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— Pat Perusse, MD
Pleasant Hill Grain Baking Glossary
Oat Bran – This is the edible, outermost layer of the oat groat kernel. Oat bran has better insoluble fiber content than any other grain bran and also has good protein, vitamin and mineral content. Oat bran is a good addition to bread dough, other baked food, and cereal. Due to their high level of beta-glucan, oats and oat bran are significantly helpful in lowering cholesterol levels and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Oat Groats – A cereal grain high in insoluble fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals which is grown for its seed. It’s both a popular food for human consumption, as well as livestock feed. The plant will grow in a variety of places, but does particularly well in fairly wet climates. One mineral oats are particularly rich in is magnesium—a co-factor to many enzymes which help the digestion system to run well by allowing glucose into the bloodstream and helping insulin from the pancreas control these blood glucose levels. Oats may either be flaked (rolled), cracked, or ground into flour and are nutritional when eaten either cooked or raw. Due to their high levels of beta-glucan, oats are significantly helpful in lowering cholesterol levels as well as maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Oats are also a good source of manganese, selenium, and phosphorus. (See our non-GMO organic oat groats.)
Oils – All cooking oils should be kept in a cool, dark place (dark bottles are great for storage to cut down on oxidation). Taste your oil to know if it’s still good; a metallic taste probably means the oil has gone rancid. It’s best to choose oil that’s undergone minimal processing at a low heat (or no heat, such as some cold-pressed oils).
Almond – Smoke point: 430˚ F. Almond oil contains high amounts of vitamin E, vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium. Contains oleic fatty acid, which helps moisturize and cleanse skin. This oil improves digestion and also acts as a mild laxative. Almond oil also helps give brain clarity and body energy.
Avocado, unrefined, raw – Smoke point: 520˚ F. Suitable for high temperature use, but not as suitable as coconut oil. The light taste of avocado oil probably lends itself better to use on salads than in stir-fries. Avocado oil has many health benefits including high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. This oil is nutritionally comparable to olive oil. Like coconut oil, nut oils, and olive oil this oil is good for promoting healthy hair and skin. Extremely high in oleic fatty acid, this oil is very beneficial for the cardiovascular system.
Canola (rapeseed) – Smoke point: 399˚ F. Our canola oil at Pleasant Hill Grain, much like virgin olive oil, is mechanically expeller pressed without the use of chemicals or solvents and then refined using a proprietary steam filtration process. The result is canola oil that's lower in saturated fat than olive oil, higher in Vitamin E, Omega 3 and Omega 6, and much more versatile in your kitchen because it can be used as either cold or hot oil. It's also GMO free, has zero trans fats, and is the lowest in saturated fat of all oils.
Coconut, unrefined – Smoke point: 351˚ F. Suitable for extremely high temperature use, since even at high heat this oil will maintain its flavor and nutrition. This oil is primarily comprised of saturated fat, so it will solidify at room temperature. If liquid oil is desired, let a jar of coconut oil sit in hot water for a few minutes until the oil has sufficiently melted. This oil has a mild tropical taste, long shelf life and is good for a variety of uses. Lauric acid is the primary fatty acid in coconut oil, and it’s the easiest fatty acid to digest.
Flax – Smoke point: 225˚ F. Good choice for salad dressing. This oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Qualities of flaxseed may prevent against, and interfere with, the growth and spread of cancerous cells as well as benefit a variety of health concerns including inflammation, heart disease, and diabetes.
Hazelnut – Smoke point: 430˚ F. Good choice for salad dressing. Nutrients of this oil include dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, folate, zinc, iron, magnesium, protein, many B vitamins, manganese, and a high fat content which helps the absorption of vitamins. This oil is high is also high in vitamin E content which helps muscles grow strong, skin become healthy, prevents against the disintegration of red blood cells and helps in developing new red blood cells. These no-`cholesterol nuts, high in unsaturated fats, offer oil very beneficial to a healthy cardiovascular system.
Hemp, unrefined – Smoke point: 330˚ F. This oil is high in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids with omega-6 acids being three times more prevalent. This 3:1 ratio is very good for cardiovascular, brain and skin health. Hemp oil is known to reduce inflammation and skin irritation such as eczema and acne. Hemp products contain many vitamins (including vitamin D) and minerals. Hemp oil contains more essential protein than milk, eggs, and meat, as well as more omega-3 acids than any kind of fish.
Olive, extra virgin – Smoke point: 374˚ F. Very low in saturated fats. This oil will create carcinogens if heated to high, as well as losing flavor, so it's is a good choice for salad dressing and to top an already cooked food. It also contains oleic fatty acid, which helps moisturize and cleanse skin. Extra virgin olive oil contains more polyphenols antioxidants than any other olive oil. (See our cold pressed, extra-virgin olive oil.)
Palm – Smoke point: 446˚ F. Suitable for high temperature use. Like coconut oil, this oil is highly saturated and has a long shelf life. It's high in vitamin E content.
Safflower – Smoke point: 509˚ F. Suitable for high temperature use. Could use for salad dressing, but gives hardly any nutritional benefits. Contains practically no omega-3 fatty acids.
Sesame, unrefined –Smoke point: 351˚ F. Good to use occasionally with no or medium-low heat, this is flavorful oil full of antioxidants that tastes especially good in oriental dishes.
Sunflower, high oleic, refined – Smoke point: 320˚ F. Best to avoid since this oil has little taste and few health benefits.
Oven Spring – This is the quick rising of bread within the first few minutes of baking due to rapid fermentation from oven heat. The rise will stop once the yeast within the dough is out of matter to feed on, or once the inner bread heat has reached 140˚ F, killing the yeast. Keeping the crust moist during these first few minutes of baking is beneficial for nice oven spring, so steaming the bread, as well as misting the oven with water are good ideas. It’s important to score dough expected to spring or the bread will break out into unsightly ears around the loaf.