Parlez-vous français?

Comment

Parlez-vous français?

Still more rain putting stop to any wheat harvesting but we at least have an extra pair of hands on the farm for the rest of the month in the form of Tom, a French student from ESA (École Supérieure d'Agricultures) in Angers.

Tom is currently enrolled in a two year agricultural course focusing on arable crop and livestock. This summer, he has been working for France's largest silage company (Tempereau SARL) who are contracted out to 4000 hectares of arable land around Nantes. 

His uncle has 360 head of cattle so his experience will definitely come in hand when we have to attend to our small herd of Dexter later this month. But for now, like any newbie, he is tasked with topping the headlands in a wonderful old Ford 6610.

Bienvenue Tom!

Comment

Comment

Rain, Rain and more Rain

After last years horrendously dry July and August we definitely need some rain to create a nice bed for drilling seed. However, we also need the remaining wheat to dry off enough to be able to combine. This leaves us in quite a predicament. The weather for the remainder of the week looks patchy which we can probably get away with but hopefully next week will be dry and sunny so we can clear the fields and start preparing the land for drilling. 

Until then, we can crack on with servicing the combine, tractors, quad and pretty much every other vehicle so that when we're in full swing, nothing will stop us!

 

Comment

Comment

Summer '17

Harvest 2017 (or #harvest17 for the social media addicts amongst you) is well and truly underway at Duchess Farms. We were able to get 1 full day in before the heavens opened and put stop to the next several days but we're hoping to be done with all of the barley by Wednesday and then we'll move on to combining the wheat. Fingers crossed the weather holds but this is England so you never know!

On the oil front, it's been an exciting few months for Duchess Oil, with the addition of a couple of new staff members and with that, a new drive to deliver Duchess Oil further afield than before. We are excited to announce our partnership with Oakleaf (http://oakleafeuropean.com/) who will be key to distributing our oil to some of the finest establishments the country has to offer. We've been experimenting with a few new items but one we have decided upon is a new smoked oil. It really is to die for and once we have finalised our plans and have a release date we'll be able to share more exciting news about. 

Until then, it's back out to the fields!

Comment

Comment

Fat - The Facts

A very useful and informative article on the NHS website about the different types on fats (good and bad) and how to include them into your daily balance diet. To see the article on the NHS website click here

Too much fat in your diet, especially saturated fats, can raise your cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease. 

Current UK government guidelines advise cutting down on all fats and replacing saturated fat with some unsaturated fat. 

In recent years, the popular media has turned the debate about the causes of major public health issues such as heart diseasediabetes and obesity into something of a "fat versus sugar" dogfight.

But the question should not be about choosing between fat or sugar: there are good reasons for cutting down on both.

Cutting down on saturated fats is only one aspect of reducing your risk of heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Other risk factors include eating too much salt and sugar, being overweightsmoking and a lack of physical activity.

When it comes to heart health, you are better off focusing on your overall diet than on individual nutrients such as fat or sugar. A balanced and nutritious diet is considered one of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Not all fat is bad

A small amount of fat is an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. Fat is a source of essential fatty acids such as omega-3 – "essential" because the body can't make them itself.

Fat helps the body absorb vitamins AD and E. These vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be absorbed with the help of fats.

The fat you eat is broken down during digestion into smaller units of fat called fatty acids. Any fat not used by your body’s cells or to create energy is converted into body fat. Likewise, unused carbohydrate and protein are also converted into body fat.

All types of fat are high in energy. A gram of fat, whether saturated or unsaturated, provides 9kcal (37kJ) of energy compared with 4kcal (17kJ) for carbohydrate and protein.

The main types of fat found in food are saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Most fats and oils contain both saturated and unsaturated fats in different proportions.

As part of a healthy diet, we should try to cut down on foods and drinks high in saturated fats and trans fats and replace some of them with unsaturated fats.

Frequently eating more energy than you need, whether it’s from fat, carbohydrate or protein, increases your risk of becoming overweight or obese, which can increase your cholesterol.

Saturated fats

Saturated fats are found in many foods, both sweet and savoury. Most of them come from animal sources, including meat and dairy products, as well as some plant foods such as palm oil.

Foods high in saturated fats include:

  • fatty cuts of meat
  • meat products, including sausages and pies
  • butter, ghee and lard
  • cheese, especially hard cheese
  • cream, soured cream and ice cream
  • some savoury snacks and chocolate confectionery
  • biscuits, cakes and pastries
  • palm oil
  • coconut oil and cream

Cholesterol is mostly made by the body in the liver. It's carried in the blood in two ways: as low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). The type of fats we get from our diet affect the levels of LDL and HDL cholesterol in the blood.

