A wide-range use of it will enhance both savory and sweet dishes without guilt because of its incredible health-boosting properties (although if you’re trying to lose weight, you may not want to overdo it, because like all fats, it provides nine calories per gram).
Virgin and Extra-Virgin Olive Oils are best used uncooked or cooked at low to medium temperatures. Refined and Olive grade oils are the choices for high-heat uses, such as frying.
An oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which it smokes when heated. Any oil is ruined at its smoke point and is no longer good for you. If you heat an oil to its smoke point, carefully discard it and start over. Olive Oil has a higher smoke point than most other oils (about 400 degrees Fahrenheit). Refined Olive Oils have a slightly higher smoke point (about 410 degrees Fahrenheit).
Although extra-virgin and virgin Olive Oils stand up to heat remarkably well, they do lose flavor as they’re heated, so they are best for uncooked dishes. Use them to harmonize the spices in a dish, to enhance and build flavors, and to add body and depth.
Additionally, Olive Oil also balances the acidity in high-acid foods, such as tomatoes, vinegar, wine, and lemon juice. In general, treat your Olive Oils as you do your wines, carefully pairing their tastes with the flavors of the other ingredients in the dishes you are creating.
You can use multipurpose fine Virgin Olive Oil in almost any recipe. It is moderately priced despite being close in flavor to more expensive extra-virgin olive oils. Plus, you can use it in high-heat applications, so feel free to grab fine Virgin Olive Oil when you need to saute, pan fry, or stir-fry.
Fine Virgin Olive Oil is also the ideal choice when you want quality flavor but not that strong olive taste. Try these tips for fine Virgin Olive Oil in your kitchen:
Most people don’t think of using olive oil when baking, but it’s actually an incredible way to get more monounsaturated fat and polyphenolic compounds in your diet. Choose the lite, light, or mild type of olive oil for baking, especially savory breads and sweets such as cakes, cookies, and other desserts. Because of the filtration these types of oils have undergone, they withstand high-heat cooking methods.
Substituting Olive Oil for butter dramatically reduces the amount of fat — especially saturated fat — in your baked goods. And of course, Olive Oil does not contain any of butter’s cholesterol. You’ll also use less fat — you can substitute three tablespoons of Olive Oil for a quarter-cup of butter. The product still turns out as expected, but with 25 percent less fat, fewer calories, and more heart-healthy nutrients.
Olive oil can enhance the flavor of almost anything you eat. Now that you know how it gets to your table, you’ll know how to get the most out of it.
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