Flax oil, or flaxseed oil, or Leinöl in German (we like oils from Europe!), is a special ingredient for salads and other cold dishes. It has a very interesting taste and color, but mostly, it is an oil that nutritionists and food scientists alike practically worship. At this point, it is widely known that Leinöl is healthy and people have really caught on about that, so it has become popular and is sought after. However, why is it so good?
The wonderful thing about flax oil is the high content of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which makes it a fantastic and unique source of these acids for vegetarians and vegans. Also, this type of oil cannot be heated, so you can’t use it to fry, and it also means that it needs to be manufactured at low temperatures. One thing you need to know is that industrial production is fast and at high temperatures and often they use chemicals, which get filtered later – this also filters a lot of the taste and color (often all of it, which is why many oils are colorless). However, at low temperatures and low speeds, the oil retains all of its qualities, color and taste.
Did you know that even the ancient Greeks have used flax oil to treat hoarseness? It has been known for a long time that flax is healthy and has a lot of benefits that we should not miss out on. It has many benefits for your heart and cardiovascular system. Personally, I love flax seed oil in fruit salads of all kinds.
The one problem is the low shelf live of only about 2 months. You should buy Leinöl only in dark bottles to protect it from sunlight, because light in general helps the oil to oxidize, making it go bad more quickly. Make sure you store it in the fridge, unlike (I think) any other oil – this is mandatory to keep it around for as long as possible. You should also not buy huge bottles and figure out how much oil you use so you don’t have to throw away the rest once the shelf live is over.
Here is a video about Leinöl from German television (I speak the language, but you can use the Youtube video translation feature if needed).
One thing I really want to talk about as well is the importance of secondary ingredients like these oils. See, when Martina and I talk to people about our various cooking endeavors, we often mention oils and get strange looks 😀 People ask us why we talk about that instead of the “main” ingredients, like tomatoes, rice, salads etc. It seems that oils, salts, and other side ingredients are almost invisible to people: they focus on the bigger things, you know?
The cool thin is, however, that oils are very important for your health and can make or break, say, a salad – not only in terms of taste but also in terms of its benefits. My friend Maria sends me Oils from Austria and Switzerland on a regular basis. I think she recently sent me this one to try: Leinöl kaufen. If you eat a hot manufactured cheap olive oil from your local supermarket, you may end up with something that was treated with chemicals, was filtered, has lost a lot of its beneficial contents, its color and taste. A lot of supermarkets don’t even have flax oil!
So don’t underestimate the importance of each and every ingredient you use. After all, it goes into your body and does its thing 🙂