Rapeseed oil

Rapeseed oil – growing in popularity

If you want a healthier cooking oil that tastes great and is really versatile, then make the switch to rapeseed oil. Many people are doing just that, and chefs and foodies are enjoying the culinary and health benefits it offers.

What is rapeseed oil?

Rapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of rapeseed plants, from the same brassica family as the health enhancing vegetables broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Along with linseed, these are the only oils grown and bottled in the UK.

Different types – what to look out for when shopping for rapeseed oil

There are two types available: standard rapeseed oil, which is often labelled vegetable oil (so make sure to check the labels) and cold-pressed rapeseed oil, which is sometimes labelled premium, virgin or extra-virgin.

Health benefits – why rapeseed oil is a good choice

The oil is celebrated for its health benefits as it has less unhealthy saturated fat than all other cooking oils and fats. It is also high in mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats omega 3, 6 and 9, so can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels as part of a healthy balanced diet – beneficial for heart health. And it is a rich source of vitamin E.

rapeseed oil

Cooking benefits – rapeseed oil can be used at high temperatures

The oil is not just a nutritional star, but a culinary star too, as you can cook with it at high temperatures without it smoking or burning, so it can be used for roasting and frying. It’s great used cold as well, for salad dressings, sauces and marinades, or for drizzling over pasta and pizza or for simply combining with balsamic vinegar for a delicious dip.

Flavour – rapeseed oil is light and delicate

Rapeseed oil has an incredibly light and delicate flavour so you get the best from the flavours of other ingredients in your dishes. And as different vineyards and different years produce different wines, flavours also vary greatly across different rapeseed oils.

Baking – rapeseed oil is a great substitute for butter

Rapeseed oil can be used instead of butter and other fats in a host of sweet and savoury dishes from cakes and biscuits to soups and casseroles. Try rapeseed oil in a carrot cake and the saturated fat can be reduced by up to 60%, making it a healthier alternative of a family favourite.

RapeseedOilBenefits.com – get recipes, ideas and more

If you haven’t tried rapeseed oil yet then give it a go! For more information and a whole host of tasty, easy and healthy recipes and ideas visit RapeseedOilBenefits.com where you can also get a recipe booklet at no cost (while stocks last!).


cooking oil, healthy, ingredients, rapeseed oil

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  • Tuuli Reinsoo

    actually rapeseed oil is not a good choice at all. those fields are maintained with a lot of pesticides, usually, don´t know how it is in the UK though. all the poison is preserved in the plant and in the oil, the soil will contain those pesticides for 100 years. also, growing it is in every way very bad for the enviornment. it ruins the field for other crops or if you do grow something else on it, it absorbes the pesticides.

    but I am not even sure if there is a sustainable source of oil. Cooking oil is something that needs to be the best, so it is wise to pay a bit more, buy organic and with an environmental certificate. cause if you must use fats, they better at least be good. then all your veggies will taste better. the best oils come from nuts and pumpkin seeds. there is no point hurting yourself and the environment for the measly 15 g of oil you use in a day.

    • WhatisExtraVirgin

      Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the only mainstream cooking oil that is not refined! I’d never use rapeseed oil. I’m with you Tuuli :)

      • Disqus_is_a_big_pile_of_crap

        You can’t fry with Olive Oil.

    • Melanie Craig

      I’m Canadian, where canola, rapeseed was gmo’d. I think really in small amounts it wouldn’t hurt. But I myself always use olive oil. Stopped using canola in the 90’s when they starting coming out with the info on the chemicals used to extract oil out of a rapeseed. I know one thing, directly related or not. Last time I was in Canada in the summer, flowers and flowering plants were completely silent, devoid of any sound of buzzing of bees. The only buzzing heard was that of wasps. Unlike my childhood 30 years ago when I used to sit and watch bees as my mother worked in the garden.

      • Sue

        I get very sick with only a small amount of rapeseed, it took me a long time to work out this was my problem, but as it is a major ingredient in almost everything now my diet has become severely restricted. It saddens me to see someone as respected as Jamie sanctioning this, because more and more people are developing intolerances to it. I am also very allergic to the pollen. I buy organic food where I can, but I find even “traditional” recipes are now including it. Recipes that say use butter now include margarine that has this in. It is hidden in many things like bread, mayo, all salad dressings and even baked beans!

  • Angela Stark

    Hi Tuuli – in Scotland (where I, and a few others grow oilseed rape
    for rapeseed oil production) the amount of pesticide used compared to
    wheat/barley/other vegetable crops is less. In fact, a number of our
    oilseed rape crops barely require any pesticides sprayed because it
    isn’t grown so intensively as to affect other crops. Our crop, on the
    Isle of Arran for example, requires no pesticides at all as the pests
    can’t fly across the water to reach the island we grow it on.

    Environmentally, a lot of Scottish growers are very diligent at providing companion
    clover fields so that pollination is increased and help bee population.

    Only unthoughtful, disrespectful growers will fall into the catergory that
    you describe. I can’t comment on the English growers, but I doubt they
    use a lot of sprays either as the UK is the most legislated country
    regarding chemical use in the world and sprays cost a lot of money to

    I appreciate your comments but maybe they relate to somewhere else.

