Olive Oil is one of my favorite oils. One that is loaded with Monounsaturated fats (good fats) and tastes great with just about everything. Hopefully you use olive oil on a regular basis and are a fan, just like me! Instead of using butter on bread or store bought salad dressings on your salads, use olive oil to reap not only the health benefits but all the powerful flavor of the olive!
Olive oil is a great oil to use for low temperature cooking but it is important to note that it shouldn’t be used for high heat cooking. Any oil that is cooked above its “smoke point” (the temperature at which a cooking oil or fat starts to break down, smoke or burn and go rancid) is not good for you. Olive oil has a low smoke point and that is why it is best used on foods after they are cooked or in cold dishes. When olive oil is cooked too hot and above its smoke point, it begins to lose its benefits and unique flavor. Olive oil has a smoke point of about 405ºF. The better the quality oil the higher the possible cooking temperatures so if you do use oil for cooking a high quality oil is recommended!
The best quality olive oil on the market, containing the highest level of antioxidants, is cold-pressed extra virgin. Cold pressed means that the oil was not heated over a certain temperature during processing and that the olives were crushed when perfectly ripe. An olive oil must have less than one percent acidity and have no flavor defects to be labeled “extra virgin”. To get the greatest health benefit from olive oil, extra virgin should be your only choice. Other types of olive oils are generally poor quality and have gone through a refining process which decreases the health benefits of the oil.
Be sure to store your olive oil in a cool, dark place and used within 12-18 months to ensure optimal benefits and flavor. harvest. Just like all products, pay close attention to the expiration and consume the oil before that date.
There are so many different flavors and ways to use Olive Oil so be sure to try different ones and get creative! Incorporate different flavors into your nutritional plan to obtain all the benefits and the deliciousness of the superfood!