Olive oil is a great type of fat to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle. Rich in mono-unsaturated fats, it has the ability to have a positive affect on your overall health when utilized properly. Get familiar with these 5 facts to make sure olive oil is doing the best job it can in your kitchen!
Fact #1: It is best to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in cold dishes, like salad dressing or drizzled over a crusty piece of bread. Being extra virgin means the extraction process was mechanical only and involved no heat to get the job done. When heat is applied to EVOO it’s antioxidant properties diminish. To keep nutrition high with this oil, keep it cool.
Fact #2. If your olive oil lives in the cupboard above the stove, consider moving it to a new home. The way olive oil is stored plays a key role in the maintenance of the oil and its healthy power. Both heat and light will affect olive oil negatively. To prevent olive oil rancidity and free radical formation, store olive oil in a cool dark place and away from the stove.
Fact #3. The FDA defines Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) very leniently, but in general it means the highest quality grade virgin olive oil. By many experts standards, what is often considered to be Extra Virgin is far more limited than what is found on the grocery store shelves. According to Tom Meuller, an EVOO expert, two gold standard choices often found at your local grocery store across the country include Corto Olive and California Olive Ranch. So on your next trip to the grocery store, choose wisely and keep an eye out for these two particular brands.
If you are fortunate enough to be near one of our retail store locations, we’re excited to be bringing in another high quality brand of olive oil, Sutter Buttes Olive Oil Co., into the store within the next month or two as well.
Fact #4. Not all olive oils are a good choice to use in the cooking process. This is, in part, due to fact number one, but also because EVOO has a low temperature smoke point. The good news is, refined olive oil is safe to heat and use when cooking because it has about a 465 degree smoke point, vs EVOO which tops out between 320-400 degrees.
Fact #5. Non-stick pans, even ceramic, don’t play well with EVOO. EVOO and cooking sprays alike should not be used on these sort of pans as it can diminish the non-stick properties of the kitchenware by leaving a carbonized layer on top of the non-stick coating. To keep non-stick pans in top notch condition think about using a refined olive or canola oil instead.
What sort of questions do you have about olive oil? I’d love to help you out!