Why Sunflower Oil?
It seems that Sunflower oil is new to the kitchen. Everyone is familiar with Olive oil and vegetable oil but we don’t know what to do with Sunflower oil.
Talking to Eastern Europeans at the markets they are very familiar with cold pressed sunflower oil. They say that Kricklewood Farm Sunflower oil is just like the oil they had at home. Wow! One would think that Sunflower oil came from Europe to North America. The truth is quite different.
Sunflowers are a native North American plant and it is believed that sunflowers were the first domesticated crop by Native Americans, even before corn. The Sunflower seed was an important part of the diet and the seed was squeezed for the oil to be used in making bread. Talk about a long history!
So why is sunflower oil better known in Eastern Europe than in Canada? In the 1500’s early Spanish explorers took this native exotic plant to Europe as an ornamental flower. In the 1800’s the medicinal and culinary uses of sunflower oil became known. Sunflower oil began to be commercially produced by 1830 in Russia. Sunflower oil was and is widely used in Russia and other Eastern European countries.
From Russia the sunflower came to Canada. As the sunflower was in important crop in Russia, the Russian immigrants to Canada brought it with them back to North America. The first sunflower crushing plant was built in 1946. The sunflower oil story has continued from there.
Not all sunflower oils are the same, however. There are different varieties of sunflower oil seeds and there are different ways of processing the seeds to get the oil. These different variations result in different oils.
Kricklewood Farm Sunflower Oil starts with an organic sunflower seed which is grown using natural farming methods. No herbicide or pesticides are used. The resulting crop is dried on the field and stored until ready to be pressed. The seed is cold pressed. This means that the seeds are slowly squeezed without added heat until the oil is released. The only heat used is from friction as the seeds are slowly squeezed together. The temperature is monitored to ensure a high quality oil. We let the newly pressed oil settle so that the fine particles of the sunflower seed float the bottom. We lightly filter the oil to remove any additional fine particles from being bottled.
The result is a pure and natural unrefined oil with a sunny sunflower seed taste. It has a light nutty and buttery flavour which is delicious used raw or in low heat cooking. Drizzle over steamed vegetables, toss with pasta or use in a salad dressing. Enjoy great flavour when sautéeing, roasting and baking.
How do I cook with Sunflower Oil?
Kricklewood Farm Sunflower is Cold Pressed from non GMO Sunflower Seed and is a low smoke point oil, so best used raw or in low heat dishes. It has a light buttery flavour which can be used in place of butter to drizzle over vegetables or as a starter for a vinaigrette recipe. We offer a few suggestions in our Recipes Blog.
How did we get started?
We are Dale Horeczy and Brad Daily, owners of Kricklewood Farm. We both grew up on the prairies with vast fields of sunflowers in the countryside of southern Manitoba. After time spent in Montréal and Atlanta we returned to our Canadian roots and settled in eastern Ontario to be nearer to family but not too close to the cold of ‘Winterpeg’.
We planned a move to the country after having some experience with backyard chickens, honey bees and goats in Atlanta and in 2009 found a classic Ontario stone house in the village of Frankville on 90 acres with a timber frame barn from the 1850’s.
A life in the country was a lifestyle change prompted by wanting to get closer to where the food is grown. We wanted to support local farmers and contribute to the local food scene by making a product not already available.
We had 90 acres in total with 30 acres of woods and 60 acres of fields. We found out that the 60 acres could grow sunflowers which could then be cold pressed in small batches to produce sunflower oil. We found our niche since no locally grown and pressed edible oil was available at the markets. After a year of research we decided to grow a high oleic sunflower seed which will result in a heart healthy sunflower oil with a great taste. We researched the types of oil presses in the market and decided on a small screw press which would facilitate the small batch processing they wanted.
In 2012 the first Kricklewood Farm crop was planted and in 2013 the first Kricklewood Farm cold pressed Sunflower Oil was pressed and introduced to the market.
Where can I buy your products?
Look for our products in many owner operated stores in Eastern Ontario including Wendys Country Market, Foodsmiths Garden Market, B&H Grocery, Kudrinko's, Tara Foods and others. You can also find our products in select Farm Boy, Sobeys, Metro and Independent Grocer locations. Visit our Store Finder page for the complete list.
We also participate in many market events in Eastern Ontario, unfortunately most have been cancelled in 2020 due to Covid 19. We will post details about upcoming events on our MARKET EVENTS page or our Facebook Page.