If you tuned in to my last post, you may recall that I recently purchased a bottle of flaxseed oil on sale because (a) I wanted to be more like Gwyneth Paltrow (who is convinced that it’s healthy and feeds it by the spoonful to herself and her kids) and (b) I was interested in finding out what all the fuss was for.
You may also recall that I did a little bit of research and discovered that it’s best to eat flaxseed oil cold rather than to cook with it, since higher temperatures can make it rancid. More than just tasting bad, “rancid” describes any oil that’s lost its anti-carcinogenic properties and may actually be toxic to the liver and your health.
I decided to make flaxseed oil mayonnaise using a variation of a recipe by Melissa Joulwan of theclothesmakethegirl.com fame. Every other time I’ve made this recipe, using either light-tasting olive oil or extra virgin olive oil, I have to restrain myself from eating the entire jar in one sitting like a normal person might do with a half-pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
The flaxseed oil mayonnaise looked exactly as it should, off-white in color and nicely coagulated. I dipped a finger into the colloid and stuck it in my mouth, and
Further investigation revealed that flaxseed oil can become rancid in more ways than just cooking with it. Here’s what Dallas and Melissa Hartwig have to say about rancid seed oils in their book, It Starts With Food:
The first concern with… seed oils has to do with their stability when exposed to external stressors like air, light, and heat…. [They] are so vulnerable that even at room temperature and in indirect light (like the kind you find in the grocery store), oxidation occurs inside the bottle…
Essentially, oxidation bullies, beats up and destroys all of the anti-oxidants that these oils are so famous for and makes them bad. Actually, more than just bad. Toxic!
I looked up bitter-tasting flaxseed oil and discovered that it’s probably rancid, which is probably why it was on sale in the first place. If you ever do wish to buy flaxseed oil, your best bet is to get it from the refrigerator in a natural foods store.
But seriously, just eat lard instead.