I love Rapeseed.

Rapeseed in flower

It is so quintessentially British and stunningly beautiful.

My work has taken me up and down the M1 and M40 these past few weeks trudging through the most hideous weather known to our isles for some time and it must be said that even for an optimistic girl like me, it can drag you down. All that rain is just not normal. And just as I squint through the wipers in despair to the length of motorway ahead of me, I see yellow. How good is yellow as a colour? Sunshine amongst all that rain. In fact I once did a colour analysis course and there was lots to say about yellow. It’s pretty easy to understand.

I also remember when I left M&S the lovely team in our creative studio presented me with my own business cards designed by the head designer. When I opened them up, the whole back of the card was….bright yellow. I have to say that when they said I was clearly a yellow person, I wanted to say that I thought I was more purple. Purple is my favourite colour as well as having all those regal and spiritual connotations. But they insisted I was yellow and now I am glad they did. Yellow it has been ever since then and yellow it will remain.

A slice of sunny fields

So I smile to myself when I see those fields and that is essentially what rapeseed makes us do. Smile. A ray of sunshine in what can be (and has been for far too long) a grey and cloudy day. Ironically all that rain just makes the rape glow even more. And it isn’t just my state of mind that benefits from this beautiful field of loveliness. It is incredibly healthy too. It has:

– the lowest saturated fat content of any oil…less than half that of olive oil

– 10 times more Omega 3 than olive oil and rich in both Omega 3 and Omega 6

– and is a good source of vitamin E

It also has a high smoke point making it the best oil to cook with…and it’s locally produced.

So what’s not to like?

I realise that some wonder about its a distinctive flavour but I like the neutral wheatiness of it. And as a good ol’ Yorkshire lass, I support the lovely Wharfe Valley product made by the Kilby family at their Collingham farm in my home county.

Wharfe Valley rapeseed oil comes in all sorts of varieties

The lovely Sallyann used to bring me bottlefuls of this golden potion to sell at Harewood House and it made a great local gift. Ever since I was introduced to it, rapeseed oil has remained a staple in my kitchen. The chilli oil is a great ingredient for stir fries, mayonnaise is richer and creamier for it and the smoked one was amazing in meat cooking to add another depth of flavour.

So go on and support British. Try rapeseed oil instead of all the usual suspects and bring a ray of sunshine into your life.