Too much saturated fats in your diet can raise LDL cholesterol in the blood. This can lead to fatty deposits developing in the arteries, which can restrict the flow of blood to the heart and brain, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

On the other hand, HDL cholesterol has a positive effect by taking cholesterol from parts of the body where there is too much of it, to the liver, where it is disposed of.

Eating too much fat and sugar can also increase the level of triglycerides, a fatty substance mostly made by the liver. High levels of triglycerides in the blood have also been linked with narrowing of the arteries.

Saturated fat guidelines

Most people in the UK eat too much saturated fats. The population on average gets 12.6% of their energy (kJ/kcal) from saturated fats, which is slightly above the 11% maximum recommended by the government.

  • The average man should aim to have no more than 30g of saturated fat a day.
  • The average woman should aim to have no more than 20g of saturated fat a day.
  • Children should have less.

Trans fats

Trans fats are found naturally at low levels in some foods, such as those from animals, including meat and dairy products.

Trans fats can also be found in hydrogenated vegetable oil. Hydrogenated vegetable oil must be declared on a food's ingredients list if present.

Like saturated fats, trans fats can raise cholesterol levels in the blood. This is why it's recommended that trans fats should make up no more than 2% of the energy (kJ/kcal) we get from our diet. For adults, this is no more than about 5g a day.

However, most people in the UK don't eat a lot of trans fats. On average, we eat about half the recommended maximum. Most of the supermarkets in the UK have removed hydrogenated vegetable oil from all their own-brand products.

We eat a lot more saturated fats than trans fats. This means that when looking at the amount of fat in your diet, it's more important to focus on reducing the amount of saturated fats.

Unsaturated fats

If you want to cut your risk of heart disease, it's best to reduce your overall fat intake and swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats. There is good evidence that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol.

Found primarily in oils from plants, unsaturated fats can be either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fats help protect our hearts by maintaining levels of HDL cholesterol while reducing levels of LDL cholesterol.

Monounsaturated fats are found in:

  • olive oil, rapeseed oil and their spreads
  • avocados
  • some nuts, such as almonds, brazils and peanuts

Polyunsaturated fats can help lower the level of LDL cholesterol. Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats may also help reduce triglyceride levels.

There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6. Some types of omega-3 and omega-6 fats cannot be made by the body and are therefore essential in small amounts in the diet.

Omega-6 fats are found in vegetable oils such as rapeseed, corn, sunflower and some nuts. Omega-3 fats are found in oily fish such as mackerel, kippers, herring, trout, sardines, salmon and fresh tuna.

While most of us get sufficient omega-6 in our diet, mostly from cooking oil, we're advised to eat more omega-3 by eating at least two portions of fish a week, including one of oily fish.

Vegetable sources of omega-3 fats are not thought to have the same benefits on heart health as those found in fish.

Buying lower fat

There are labelling guidelines set by the European Union to help you work out whether or not a food is high in fat and saturated fat.

The nutrition labels on food packaging can help you cut down on total fat and saturated fat (also listed as saturates, or sat fat).

Total fat

  • high fat – more than 17.5g of fat per 100g
  • low fat – 3g of fat or less per 100g, or 1.5g of fat per 100ml for liquids (1.8g of fat per 100ml for semi-skimmed milk)
  • fat-free – 0.5g of fat or less per 100g or 100ml

Saturated fat

  • high in sat fat – more than 5g of saturates per 100g
  • low in sat fat – 1.5g of saturates or less per 100g or 0.75g per 100ml for liquids
  • sat fat-free – 0.1g of saturates per 100g or 100ml

'Lower fat' labels

For a product to be labelled lower fat, reduced fat, lite or light, it has to contain at least 30% less fat than a similar product.

But if the type of food in question is high in fat in the first place, the lower-fat version may also still be high in fat (17.5g or more of fat per 100g). For example, a lower-fat mayonnaise is 30% lower in fat than the standard version, but is still high in fat.

These foods also aren't necessarily low in calories. Sometimes the fat is replaced with sugar and may end up with a similar energy content. To be sure of the fat content and the energy content, remember to check the nutrition label on the packet.

Cutting down on fat is only one aspect of achieving a healthy diet. Find out more about how to get a balanced nutritious diet in the Eatwell Guide.

