Olive Oil is not just a dietary piece in the Mediterranean region, but also savors the reputation of being a healthy oil in the United States. Best part about it is that it is valued not only for its flavor, but in addition, for its range of wellness benefits.
What Is Olive Oil?
Olive Oil is pressed from fresh olives and is made for the most part in the Mediterranean, mainly in Italy, Spain, and Greece. Just like in wine-making, a handful of factors affect the character of the Olive Oil, including climate, soil, and the way the olives are harvested and pressed.
The flavor, smell, and color of Olive Oil can vary notably, based on its origin and if it is Extra Virgin (finest grade) or not. Typically, the hotter the country, the more robust the flavor will be.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grades Olive Oil based on:
- Absence of defects
- And acidity
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is described as having an outstanding flavor and odor, and a free fatty acid content of ≤ 0.8g per 100g (0.8 percent)
Essential Uses of Olive Oil
Olive Oil can be flavored with herbs and spices, which you can sheer in the Olive Oil for 10 days or so. If you are going to use chili, you need far less time.
However, it's crucial to note that Olive Oil is not suggested for cooking — It’s preferably better used if it’s cold, generally drizzled on salads and other foods. Extra Virgin Olive Oil's chemical structure and its large amount of unsaturated fats make it very susceptible to oxidative damage when used for cooking.
Whenever you need an oil to cook with, I recommend using coconut oil instead of olive oil, other vegetable oils, butter, margarine, and other oils.
Housekeeping and Olive Oil
Good Housekeeping lists a variety of surprising uses of Olive Oil, including for healthy skin. For example, Olive Oil has been used for centuries for moisturizing skin, mainly because of its linoleic acid. You can consume the Olive Oil if you want, apply it directly on skin, or add a bit to a warm bath for a good soak.
Olive Oil can also be used as a safe, natural lubricant for a close shave and as a soothing aftershave (rub on an extra teaspoon of it after you rinse off). In addition, it can also assist with soothe chapped lips.