All of us remember quite a few things from our childhood and stuff from grandma's kitchen would always make it to the list! While we were deciding the packaging for our products, especially oils, I recollect that old tibor made of iron and bronze with wooden plug tucked away in the kitchen at my grandparent’s house. The antique beauty would always catch my eye. Turns out, those were the containers used for oil storage back in the day.
Slowly they were replaced by glass containers and then to plastic. But grandma never gave up on her tibor and glass jars! Yes, with enough love and care anything can last for generations.
Our household was pretty big on coconuts. Meals were primarily cooked in coconut oil. And the oil was stored with utmost care. Not just special containers but special spots too! Cause the truth is if anyone tells you that oils don’t go bad, then that’s not true!
Ever noticed your beautiful translucent virgin coconut oil suddenly turning yellow and chunky? Or green /brown spots on top? Also, the strange mouldy smell, that’s hard to miss! In that case, the oil has definitely gone bad and is absolutely unsuitable for consumption. And unfortunately, it is time to toss it away or use it in compost.Even though cold-pressed oils are stable at room temperature they are perishable products. Oils, especially cold-pressed oils have a tendency to go rancid much before the expiry date. Simply because cold-pressed oils are free of chemical solvents!
There aren’t any special tricks to make them last a decade but there are some simple tips passed down for generations that can improve the shelf-life of your beloved cold pressed oils!
So, Tip #1: Keep it away from sunlight and warm temperature.
Cold pressed oils are free of solvents and other synthetic additives, that causes them to lose flavour and aroma faster than your refined oils. Proper storage is of utmost importance. Usually, oils are stored where they are most easily accessible in our kitchen and sometimes these accessible places are by the window where sunlight comes and could get hotter during summer or near the hob where the temperature is always on the higher side.
Sunlight and temperature fluctuations tend to break the oil and deteriorate its quality. If you do buy cold press oil in large quantities, especially since they are expensive, it becomes economical to buy in bulk, then I would suggest removing a small quantity for everyday use and storing the rest in a dry and dark place. This will protect the oil from oxidation.
You could keep the oils in the fridge if you need to keep them for longer. You could keep them out for a few hours before using in case they solidify. Refrigeration is fine but do not keep them in the freezer.
During winter the cold pressed oils may solidify or look cloudy. However, you can place the container or the bottle in hot water. The warmth will defrost the oil and return to the usual texture in 15-20mins. Or if it is in a jar you can scoop out the oil and use it for cooking directly.
Tip #2: Switch to glass jars or Stainless Steel containers.
Glass jars or bottles are most recommended. In fact, all our products are packed in glass jars and bottles simply because glass does not damage the ingredients it contains. It allows the oils to remain fresh for longer. Plastic containers may seep some chemicals into the products altering their taste and composition. Another option is stainless steel containers! They are known for being environment-friendly, durable and reliable. Stainless steel containers have been part of everyone’s kitchen since the beginning of the 20th century. The metal does not affect the oil stored in it and preserves the content without altering it in any suboptimal way.
How to tell if your oil has gone bad?
Knowing whether or not your food has gone bad is an important part of being a responsible cook. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to tell if your oil has gone bad.
Here are 3 easy ways to make that decision -
#1 The best way is to use your nose. Smell the oil. If it smells like anything other than a fresh oil smell then you know it's gone bad. You can also taste the oil. If it has a bitter or metallic taste it has gone bad.
#2 You can also look at the oil. If it is darker than a honey colour it has gone bad. Another way to tell if your oil has gone bad is to see if it is foaming or frothing when you pour it. If it is foaming or frothing then it has gone bad.
#3 The last way to tell if your oil has gone bad is to see if the bottle has been opened for a long period of time. If the bottle has been opened for a long period of time it has gone bad.
Cold-pressed Oils by Local Sparrow
To make your life a little easier, we pack all our cold-pressed oils in glass containers.
Our coconut oil is made by turning the fresh coconut kernel with all nutrition intact and can be used for cooking, oil pulling, skin and hair massages, baby nappy rashes and more.
Our cold-pressed sunflower oil, mustard oil and groundnut oil is procured from farmers who follow traditional farming practices without using harmful pesticides or chemicals. Heirloom variety of seeds is used for our cold-pressed sesame oil. The oils are made in small batches and tested to meet nutritional guidelines. We do not add any colours or flavours to bring an artificial consistency to our products.
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