Comment

Calling all London Chefs

Comment

Calling all London Chefs

We are very pleased to announce that Duchess Oil is now being supplied and distributed by Penta Foods Limited, who are a renowned and respected supplier and distributor to some of the top fine food restaurants in London. 

If you are a customer of ours or of Penta's then you can order directly through them and have your order delivered directly to you.  If you are a London chef and aren't familiar with our oil or you aren't familiar with Penta then please do get in touch and we will happily arrange for samples to be sent directly to your kitchen with our compliments.

We are always looking for new suppliers, distributors, chefs and stockists for Duchess Oil, so please do contact us if you would like to discuss being a Duchess Farms affiliate.

 

Info@duchessoil.co.uk

Oscar 

 

 

 

 

Comment

Rapeseed - a brief history

Comment

Rapeseed - a brief history

Rapeseed was first recorded in English at the end of the 14th century. It’s the third largest source of vegetable oil – read on to find out the history of it.

Comment

Carrot cake recipe

Comment

Carrot cake recipe

When baking cakes, why not replace the butter with Rapeseed oil, for a healthier, moist, light cake. Here’s a carrot cake recipe to get you started.

Comment

Is UK Rapeseed farmed differently to that of America?

Comment

Is UK Rapeseed farmed differently to that of America?

Over the last few months I’ve been asked by a few people if Rapeseed oil is actually good for you. If you Google ‘Rapeseed’ or ‘Rapeseed oil’, at least 80% of the results will come from American sites, meaning you may subsequently find yourself struggling with a resulting answer. Why? Quite simply, America farming regulations etc. are different to those in the UK.

It’s not my place to pass judgement on a potentially sensitive political subject, but one of the main differences is that Genetically Modified (GM) crops are used by the majority of American farmers. These crops are designed to be resistant to very strong herbicides, so a farmer can douse a crop in something that will kill everything, except the crop. I’m guessing that it’s a far more cost effective for them to genetically modify the plant, as opposed to designing specialist herbicides that focus on just one part of a plants gene structure and disable it, without effecting anything else the herbicide may fall on.

Of course there’s still 20% of American farmers who are producing oilseed rape in the same way as we do in the UK. So if you applied an application to a field of Rapeseed, in order to limit the amount of cleavers for example, the herbicide would be designed to only attack one part of the cleavers genetic makeup and not effect anything else. All of this means that, what we grow in the UK for human consumption is known as 'Double Low' varieties: low in Erucic acid (less than 1%) and low in Glucosinolates. This is especially important, as Erucic acid (in large amounts) can be harmful to humans and Glucosinolates can effect animals and cattle.

Duchess Oil’s agronomy expert, Jamie McKay, is part of a group that track and trace levels and he believes that, if we continue using this type of herbicide, in just a few years, there’ll be no trace of either Erucic acid or Glucosinolates in Rapeseed crops.

Using these British farming principles means Duchess Oil can make a very healthy product that far outweighs the health benefits of other oils – and we can use the waste product (known as ‘cake’) to feed the Duchess Dexter cattle, who then produce waste that can act a fertilizer for the Rapeseed crop! As an example, for each seed pressed, approximately 45% of it will produce oil and the other 55% will become cake. This cake can then be fed to the Dexter’s as feed, before passing through them and eventually ending up in the same field as muck – full circle, full tractability and a very low carbon footprint.

 

Comment

Salad dressing made easy

Comment

Salad dressing made easy

As the weather starts warming up, salads start appearing on the menu. We all want to eat healthier and possibly get slimmer for the summer months, but plain salads can be so boring – so use these easy recipes to dress up your salads!

Rapeseed oil is perfect for salad dressings, not only due to the numerous health benefits you can glean from it, but also because it has a great colour and mild taste. Here’s some basic recipes to turn even the most basic of salads into something special.

Basic Vinaigrette dressing

When it comes to making the basic Vinaigrette, it really is easy and quick. You need to combine 3 parts oil with 1 part vinegar. And of course, using Rapeseed oil will ensure you’re sticking to the healthiest possible option!

As a good starting point, opt for:

  • 120ml of Rapeseed oil
  • 40ml of white wine vinegar

Add in a pinch of seasoning and mix together. A jam jar with a screw top lid makes the perfect mixing AND storage container.

