I get excited when I see the produce I am growing in my allotment (half plot size) so try to imagine the sight of the 15 acre Innovation Garden on the Hammond Food Oils and Hammond Produce's trial garden!
I was taken to a marquee in the middle of this 15 acres thinking this was a sort of Great British Bake Off but with veggies! I was there to learn about their cold pressed rapeseed oil branded as Borderfields.
At their Innovation Gardens, a 15 acre site they grow vegetables on a small scale trial basis to see if they are the sort of plant they want to grow commercially. We were shown around the rows of beautiful and colourful vegetables.
But we were really there to learn all about their range of cold pressed rapeseed oils.
Rapeseed oil can be used instead of any oil for any purpose such as frying, baking, stir frying except deep fat frying. It has a high smoke point allowing its use with higher heats before it burns. It has half the saturated fat than olive oils, is high in Omega 3 & 6 (vital for good health and brain function) and high in Vitamin E.
You can easily trade across and use cold pressed rapeseed oil instead of olive oil and trade up replacing vegetable or sunflower oils for cold pressed rapeseed oil.
Borderfields currently have 25% of the cold pressed rapeseed oil market but there is scope for a lot of growth in this area. They currently produce 1,500 bottles per hour and are enlarging their range of flavour infused oils which currently includes Chili, garlic, lemon, garlic and ginger (a stir fry's best friend!), basil and original, pure cold pressed rapeseed oil.
I have rainbow chard on my allotment but these were amazing and beautiful. Chef Philippe Wavrin demonstrated three recipes each using the Borderfields cold pressed rapeseed oil.
This mayonnaise was so easy to make that I will definitely be giving it a try. Note the beautiful golden colour that comes from the oil. You can add fresh herbs, lemon zest or other subtle flavourings.
I tried a vegetable I had seen but never tried before called kohlrabi. It is a relative of the turnip family and I naturally assummed it would be bitter. It is really mild with a slightly sweet taste and perfect to cut into thin match sticks and dress with the rapeseed oil mayo above.
The winds were howling and the skies were grey but between showers we got out into the fields to find out just exactly what was growing.
Even the weather couldn't keep us from the vegetable patch.
Wish my cabbages had grown so beautifully! I think the wind in the fields blew all the bugs away!
Phil the head gardener of this project picked samples and told us all about them before slicing thin strips for is to taste. You cannot beat the taste of a radish just pulled from the soil!
The only rainbow wasn't in the sky but the different collections of vegetables and in ths case the beetroot.
Or the cauliflower collection!!
After our brisk walk around the rows of vegetables we went inside the marquee for a colourful, healthy and delicious lunch all based on the vegetables growing outside and using Borderfields cold pressed rapeseed oil.
Baked Beets with Pomegranate, Orange, Basil & Feta
Fennel Risotto with Ricotta & Dried Chilli
Lemon & Garlic Rainbow Chard
Mixed Cauliflower Rice
Even the serviettes had vegetable on them!
After a delicious and healthy lunch we had Purple Carrot Cheesecakes! There is not a child on this planet that could detect this was made with carrots! It was really creamy, tasty and beautiful.
A cup of coffee, wellies off and we were ready to get our trains home. Armed with some fresh veg and a range of the rapeseed oils we left planning to switch to a healthier oil!
I was a guest of Borderfields and Hammond Food Oils to visit their Innovation Garden outside Nottingham. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions and photos are my own.