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Photos courtesy of Ulli’s Oil Mill LLC
Ulrike ‘Ulli’ Sitter

BY TAMMY SCILEPPI

During extremely stressful times, it helps to look inward and find solace in the little things that bring you joy and comfort.

These days, many folks have been focusing on life’s simple pleasures: cooking, self-care, revamping their spaces, enjoying quality time with family members and pets.

What a perfect time to try out new, all-natural recipes and artisan skin care products. So, if you’re looking for something really different, you can juj up your dishes and pamper yourself with Austrian-inspired, organic goodness.  And seed oil goddess, Ulrike ‘Ulli’ Sitter, has got you covered.

The Austrian-born entrepreneur describes her artisanal offerings as “delicious and full of nutrients,” and promises that “their rich flavors will elevate your cooking and self-care regimen.”

The magic happens at the Entrepreneur Space in Long Island City, where Ulli’s Oil Mill, LLC, churns out small batches of these fresh, stamp-pressed oils lovingly extracted from special oil seeds – locally grown in upstate New York – that are naturally infused with good-for-you omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

“After gently pressing my oil seeds, I transform the press cake from the seed oil into an up-cycled protein powder as a side product. My proteins are freshly milled and ideal for plant-based diet recipes, such as gluten-free baking, sauces, a substitute for flour, and sprinkled in salads,” Ulli explained.

Then the oil seeds are transferred into a one-ton stamp press. The machine presses the seeds very gently and slowly, so no frictional heat is generated — as opposed to expeller-pressed — creating fresh batches.

“I press my oils in small batches on demand, so the oils are as fresh as possible. We then let the oils filter naturally,” she added.

There are three oil extraction methods:

  1. Chemical extraction with hexane, which is then evaporated
  2. Expeller-pressed, which always causes frictional heat;
  3. Stamp-pressing (the technique Ulli’s Oil Mill uses), a century-old method to press oils, used in Austria to make the famous Austrian pumpkin seed oil.

“Supermarket oils are filtered, refined, bleached, and deodorized to increase shelf life. Therefore, there’s not much nutritional value remaining in those oils,” Ulli noted. “My oils are full of taste and are fantastic finishing oils to drizzle over your cooked dishes.”

For example, Styrian Pumpkin is packed with calcium, iron, and magnesium; these are only a few minerals in this deliciously nutty finishing oil. You can also use the raps oil for cooking.

Ulli’s Oil Mill makes five different oils and proteins.

“I personally love the Camelina oil on steamed vegetables and in dips. I also use it as my skin moisturizer. Sometimes, I make a face mask out of yogurt and Camelina oil. As for the hemp oil, I love using it in a pasta salad, and on steak. I also use it as a calming and balancing face oil,” Ulli noted. “As for the protein powders, I mainly sprinkle it on my yogurt and in smoothies. Also, I adore the raps oil on steamed mushrooms as it brings out the buttery and nutty taste; it’s fantastic in mashed potatoes instead of cream. Additionally, it makes a very rich nourishing skin oil.”

When purchasing Ulli’s Oil Mill products, you can help build up a local seed oil culture here in New York, connecting local farms to local markets and enhancing biodiversity, according to Ulli, who noted that the Camelina sativa plant, for example, attracts 80 different wild bee varieties.

Ulli learned her craft from talented oil millers in Austria, Germany and Slovenia, the Manhattanite who once worked in finance, enjoys a holistic and vegan, plant-based lifestyle (she still eats eggs and milk products occasionally).

She said her customers include health conscious families, foodies, vegans, farmers market visitors, international people who grew up with these seed oils, and Germans and Austrians who are familiar with pumpkin seed oils.

“Hopefully, after everything calms down, I can rotate at the various New York farmers markets again,” she added.

To purchase organic products from Ulli’s Oil Mill, visit www.ullisoilmill.com or www.doorstep.market. You can also find them at Foragers Market in Chelsea. Prices range between $15 and $22 for 3.4 oz/100ml bottles, and from $30 to $55 for 7 oz/250ml bottles.

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