Fresh herb dressing

Now you have the basic Vinaigrette dressing sorted, you can start experimenting by adding herbs. This truly is limited only by your preferences and availability. Try different herbs and see which you find to be your new favourite:

Chopped herbs:

  • Basil
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Parsley

Just add them to your basic Vinaigrette and shake to blend. If you’re looking to use woody herbs, such as Rosemary or Thyme, take a sprig of herb, place in the oil and leave to infuse for a while.

And of course, don’t forget about a Garlic option – simply add in a finely chopped clove of garlic to the basic recipe.

Honey and mustard dressing

If you like the sound of this dressing, you’re again opting for the 3:1 ratio, but replacing the white wine vinegar with cider vinegar and adding in the extra ingredients, e.g.:

  • 120ml Rapeseed oil
  • 40ml cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. coarse mustard
  • Seasoning to taste

Chili and lime dressing

Finally, if you’d like a dressing that packs more of a punch to your salad, try out this favourite:

  • 120ml Rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1-2 small red chilies, finely chopped (depending on taste preferences!)
  • The juice from 1 lime

Combine all of the ingredients together and shake well.

Please tell me in the comments box, if you have any other favourite salad dressing recipes using Duchess Rapeseed Oil - it would be great to share them with our readers. 

 

Comment

Spring growth and pest control

Comment

Spring growth and pest control

With the start of spring growth, there’s inevitably an influx of pests, making pest control a priority for all gardeners and farmers. We plant more than 50 million seeds, but pests don’t care about the numbers – they’re just as interested in your back garden or allotment plot, as they are our Rapeseed plants – so how can you deal with them?

We follow a three step procedure, here at Duchess Oils:

  • Step 1: Understand what pests you are dealing with
  • Step 2: Establish the extent of the problem
  • Step 3: Make a decision on how to deal with the pests

Luckily, our Rapeseed plants are, on the whole, looking rather great at the moment. However, it’s not the time to get complacent, as the entire crop is vulnerable and it only takes the smallest of nibbles to lose a plant completely. This is why we continuously check our crops, looking for both health and pest-related issues and this is an essential part of the three step procedure…

Step 1: Understand what pests you are dealing with

The obvious pests are pigeons and rabbits, but not all pests are that easily spotted. Slugs and beetles are more elusive, but their munching is just as damaging! Here’s a snapshot of the typical damage caused by slugs and beetles:

(left/mid photo is a slug damaged plant and right/mid photo, a beetle one).

Once you know what pests you are dealing with, you can move onto Step 2.

Step 2: Establish the extent of the problem

You’ve found the evidence, it’s now time to ascertain how big a problem you are dealing with. For pests such as rabbits and pigeons, you can clearly see the numbers involved, but the elusive guys are harder to count – and this is why I use a slug trap (pictured here), to get a better idea of how many slugs are in the field.

Step 3: Make a decision on how to deal with the pests

Once you have an accurate picture of what you’re dealing with and the numbers involved, you can use this information to decide on how to deal with them. Obviously, the most natural and eco-friendly ways are the best. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Look to encourage natural predators into your gardens; hedgehogs love slugs, as do ducks!
  • Provide a tastier distraction!
  • Relocation. Use bait traps to collect the pests in one place, allowing you to then relocate them away from your precious crops. Flower pots, cardboard and anything that creates a dark, moist environment is considered home to slugs, whilst earwigs love wet newspaper!

 

Comment

Life of a Rapeseed oil farmer: What’s happening in April

Comment

Life of a Rapeseed oil farmer: What’s happening in April

Ask any farmer, April is all about the growth and health of the crops – and it’s something we take very seriously here, at Duchess Oils. We’re constantly checking for any signs of potential health issues, along with ensuring the plants are growing well.

As any farmer (and your nose, if you live in a rural location) will tell you, it’s also the time of year to get out the muck spreader! Fertiliser spreading during April is crucial, if you want to ensure nutrition levels in the soil are to stay at an optimum level. The soil needs to have everything the crops need, if you want healthy and strong plants. Tie this in with wet and warm days, and you have the perfect growing conditions for study, healthy plants.

Regardless of the weather, myself and my agronomist Jamie, are out checking the crops in all weathers. At this time of year, we cut into the stem of the growing plant with a Stanley knife, to check the growth stage of the crop. We plan everything that needs doing on a two-week plan, from fertilising to crop checks. We then head back to the office and make a plan for the coming two weeks, before doing it all over again, a continual rolling two-weekly schedule of fertiliser, checks and planning.

