Want to serve a mouthwatering dish? Begin with Olive Oil. We suggest that you keep two types handy: light-colored Olive Oil for sautéing or for use with intricate flavors, and Extra Virgin Olive Oil for rich taste and full body benefits. The great part about it is that this versatile Olive Oil is exceptional for you too.
Types of Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: the best grade of Olive Oil. It's unprocessed (created without the use of heat), and its acidity level does not go past 1 percent. Additionally, it will have the most intense flavor and is generally the most expensive as well. Our Olive Oil experts suggest that you reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil for:
- Or salad dressings
Virgin Olive Oil: also unprocessed, with an acidity level no higher than 2 percent. This type of Olive Oil is still flavorful and can be used for dipping and salad dressing.
Pure Olive Oil: a blend of refined and virgin Olive Oils. Its acidity is no higher than 1.5 percent, and it adds flavor and color. It's milder than virgin Olive Oil and great for cooking and sautéing.
A Better Understanding Of Olive Oil
Olive Oil, whether light or deep hued, contains 120 calories and 14 grams of fat per tablespoon. What makes Olive Oil different from other oils is that it's rich in monounsaturated fat.
Monounsaturated fat, when substituted for saturated fat (fats that are solid at room temperature such as butter, stick margarine, and bacon grease), aids in reducing the level of LDL or "bad" cholesterol while maintaining the "good" HDL cholesterol.
Furthermore, this helps reduce the risk of heart disease. Studies also display that women whose diets are higher in monounsaturated fats are less likely to develop breast cancer.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains polyphenols, antioxidants that prevent damage to blood vessels and lower high blood pressure.
Substitute Olive Oil for most saturated fats for cooking. We still prefer butter and shortening for baking.
Olive Oil, similar to other fats, takes longer for your body to digest and use for energy, which typically means you will stay satisfied longer.
Low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets often leave folks feeling hungry, which can lead to excessive snacking.
Virgin and Extra Virgin refers to the acid content. Extra Virgin Olive Oil has low acid and a fruitier flavor than virgin or pure Olive Oil. The lower the acid, the better the oil. However, you can't taste its acidity like you can with lemons or vinegar.
If stored in a dark, cool place, Olive Oil can be kept up to 6 months. Refrigerating or freezing Olive Oil will increase its shelf life. Olive Oil becomes solid when chilled or frozen. To liquefy, bring to room temperature, and use as directed.