Bright yellow fields of rapeseed add splashes of colour to the landscape – a treat for the eyes and the soul. But there is so much more to these beautiful flowers than meets the eye.
Rapeseed is primarily cultivated as an oil crop, and the oil that is pressed from the small black rapeseeds ends up in our kitchens, bringing special value to our food. Let’s take a closer look at the pitch-black miracle seeds.
Rapeseeds have a fat content of around 45 %. The seeds are pressed to obtain a rich oil that is well known and popular in many countries: rapeseed oil. Approximately 2.3 kg of rapeseeds are needed to produce 1 litre of rapeseed oil. The process involves removing the black shell, leaving only the yellow kernel. The kernels are mechanically pressed to extract the oil, and the leftover rapeseed meal or cake is often used as a nutritious livestock feed.
The oil obtained from rapeseeds is of a particularly high quality and good for humans. Among other things, it contains highly concentrated linoleic acid, which is a precursor to anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and therefore a real booster for our health.
Besides this high-quality oil, the protein in the seeds should also be mentioned. As already described, after oil production, a defatted seed meal (rapeseed meal/cake) remains. From this residue, rapeseed protein isolate with a protein content of 90 % is obtained. Rapeseed protein can be used in much the same way as soy protein, and the quality of the protein is roughly the same. The difference lies in the taste, as rapeseed protein has a more particular taste than soy protein.
What can be done with it?
Rapeseeds can be used in a variety of ways. For our physical wellbeing, they are often packed into heating bags and used when we have neck, back or muscle aches and pains. But they can also be cooled and used for strains, fever or insect bites. Rapeseeds are not (yet) very common in our diet, which is unfortunate. Lightly roasted, they make a great topping for salads or muesli, and in butter or spreads they enhance any bread. As with all seeds or nuts, rape seeds can be used to make a delicious pesto. In bread and rolls, they add a delicious crunch. Let your imagination run wild.
Tip: To keep rapeseeds for longer, lightly roast them in a pan without fat, then store them in an airtight container.
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