We’re all focused on the crops, ensuring the best possible growth and health – even the dog just looks at crops during this time of year!

Another thing I’m currently doing is experimenting with wild garlic oil. Wild garlic, like Rapeseed, has a host of medicinal benefits. It can help reduce cholesterol levels in your blood, and it also has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can also be soaked into culinary oils, giving them a unique flavour and is ideal for sauces and dressings – so I’ll let you know how I get on.

Now it’s time for me to get back out on the tractor – so, until next month!

 

Comment

Spring gardening tasks

Comment

Spring gardening tasks

When it comes to spring, it’s not just seedlings and plants that spring into action – gardeners should too! Here’s a list of jobs you can get started on, to make the most of this year’s growing season and to ensure you have a steady supply of vegetables and herbs throughout this year.

Get started on your garden maintenance

If you haven’t already done so, make sure to clear dead leaves and debris away from your drains and ditches. You need to ensure your beds have the best drainage available – and this can’t happen if they’re bunged up with junk.

To prepare for the onset of growing, you need to fix trellises and fencing now. Not only does this give your plants the support they need, it also helps to protect your growing space, as the last thing you want to be doing is moving healthy plants, in order to carry out repairs.

If you mulched your growing areas, you can now start to remove the mulch from your flower and vegetable beds, but do so gradually over the space of week. This helps the beds to acclimatise. Whilst moving the mulch, make sure you keep it a few inches away from young seeds, to prevent them from rotting – and don’t be tempted to dig the mulch into the beds, as the nutrients from the soil will gradually work their own way down into the soil.

Now’s the time to get your greenhouse ready for the growing season, by having a massive cleaning session. Look to wash and disinfect it, sweep out old debris and replace any broken panes of glass. I’d also take the opportunity to wash your plants and seed trays now too. Make sure you leave the greenhouse well ventilated for the next few days, to make sure it’s dry, prior to use.

Start planting seeds

Early spring vegetables, such as peas, lettuce and leeks need to be sown, as soon as the soil is workable. Crops that have a long growing season, such as Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac and broccoli can be sown now too, but it’s best to do them under cover. Basil can be sown, but keep indoors at the moment.

Finally, you’ll want to ensure your fruit trees have been pruned and you’ve cut back the dead growth on deciduous grasses and herbaceous perennials too.

 

Comment

Reader Recipe:  Rapeseed oil Bruschetta Recipe

Comment

Reader Recipe: Rapeseed oil Bruschetta Recipe

If you’re after a quick evening snack or even an easy appetizer for your dinner guests, why not serve them the tasty and flavoursome Italian classic – Bruschetta?  

Traditionally. Bruschetta is served on ciabatta bread, but you can use any crusty loaf to get the same results.

Rapeseed oil has a really delicate flavour, making it a perfect oil for roasting, toasting and to use in place of other oils and butter. It’s also a rich source of vitamin E, omega 3, 6 and 9 AND it’s high in poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats – making it a healthier option to other cooking fats and perfect for this recipe. 

Ingredients:

1 crusty loaf, cut into ½ inch thick slices

4 tablespoons of Rapeseed oil

4 finely chopped tomatoes

1 finely chopped onion

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

6 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1.     Mix the onions, tomatoes, 1 glove of garlic and approximately 2/3 of the basil together in a large bowl. Be careful not to mash the tomatoes too much.

2.     Add in 3 tablespoons of Rapeseed oil and gently mix.

3.     Add in the salt and pepper.

4.     If you prefer stronger flavours, cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This will help the flavours to blend together. You’ll need to remove the bowl ½ hour before you need to serve your bruschetta – alternatively, you can serve straight away.

5.     Mix together the remaining Rapeseed oil and garlic in a separate bowl.

6.     Lightly toast the sliced bread and brush each side lightly with the remaining garlic and Rapeseed oil mix.

7.     Place a spoonful of the mixture onto each piece of toast and sprinkle over the basil to garnish.

Comment

What are the health benefits of Rapeseed Oil?

Comment

What are the health benefits of Rapeseed Oil?

When it comes to cooking, we want to have flavoursome foods, but we don’t want to compromise our general health and wellbeing. This is particularly relevant when it comes to the oils we use when cooking. We know saturated fats are bad for us, but we do need to use oil or fats of some kind, in order to cook – so how can you get the best of both worlds?

