Wednesday 16 February 2011

Discover the healthy benefits of baking with rapeseed oil

This morning, I posted (here) a recipe for coffee and walnut cupcakes and mentioned that I'd never thought about replacing butter by rapeseed oil in cooking. Faster than a speeding bullet, the lovely Laura sent e some more information and recipes, so I thought I'd share those with you too. Enjoy !


For those who enjoy baking and eating a healthy balanced diet, rapeseed oil is a store cupboard must. As one of the healthiest oils you can buy due to its balance of fatty acids, rapeseed oil is a perfect choice for making everything from cakes and biscuits to breads and pancakes.

Sometimes labelled as ‘vegetable oil’, rapeseed oil is lower in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like omega 3 and 6 that can help to lower cholesterol when consumed as part of an overall healthy diet.

Already widely used for frying and roasting and even in salad dressings, rapeseed oil’s mild flavour makes it ideal for baking too. It is simple to use and blends really easily with other ingredients. So try one of these delicious new recipes and find out for yourself why rapeseed oil is the healthy alternative!


Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves 4

Per serving:

Calories: 212 kcals
Fibre: 1.8g
Saturated fat: 0.36g

150g self-raising flour
2 medium eggs
2 tbsp honey
150ml buttermilk
1 tbsp rapeseed oil + extra for frying
100g fresh blueberries or raspberries

Total cost: £1.76

Cost per serving: 44p

Place the flour in a large bowl. Whisk in the eggs and honey then gradually whisk in the buttermilk and 1 tbsp oil to form a thick batter. Stir in the fruit.

Heat a little extra oil in a frying pan and using a tablespoon, spoon some mixture

into the pan to make 4 pancakes. Cook gently for 1-2 minutes each side until golden and cooked through. Repeat to make 12 pancakes.

Cook’s tip

For an extra healthy option, use self-raising wholemeal flour. Ideal drizzled with honey or maple syrup and scattered with fresh fruit.



Prep time: 10 minute plus soaking time
Cook time: 1-1¼ hours
Makes 1 loaf / 10-12 slices

Per slice:

Calories: 277 kcals
Fibre: 2.07g
Saturated fat: 0.63g

1 Earl Grey tea bag
150g dried banana slices
100g sultanas
100ml rapeseed oil
175g soft brown sugar
2 medium eggs
225g self-raising wholemeal flour

Total cost: £2.08

Cost per slice: 17p

Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4. Base line a 1kg loaf tin.

Soak the tea bag in 300ml boiling water, remove the tea bag, then pour the tea over the fruit and leave to soak for 30 minutes.

Whisk the oil, sugar and eggs in a large bowl until pale and creamy, add the soaked fruit. Fold in the flour and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 1-1¼ hours or until golden and cooked.

Cool slightly before removing from the tin.

Cook’s tip

Simply serve warm with a cup of tea or with warm fruit compote for a dessert.



Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Makes 12

Per brownie:

Calories: 216 kcals
Fibre: 1.1g
Saturated fat: 1.44g

3 medium eggs
200g soft brown sugar
150g self-raising flour
50g cocoa
100ml rapeseed oil
50g dried cranberries
25g milk chocolate chips (optional)

Total cost: £2.44

Cost per brownie: 20p

Preheat the oven to 180oC, gas mark 4. Base line a 22cm square tin.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until pale and creamy. Sieve the flour and cocoa together and gently whisk into the eggs, then whisk in the oil.

Pour into the prepared tin, scatter over the cranberries and chocolate chips if using. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool slightly before turning out of the tin. Cut into 12 pieces.

Cook’s tip

Replace the cranberries with any other dried fruit such as apple or chopped dates. For an extra healthy option, replace the flour with self-raising wholemeal flour.


Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Makes 1 loaf / 12 slices

Per slice:

Calories: 164 kcals
Fibre: 1g
Saturated fat: 0.5g

500g ciabatta bread mix
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tsp chopped rosemary
4 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil
¼ tsp coarse sea salt

Total cost: £1.62

Cost per slice: 14p

Preheat the oven to 230oC, gas mark 8.

Mix the bread mix with a pinch of salt, the garlic and 2 tsp rosemary. Mix in 3 tbsp oil and 320ml lukewarm water to form a dough. Knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes until smooth.

Shape into a rough 22cm round and place on a large greased baking tray. Brush with a little cold pressed oil, sprinkle over the remaining rosemary and the salt.

Cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Press dimples into the bread with a wooden spoon handle.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and sounds hollow when the base is tapped.

Drizzle over the remaining oil and allow to cool.

Cook’s tip

Ideal served warm simply with a dip of cold pressed rapeseed oil and balsamic vinegar as a starter. This works just as well with standard white bread mix

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