All is well with the cold-pressed oils


A few days ago, I was talking to a client about native regional trees, and about coconut trees. She complained, “when coconuts fall there is no one left to pick them”.

A few days ago, I was talking to a client about native regional trees, and about coconut trees. She complained, “when coconuts fall there is no one left to pick them”. The low social status associated with tree climbing has led to an outflux of youth from this once traditional vocation.

As a child, I vividly recall a man climbing trees to deftly pick all the coconuts. My grandmother would sun-dry the kernels and the kopparai (dry coconut) would be sent to the mara chekku (cold-pressed oil). This homemade oil was used for body massage and other grooming needs, but not for cooking because of its high cholesterol content.

In the last few years though awareness about the nutritional value and health benefits of traditional wood pressed or cold-pressed coconut oil is now changing perceptions in most homes including mine.
Natural antioxidants are present in seeds and cold-pressing them extracts their oils, while their intrinsic goodness, healing qualities and anti-inflammatory ingredients are preserved. This method was used for fruits and vegetables to make juice. The same has been applied to oil seeds as well. With the elimination of heat in the extractive operation, the oxidation process is slowed.

The local mara chekku uses a slow mechanical process at ambient temperature while separating the oil from nuts and seeds. Importantly, cold-pressed oils have a low smoking point and cooking with them retains the natural aroma and flavours besides nutrition.

Today there are varieties of cold-pressed oils available in the market. It is useful to know those that are local and include them as daily foods. Olive and coconut oils are among the most beneficial of cold-pressed oils. Loaded with natural antioxidants like vitamin E, unrefined cold-pressed olive oil is best when consumed raw. It is sensitive to heat and susceptible to damage during high temperature cooking. While olive oil is imported, coconut oil is locally available. Read more

Source web page :New Indian Express


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