Last weekend I spent a beautiful day hanging out in Woolwich, Ontario baking up a storm with Canola Eat Well. It was so much fun! Although I’m no stranger to baking, I must admit that I had never given much thought as to where canola comes from, so I was happy to have the chance to get up close and personal with it. Canola is grown by over 43,000 family farmers on the Canadian Prairies. Chefs and cooks choose canola oil because it’s local, healthy, versatile.
Charmian Christine is a talented baker and cookbook author of the Messy Baker. She led the workshop that day and gave us tips about using canola oil. “When you see a recipe that calls for vegetable oil, you can use canola oil.” Why would you want to do this? Swapping for canola oil is healthier (canola has the lowest saturated fats) and doesn’t affect the taste of your dish.
Together, we tackled and baked 6 recipes using canola oil, under the expert eye of Charmian. We made Mini Rum Cakes, Chocolate Chip & Walnut cookies, Cranberry Pistachio Baklava Pockets, Poppy Seed Bars with Citrus Icing, Crostoli and Dark Cherry Brownies.
I was on team Mini Rum Cakes. We used Pristine Gourmet Canola in our cakes. They were easy to make and came out super moist and packed with flavour.
Have you ever seen canola before? So tiny! We had a lot of fun doing “The Crush.” This involved crushing the canola seeds to see what was inside.
The farmers do this test to determine when to harvest. When they are crushing the canola seeds, they are looking for all yellow seeds. If a green seed is spotted, it’s immature and not yet ready. The crushers should have all yellow inside for optimal harvest. Pretty cool.
I need to take a moment to talk about where we did this workshop. The workshop was hosted at the Olde Bridge Place and Inn, one of the most beautiful bed and breakfasts that I’ve ever been to. Dee Brun, the owner, hosted us in her home, but you can bet the same level of detail and care has gone into the two independent suites on the property available to stay in. I’ve just added this to my Ontario wishlist. Did I mention that it’s super close to one of my favourite bridges in the GTA, the only covered bridge in Ontario.
Do you bake with canola oil? To find out more about baking and cooking with canola, visit www.CanolaEatWell.com.
Are you in a baking mood?Get your hands on the Messy Baker cookbook by Charmian Christine here.