Olive oil is a popular cooking fat these days, and with all popular topics it can be hard to get the basic – need to know facts. We’re breaking down the most popular questions that we hear from people and answering them in a simple way. It’s important that information about this oil is available for users and easy to digest (no pun intended).
Is Olive Oil Healthy?
There may still be some who are trying to argue against olive oil, but that’s getting more difficult to do as more studies become available that showcase it as one of the healthiest fats available on the market. A staple of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil is well documented to be high in antioxidants which can aid in heart health, it’s high in monosaturated fats and can help reduce inflammation, as well as serve a great weight loss aid.
We always encourage you to do your own research, but here is a great article from Olive Oil Times that breaks down the numerous health benefits.
Is All Olive Oil the Same?
While it can be tempting to think that the $5 olive oil from the grocery store is the same as the $20 bottle of extra virgin olive oil you purchase from a specialty retailer, the honest truth is that not all olive oil is created equal.
Starting with the very basics, extra virgin olive oil is going to be the best olive oil to purchase. In order to bear the “extra virgin” designation on the label, the olive oil must be from the first, cold-pressing of the olives. Cold pressing is a method of extracting the oil without using heat or chemicals, ensuring that all the nutritional benefits are maintained in the oil.
Oil that has another label like light or refined are not going to give you the same great health benefits or as rich of a flavor profile. Don’t miss out on all that this great oil has to offer and upgrade your choice – specialty retailers are a great option. Most are locally owned and operated so in addition to getting a delicious oil, you’re also supporting local business.
What Should I Look for When Purchasing Olive Oil?
Read the Label – The first thing to check is the type of oil you’re purchasing and make sure that the label reads extra-virgin. Next, olive oil can go rancid if exposed to light or heat. Make sure the bottle the oil is in is dark in color to protect from light and that it’s not being stored on a shelf in direct sunlight.
Taste the Oil – if it’s an option we suggest trying the olive oil. This is the only real way to make sure it hasn’t gone rancid and while it won’t hurt you to eat a rancid oil, it will definitely give an off flavor to any of the dishes that you’re making. Olive oil should have a fresh, green taste like cut grass and have a peppery after taste.
Yet another reason to purchase from a specialty retailer is that they’re well-versed in proper storage of olive oil and also sell through their product more quickly ensuring that you’re getting a good oil. In addition, they’re likely to have open bottles and let you sample from them to make sure you’re getting the right product for your cooking or baking needs.
How Can I Use My Olive Oil?
Olive Oil is an extremely versatile oil and can be used in everything from deep frying to drizzled on top of a salad. Given the high smoke point of high-quality olive oils, you really can use it everywhere.
Our favorite ways to use it include marinating meat or vegetables in a mixture of oils and paired balsamic vinegars to really get the flavor deep into what you’re cooking. It can also be brushed or drizzled onto anything you’re grilling outside. Pairing an olive oil with a delicious balsamic vinegar and using them in combination as a salad dressing is another great option. If you aren’t much for cooking, and prefer to bake then swap out olive oil for butter or another oil to give your dish a rich flavor profile and also make it a little healthier. For specific recipes check out our website here – https://dolivotastingbar.com/recipe/