  • Duncan Farrington

    Thanks Jamie for your continued support of rapeseed oil, which as the original seed to bottle producer in the UK I am passioante about as a truely versitile, healthy and delicious oil. It is fantastic and humbles me how you and others all around the country have got behind us over the last few years in opening up your taste buds to try this great poduct we can all be proud of.
    In reply to Tuuli’s comments below, whilst I don’t want to get into the organic/pesticide debate. I would like to correct you on your claim about pesticides poisioning the soil, other crops and lasting for many years. This is simply incorrect. Any pesticides we use are done so after the upmost consideration. Then whilst I will never claim any food to be pestricide free (organic or not), we test our oil for any trace of residues before we produce it, and yes they are below any detectable level. So please do look for rapeseed oil in your shops – obviously I would be delighted if you buy mine, and enjoy all the lovely recipes you can make with it, in the knowledge it is nutritionally superior, delicious and of course safe in all ways.

    • Mike

      I accept all the benefits claimed for rapeseed oil uncooked.
      What I don’t accept is the recommendation for cooking.

      For cooking you want a stable oil that doesn’t degrade so quickly, regardless of smoke point. Polyunsaturated oils (especially omega 3s) are the least stable and rapeseed oil has 4x the polyunsaturates of olive oil and 10x that of butter!!

      It is no coincidence that the industry has been engineering the composition of sunflower and safflower oils to be closer to olive oil!!

      Jamie – not surprised at dodgy recommendation there is a lot of confounding advice/info but would recommend you review the advice you are given and give out more closely.

  • Bath Harvest

    Here at Bath Harvest, we would also like to show our appreciation to Jamie for helping to boost awareness of British Rapeseed Oil. As a fourth generation family farm, we have followed sustainable farming methods for many years and will do so for years to come. Even the waste product from crushing our seed is used as a high protein feed supplement for our Aberdeen Angus herd! Our customers here in Somerset really appreciate being able to buy a zero food mile oil that tastes great too! Debbie Keeling.

  • Charlie

    I don’t think it’s fair to liken the variety in taste and smell between various brands of rapeseed oil to wines produced by vineyards which use different varieties of grape, methods of fermentation, and other factors implicated in the wine making process that account for variation in the taste and smell of the wine. Rapeseed oil smells faintly of cabbage, and because the oil oxidises and becomes rancid so quickly when exposed to heat and air (as do all the unsaturated vegetable oils), it has to be deodorised, and is sometimes perfumed before it can be sold. This accounts for the variation in tastes and flavours among the different brands that is mentioned in the article. As for the health benefits, unsaturated oils are known to cause deterioration of the brain, muscles, and other tissues, as well as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and every known cancer. They achieve their toxic effects partly by destroying vitamin E in the body, raising the body’s requirement for vitamin E over and above the amount that is contained in the oil itself. The misinformation surrounding saturated fats, and the false notion that they cause heart disease was propounded by the seed oil industry in the 50s, based on false studies and misinterpreted data, but these studies, and the claims that saturated fats are implicated in disease and degenerative processes, have no basis in fact whatsoever. Given the very public national health project that Jamie Oliver and the foundation is engaged in, the endorsement of rapeseed oil as a ‘safe food’ on this website, and the encouragement to abandon safe cooking fats like butter in its favour, seems a little odd. If the author of this blog and and the people involved in the Jamie Oliver foundation genuinely believe that their product is one that will improve health, then it would be a good idea to review the evidence, before disseminating harmful advice.

  • WhatisExtraVirgin

    Why would one want to use rapeseed oil?

  • Lover of Healthy Fats

    Nope, nope, nope, won’t touch rape seed oil aka Canola oil with a 100 foot pole. In the manufacturing process they make it by extracting oil from the seeds at high temperature and using solvents and chemicals to bleach, degum and deodorise the product. The result is a bland, neutral and useful bog-standard kitchen oil. The rapeseed is cover in pesticides and herbicides out in the field to ward off the bugs, the seed could have started off as a GMO seed from Monsanto and then its proceeds and the general public is told that it’s good for you and safe. Yep, another asbestos like situation just looking for a place to happen. Use good old beef tallow or lard that you make yourself – it is so easy. Or coconut oil or grass fed organic preferred butter. Butter tastes better – remember the ad? Don’t get me started on that plastic substitute for butter – margarine – should be renamed “heart attack in a plastic tub”.

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  • http://www.elixirskinfood.com.au Sarah Chambers

    Rapeseed oil is better known as Canola oil, Shame on you Jamie, have you not done your research? Canola Oil has been processed 21 times…now is that good for you, absolutely not. Conola oil is now being linked to cancer. Check it out for yourself. I thought you were a healthy cook, ummmm…perhaps not.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WChl13S9kQ4 Adam

    Extra virgin olive oil is definitely my first choice when cooking. If you have to reach high temperatures (e. g. frying) just use a cheaper olive oil (usually refined or half refined – resists higher temperatures). To saute, for salads, for pasta, sauces, fish… ONLY olive oil. I don’t care what the big rapeseed/canola oil lobbies say, rapeseed was only used as a lamp oil two decades ago.

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