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Recipes - Everyday ways to use omega3/6 rich oils

By Christine Bailey MSc PGCE MBANT

Looking for ideas to maximise your intake of omega-rich oils? Whether for yourself or clients, instead of just swallowing a spoonful each morning, why not incorporate them into recipes and foods. Not only will this increase client compliance but you’ll find these ideas useful for making long-term dietary changes, with the whole family in mind. 

It is the balance of omega 3, 6 and 9 oils that is important to health. For a long time, there has, perhaps, been an over-emphasis on increasing omega 3 oils, which could potentially imbalance cell membrane health. From a functional perspective, maintaining the correct balance in the body is more desirable for long-term health. Making use of omega blended oils as well as flax seed, hemp, rape seed and nut and seed oils can, therefore, be beneficial (see box for sources). In addition, they often have a more subtle flavour which clients can find more palatable.

Omega 3 oils are particularly sensitive to heat and light and so should not be used for frying, baking or other high temperature cooking.  Keep them refrigerated and use within 6-8 weeks of opening.

Savoury Ideas

Dips and pâtés: Add to hummus, guacamole, tzatziki, bean, meat and fish pâtés. Mix with a little balsamic vinegar for a tasty dip for bread or add to sweet chilli dipping oil for a healthy twist.

Garlic oil: Instead of garlic butter crush some garlic and mix into seed oils then drizzle over toasted breads.

Herb oils: Crush up thyme and rosemary leaves or your favourite herbs and add to a bottle of omega balance oil, then use to drizzle over bruschetta, cooked or raw foods, or use as a dressing.

Pestos: Instead of olive oil, use an omega balance oil when making pesto, then use to stir through cooked pasta or grains or make into a dip. 

Soups and stews: Drizzle over cooked soups, casseroles, stews, gratins, steamed veggies and corn on the cob.

Cottage cheese: Add a spoonful to plain or flavoured cottage cheese. 

Go for mash: Add to mashed potato or mashed root vegetables.

Tomato sauce and salsas: Add to cooked tomato sauce, homemade ketchup, spicy salsas and chutneys.

Popcorn topper: Simply drizzle over hot fresh popcorn.

Flaxseed mayo: Instead of olive oil use flax seed or a blended omega oil when making homemade mayonnaise.  Try 1 egg, a pinch of salt and sugar, cayenne pepper or paprika and 2 tsp lemon juice with 150-180ml (5-6floz or 1/2 - 3/4 cup) of an omega blended oil. Add some crushed garlic to flavour, if desired.

Creamy dressings: Add to a yogurt-based dressing for potato or pasta salad. Make up a creamy tahini dressing for salads with a spoonful each of tahini, omega rich oil, soy sauce and a dash of lemon juice. Thin with water, if necessary.

Something Sweet

Protein shakes: A great way to start the day, add a spoonful to your protein shake.

Smoothies and milkshakes: An easy way to sneak these oils into children’s diets.

Ice lollies: Simply make up a smoothie type mixture, add a spoonful of essential oil and freeze in lolly moulds.

Baked fruits: Roast some peaches or other fruit in the oven. Mix together a spoonful of omega oil with a spoonful of honey and drizzle over the fruit just before serving.

Fruit sauces: Blend up some soft fruits and add a spoonful of oil to make a healthy sauce for pancakes or fruit dishes. 

Yogurt and cream desserts: Spoon oil into plain or fruit yogurts, yogurt and cream desserts.

Rice pudding and porridge: Mix with a little maple syrup or honey and drizzle over cooked porridge or rice pudding before serving.

Chocolate mousse: Make up a scrummy chocolate mousse by blending together melted dark chocolate, silken tofu, orange juice and a spoonful of essential omega oil.    

Apple sauce: Cook and puree up some apple with honey or xylitol, if needed, and a spoonful of omega oil.

OMEGA 3 RICH OILS            OMEGA 6 RICH OILS

Flax seed oil                         Sesame oil

Hemp oil                              Sunflower and safflower oils

Walnut oil                             Most nut oils

Pumpkin seed oil                   Rice bran oil

                   Omega balance 3:6:9 oils

 

Super Salad Dressings

Nut and seed oils and omega blended oils make wonderful salad dressings and can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Typically, a ratio of oil to vinegar in a vinaigrette is three parts oil to one part vinegar but you can try 2:1 or 1:1 instead. Add extra flavour with fruit, cider or balsamic vinegars, lemon or lime juice and spice up with a little ginger, garlic, minced onion, soy sauce or grated lemon peel.

Ginger and Lime Soy Dressing: Blend together the juice and zest of 2 limes, 1 tsp freshly grated ginger, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp sesame oil, 4 tbsp hemp oil or flax seed oil.

Pomegranate and Raspberry dressing: Blend the juice of 1 pomegranate, 2 tbsp raspberry or balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp essential balance oil.

Lemon and Mint: Mix together:

  • 1 tbsp flax seed or other essential omega oil, 2 tsp lemon juice,
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint with a pinch of sugar and black pepper. 

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