Hudson Valley Sunflower Oil Tour
Is sunflower oil healthy? Yes! Sunflower Oil is amazing and great for all sorts of cooking. Check out some recipes and more information about my tour of the Hudson Valley sunflower fields!
Have you tried Sunflower Oil?
Some of the health benefits of this amazing oil include:
- 380 degree smoke point (GREAT for cooking!)
- High in Monounsaturated Fat
- High Omega 9
- High Levels of Vitamin E
- Great for your skin
- Light, nutty flavor
Sunflower oil is great for:
- sauté, stir fry, deep fry, and baking
- add it to homemade soaps and lotions
- makes wonderful salad dressings
I had the opportunity to visit family owned and operated Hudson Valley Cold Pressed Oils and see firsthand how Sunflower Oil is made. An amazing process, these beautiful flowers and delicious seeds create a deeply rich and delicious cooking oil. Hudson Valley Cold Pressed Oils uses the cold-pressed process, which preserves the integrity and health benefits of the oil.
The first step in the process is allowing the fields of sunflowers to dry in the field itself. Typically the sunflowers reach full bloom in August then spend the next couple of months drying and eventually head to production in October.
When the sunflowers dry, the yellow falls off and all the seeds underneath turn dark and dry up naturally.
These dried seeds go directly into the oil presses, which churn out 3 gallons of sunflower oil per hour. What is left look like hard black pellets that contain 22% protein from the sunflower seeds. These pellets are given to local farms and used to feed local cattle. Below you can see the pellets in the left jar versus the dried seeds in the right.
Once the oil is pressed, it connects to a “filling station,” where everything is done by hand. The bottles are filled, labeled, and corked by in a process that takes approximately 7 to 8 minutes per bottle. That’s a lot of love and work!
Allison and Jeff, both Culinary Institute of America trained chefs, treated me to a sunflower oil tasting. My favorite dish was this Coconut “Almond Joy” non-dairy ice cream dessert – amazing!
Allison is also experimenting with a variety of body products, including sugar skin scrubs and lip balms.
Such a wonderful day, thanks to the Hudson Valley Oils family!
Below is the recipe for that delicious dessert, be sure to check out their other recipes here
- 2 cans coconut milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ -1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup cold pressed sunflower oil
- Place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer the night before.
- Whisk together ½ cup of coconut milk and cornstarch until well mixed. Set aside. Place a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add remaining coconut milk, granulated sugar, and salt, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add milk/cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil. Once coconut milk is boiling stir continuously for 2 minutes, until thick and cornstarch is completely cooked. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
- In a large bowl create an ice bath with ice, water and salt. Place a smaller bowl inside of it.
- Transfer mixture to the smaller bowl sitting in the ice bath. Stir the mixture until it starts to cools. Then blend the Sunflower oil into the mixture and whisk thoroughly to incorporate the oil. Set the bowl in the fridge for a few hours or even over night to chill. Then pour it into an ice cream machine. You should have ice cream in approximately 15-20 minutes. Add the chocolate chips when the ice cream has reached your desired thickness. You may need to mix in with a spoon or a rubber spatula.
- Add desired toppings to your ice cream. The flavor will resemble the taste of an Almond Joy Bar.