In recent years a new oil has appeared on the shelves of grocery stores: camelina oil. Given its high price, you might like to learn more about the organoleptic qualities and health benefits of this oil before buying it.
Camelina sativa, also known as camelina, is a plant of the Brassicaceae family (same family as cabbage, turnip, mustard etc.), a native plant to Northern Europe and Central Asia, it has been cultivated in Europe for more than 3,000 years for the production of vegetable oil and animal feed. Since the end of the twentieth century, the growing demand for healthy oils has led to the discovery of the potential of this plant adapted to cold semi-arid climatic zones (steppes and prairies). The stems of the camelina plant produce cute yellow flowers and also tiny seeds, from which the oil is produced.
Camelina oil is composed of monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic and gadoleic acid) and polyunsaturated fatty acids: 30 to 35% alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3), 20 to 30% linoleic acids (omega-6). However, it is the high natural omega-3 content that distinguishes it from other oils especially (in comparison canola oil contains 10%). Recall that omega-3s have a protective effect on cardiovascular health and perhaps even on the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. This oil is also rich in vitamin E.
The taste of camelina oil is unique and subtle. It is reminiscent of sesame, almond, and hazelnuts with a little herbaceous touch reminiscent of asparagus. Because of its richness in omega-3, which spoils rapidly, this oil can go rancid quickly. It is therefore better to buy it in a small bottle and keep it in the refrigerator. It is also recommended to choose cold-pressed oils of organic origin. Like all oils rich in essential fatty acids, it should not be heated, but rather consumed raw to season salads or in a smoothie to increase nutritional intake.
Try camelina oil to substitute olive oil in this recipe: