that is poured onto the pan with ease.
- High Heat Tolerance – The oil is ideal for deep-frying and stir-fry dishes because of its high smoke point.
- Good for the Heart – The oil contains more than half of monounsaturated fat, which is a type of good fat. This helps reduce the risk of heart diseases. Its Omega 3 fatty-acid content also improves one’s heart rate and maintains normal blood pressure.
Although one or two of such benefits can be found in other cooking oils, the catch is that the alternatives lack in some other aspect as well. For instance, although olive oil is considered one of the healthiest oils available, it is also thrice as expensive as the cost of canola oil, so it is a waste of money to use olive oil for everyday cooking when there is a cheaper and equally healthy option. Also, although coconut oil may be cheaper than olive oil, it contains more harmful fat than canola.
Canola Oil Recipe: Cooking and Baking
The connection between canola oil and cooking goes a long way because of the oil’s all-around use in the kitchen. Any canola oil recipe posted in the Internet would show that the oil is perfect for any dish, whether simply tossing up a salad or making a one-of-a-kind meal for those dinner dates. The high heat tolerance of the oil makes it a perfect choice for deep-frying or stir-fry. The neutral taste and mild aroma enables the oil to mix well with other ingredients for baking.
However, in case there is no bottle of canola within reach and you are pressed for time to prepare a meal, there are certain alternatives that can substitute canola oil.
1. Olive oil vs. Canola oil for Salad Dressings and Sauté
Olive oil is very much the same as canola because they are both healthy and good for the heart. However, olive oil cannot tolerate heat as well as canola. Moreover, olive oil costs thrice as much as the other one, although the good taste of olive oil really does make it the best option for salad dressings.
2. Peanut Oil vs. Canola Oil for Deep-frying
Peanut oil is famous for possessing high heat tolerance and its rich flavour. It is commonly used for roasting turkey during Thanksgiving. However, the rich flavour of peanut oil may clash with other ingredients when cooking a tasty dish. Its rich flavour would not always mesh well with other spices.
Deep-frying with canola oil has the same effect as using peanut oil, except that canola’s mild flavour brings out the taste of the other spices mixed in on the pan. Its neutral taste makes it a good match for any fried dish and it can also tolerate heat pretty well.
Although some people claim that too much heat can turn the good fat of canola oil into bad fat, an experiment conducted by the Canola Council of Canada showed that this claim is false. Hence, the oil is still one of the best options for frying food, and peanut oil only comes second to it.
3. Vegetable Oil vs. Canola Oil for Baking
Any vegetable oil can serve as a good substitute for canola oil in baking. However, what makes canola oil special is its ability to lower the sugar levels in the body, thus fighting off diabetes. This makes it a good ingredient for baking delicacies especially for those who have a health history of diabetes in the family.
Cooking with canola oil is a smart bet for any practical homemaker intent to provide quality and healthy dishes to the family without sacrificing the household budget. Indeed, one can never go wrong with this oil not only because of its nutritional value, but also its practical use for creating any sumptuous dish. As people discover the true benefits of canola oil, there is no more reason to ask if canola oil for cooking is the best choice.
Thank you for reading Is Canola Oil Cooking Friendly?.
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