The French embraced Rapeseed oil generations ago, so if you want to continue using oils and want to also watch your health, switching your oil to Rapeseed oil is a really good start. Why? Well Rapeseed oil has the following benefits:

#1: It has less unhealthy saturated fats than other oils

Compared to other cooking oils, Rapeseed oil has the lowest levels of saturated fat, in fact, it has less than half of that found in Olive oil. Saturated fat is the type of fat that solidifies on your baking tray and roasting tin, long after you’ve eaten the food cooked in it. 

#2: It’s high in healthy oils

Rapeseed oil is high in mono-unsaturated fat (known to help lower cholesterol) and poly-unsaturated fats omega 3,6 and 9 – usually found in nuts seeds and fish. 

#3: It makes a great alternative to butter in cooking

If you’re trying to be healthier, cutting out butter and similar spreads is a good start. Luckily, Rapeseed oil can replace butter in your baking recipes, whether you’re wanting to bake cakes and savouries or soups and casseroles. 

#4: Contains no artificial preservatives

When it comes to looking after your health, we all know that artificial preservatives can hinder our health. Rapeseed oil has no artificial preservatives, plus it is also GM free too!

#5: Rapeseed oil compliments various dietary requirements

When it comes to our dietary requirements, we have a wide variety of eating options available to us – from gluten-free and vegetarian, to Halal and Kosher. Luckily, Rapeseed oil is suitable for them all – well worth bearing in mind when you’re next catering for someone with dietary requirements.

Finally, Rapeseed oil is so incredibly versatile, whatever your needs and requirements. It can be used for baking, roasting, frying and even marinades, dips, dressings and yes – even massaging – so, why not opt for a healthier lifestyle and switch your usual oil for Rapeseed today?

Comment

Readers Favourite Recipe - Easy herby roasted vegetables in Rapeseed oil

1 Comment

Readers Favourite Recipe - Easy herby roasted vegetables in Rapeseed oil

We recently asked on social media for your favourite recipes using Rapeseed oil and so we are sharing the receipt but also why these recipes work particularly well. 

Easy herby roasted vegetables in Rapeseed oil

Rapeseed makes an excellent roasting oil for your vegetables. Why? Well it has a really delicate flavour, enabling you to taste the vegetables, not the oil you’re cooking them in. It can also be used at high temperatures, without you worrying if it’s going to smoke and burn. 

Added to this, Rapeseed oil is a rich source of vitamin E, omega 3, 6 and 9 AND it’s high in poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats – making it a healthier option to other cooking fats.

This makes it perfect for roasting your vegetables in, whether you want them as part of your Sunday lunch or an additional side dish to your weekday meals.

Remember, vegetables will shrink when roasted, so make sure you add in extra, to ensure there’s enough to go round!

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons of Rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary

I teaspoon of fresh thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Peeled vegetables of your choice – here’s some options to pick from:

Carrots – halved

Parsnips – quartered

Swede – dice or wedge

Sweet potato – dice or wedge

Onions – quartered (or opt for small, trimmed onions)

Method:

  1. Combine 3 tablespoons of Rapeseed oil with the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Add in the vegetables and using your hand, mix together until the vegetables are coated.
  3. Place in a single layer on a baking tray and drizzle over the remaining 1 tablespoon of Rapeseed oil.
  4. Roast at 200oC/gas mark 6 for 45-55 minutes.
  5. Check the vegetables every 10-15 minutes. Toss them around in the oil, as this will help keep them from sticking and to avoid burning the edges of the vegetables.
  6. Once vegetables are tender and golden brown, you can take them out and serve. If you like, you can also add a knob of butter, just before serving.

If you have a favourite recipe using Rapeseed oil, send it to Amanda on amanda@duchessoil.co.uk or add them to our Facebook page - we would love to share them with our readers.

1 Comment

1 Comment

Slugs

tumblr_m9vy9jYJzh1r5fuhjo1_250.jpg

These photos are of a few rapeseed plants in the first stages of growth and on the whole the crops are looking great. Pest control is key at this stage, the crop is so vulnerable and it only takes the smallest of nibbles to loose the plant completely. The obvious ones are pigeons and rabbits but the slightly more elusive pests are slugs and beetles. The two middle photos show the damage these guys do (left/mid photo is a slug and right/mid photo is a beetle). The bottom photo is a slug trap, these give me an idea of how many slugs are in the field. I can then make a decision of what to do next based on that information. As you may have guessed the top photo is a beauty! and having just planted more than 50 million seeds I hope to find many more! 

 

1 Comment