Canola oil comes from pressed canola seed. The seed is harvested from pods that are formed after those beautiful yellow flowers you’ve probably seen in the summer fade away. North American farmers have been growing canola seed for over 30 years.
Canola is not rapeseed. It looks the same on the outside but it’s very different on the inside where it matters. In the late 1960s, plant scientists used traditional plant breeding methods to get rid of rapeseed’s undesirable qualities – erucic acid and glucosinolates. That means canola oil and meal are different from rapeseed oil and meal.
Canola oil is flavorful and its lineolic acid content makes it a good choice nutritionally. Aside from its almost perfect composition of fatty acids, canola oil is also distinguished by its natural vitamin E content. One tablespoon of canola oil, in a vinaigrette for example, provides 30% of your daily vitamin E requirements.
Canola oil lends itself very well to the preparation of cold dishes. It makes a great salad oil and is also excellent for marinades, mayonnaises and some hors d'oeuvres. Since it can be heated to 180° C (350° F), it is also used for roasting and grilling.
Like any oil or fat, it should be stored away from light and heat, in a cupboard or cellar. The vitamin E also helps the oil to keep for a long time.
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