Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cooking with oils & a warning about pine nuts from China

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend. Mr L & I are trying to be healthy at the moment, and through our attempts we've stumbled upon some interesting information regarding cooking with oils (perhaps you already know this). We use to just drizzle some virgin olive oil in all or pans, thinking we were being healthy... aaah, but it turns out that virgin olive oil is not always the healthier better choice... it all depends on what temperature you'll be cooking your food at. If you overheat your oil, not only will it make your food taste bad, but it looses all it's goodness too, and could contain free radicals that contribute to the risk of cancer. Scary stuff!

It turns out that it's all got to do with the 'smoke point' IE. the temperature the oil can handle. Some oils start smoking at a much lower temperature than others. So leave that extra virgin olive oil for your salads, and use a healthy coconut oil or Ghee for stir fries and believe it or not, bur you are better off with refinde oils for deep frying (who knew?). Follow this link for a list of oils and their smoke point so that you too can make sure that you don't cook all the goodness and taste out of your oils!

Warning: do not purchase Pine Nuts from China!
On Wednesday last week I bought a packet of pine nuts from a Tesco store here in the UK. Tescos import their Pine Nuts from China (and I admit I did not look at the label when I bought them). After nibbling on this lovely healthy snack (or so I thought) between Wednesday and Friday, I suddenly yesterday noticed all my food tasting bitter. At first I thought it was the grapes I was eating, but then all my meals were tasting this way. After doing a bit of research on Google, i found out I am not the only one. There are plenty of people out there who have been experiencing the same horrible after effects (believe me, it's really unpleasant - so much so that even wine and chocolate tastes foul). It seems that it might be due to these nuts from China being oxidised, but there hasn't been enough research done to confirm this. The symptoms can last between 3 days and two weeks, so I'm afraid my meals for the next few days wont be anything I'll be looking forward to too much. Please don't eat pine nuts from China dear readers, I'd hate for you to experience the same thing until this has been sorted.


Lorilee said...

Oh, my I'm so sorry about the side effect of those pinenuts. I am trying to remember to check labels and avoid foods from China!

A Decluttered Life said...

Hi thanks for your kind comment about little stuart(who was named stuart but really was a girl!)
Love the informative post . I use this ol from asda it is red palm and canola oil called carotino, it says on the bottle it is vitemin rich and cholestral free 100 % natural. It was about £1.79 for a 500 ml bottle so not too bad in price either. It says it is a natural alternative to olive oil and it has omega 3 & omega 6 in it too. There is a web address on bottle .
That sounds horrible about the pine nuts. I am glad you realised so you wont eat those ones again.
x Dom

Ivy said...

I never knew that about oils. Thanks!
Sorry about the pine nut thing, THAT'S CRAZY!

A note on perfection

Many of the posts featured on this blog are about doing household chores the correct, or so to say perfect way. My intention is not to make readers feel that the way they are running their households are wrong. So if making the bed, or ironing shirts in a certain way doesn't fit your lifestyle, do not feel guilty about it. But by learning the correct way of doing things it might just come in handy for those times when special guests are staying, or when you need to iron that shirt perfectly for a job interview. So enjoy the learning, but skip the guilt and LOVE your homes. x

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