Barbecue Healthy This Summer With Canola!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Summer is finally here so it’s time to light up the grill, grab some cold drinks, blast fun tunes and invite your favourite people over to relish in the beloved BBQ season! Luckily for me, my first BBQ of the year happened to be a Canadian Made BBQ Kick Off with Chef Matt Basile (owner of Fidel Gastro’s, Cookbook author & TV personality) in conjunction with the Canola Connect Culinary Workshop Series.


The Canadian-themed BBQ took place at the lovely home of Joanna Sable, where we indulged in local food and beverage while learning about Canola Oil from Canola Farmers and Experts.  We had a chance to chat with Canadian Farmer, Jeannette Andrashewski, who shared some touching stories about her family's passion for farming and how great it feels to be providing Canadian's with the food we eat and buy everyday. The backyard was also decorated in true Canadian flair to really enhance the essence of the evening.  We even wrote down our own birthday wishes for Canada's 150th and hung them up around the yard.



As we wrote down our birthday wishes and mingled with one another, Chef Matt Basile was preparing a truly Canadian BBQ using local meats, produce and Canola Oil in just about every dish he made.  I was curious as to why Matt uses Canola Oil when barbecuing and learned from him that it's because it has a higher tolerance to heat compared to other oils. The higher heat tolerance helps reduce burnt meat and unwanted carcinogens.  The oil is also light in flavour, making it the perfect choice to toss your veggies and meats in before adding them to the grill.


Since Chef Basile is an avid user of Canola Oil, he wanted to share with us some easy ways to incorporate Canola Oil in every day cooking. After making his delicious potato salad dressing from scratch, he led us on our own Sauce and Marinade Making Challenge. He paired us up into teams and provided us with an assortment of condiments, spices, herbs and a bottle of Canola Oil to use as a base for our sauce. Matt mentioned that Canola Oil is an ideal choice when making sauces because it doesn’t congeal in the fridge. I thought this was a really important takeaway as I can't stand when certain oil based sauces solidify in the fridge.  It was a lot of fun making our own sauces and I love that Canola Oil really absorbed the flavour of the spices and herbs we added.  



Another fun activity that we took park in was crushing Canola Seeds with Canola Growers’ Ellen Pruden.  Ellen showed us the tiny dark seeds that make Canola Oil and taught us about the planting and harvesting process.  We even got to crush the seeds to see if they were ripe enough to be used, a process that farmers use to determine if the seeds are ready to turn into Canola Oil.



After all the fun and games, it was time to feast on the incredible spread prepared by Chef Basile.  Paired with the dishes were wine's from Two Sisters Vineyards.

Smoked Crostini & Pork Belly BLT Wrap

Red Potato & Mustard Salad

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Bison Ribeye

Hot Honey Smoked Duck Wings

PEI Mussels

We all sat at our very Canadian tables, said EH a lot, and thoroughly enjoyed our meal.  I’m so grateful for the invite to such an informative event with like-minded health conscious foodies who all share a mutual love for homegrown Canadian products. 



Here are some healthy facts and tips for barbecuing with Canola Oil this summer:

  • Canola oil has a smoke point of 242C (468F) so it is an excellent choice when using high heat
  • With the lowest amount of saturated fat of any leading oil in your supermarket it also contains a good amount of heart healthy monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acid 
  • Make your own meat and vegetable marinades using canola oil as a base.  Canola oil has a neutral flavour, so when you add spices and herbs, the oil absorbs the flavours 
  • Canoil oil is grown right here in Canada, that is reason enough to pick up a bottle the next time you’re out grocery shopping
  • Drizzle Canola Oil on final dishes for added flavour and presentation 
Thank you to Branding & Buzzing, Canola Eat Well, Joanna Sable, Two Sisters Vineyards, Chef Matt Basile and all of the amazing guests for a fantastic evening


For more information, visit www.canolaeatwell.com for recipes, nutrition facts or more information about canola oil. Canola Eat Well is a joint partnership between Alberta Canola and Manitoba Canola Growers. Choose canola oil because it’s local, healthy, versatile!

Photography by Josh Tenn-Yuk courtesy of Canola Eat Well 


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