Tips On How to Use Olive Oil to Get the Most Benefits
We have shared some tips about how best to get and taste olive oil. But all that isn't going to make any difference if you do not know how to use it correctly. So with this post we want to demonstrate how olive oil is used to get maximum benefits and taste.
Olive Oil is best used fresh
As we mentioned in prior articles, olives are fruit and olive oil is best when it is fresh. Best by dates usually are about 18 months to 2 years after harvest, but the fact is you need to use your olive oil in a much shorter interval than that. Ideally, use olive oil over a year of harvest.
That is different though from as soon as you open a bottle of olive oil. An open jar of olive oil ought to be used within 3-6 months or less, so make sure to buy as much as you need for that period of time.
Do not buy massive bottles that you won't utilize for months, recall air and time eventually will lead to reduction of antioxidants and flavor. So make sure that you use the olive oil in a fairly short time. If it is part of your regular diet you will not have a problem with saving as you will be using it regularly.
Olive Oil is the main source of added fat
We all know that one of the main characteristics of the Mediterranean diet is using olive oil as the main source of fatloss. While here in Greece we use quite a bit of olive oil, studies show that minimally you want 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil a day. To put this in perspective the average amount consumed in the U.S. is 1 teaspoon a day.
We hear many men and women wonder: how am I supposed to consume 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil a day? They believe it is too much, or that they will gain weight. But when the olive oil consumed inside a Mediterranean style diet, you won't gain weight. That means that you'll be eating mainly vegetables as a main course with a little bit of bread and cheese resulting in average calorie amount.
Here is the way we use olive oil on a normal weekday: For lunch (that is the largest meal in Greece and takes place between 1 and 3 pm) we usually have a typical vegetable dish (lathero), which we make with seasonal vegetables, olive oil and tomato and herbs in a casserole. In some cases we may roast the vegetables in the ovenagain using olive oil. We utilize about 1/4 cup olive oil for 1 pound of vegetables or beans. This makes about 2-3 servings and corresponds to 1 1/2 -2 tablespoons of olive oil each person.
For supper we usually have large hearty salads using whatever is in season (summer: largely tomatoes and cucumbers and other seasonal greens- winter: spinach, lettuce and other greens) with nuts and cheese and fruit and we'll again use at least two tablespoons of olive oil. In the case we eat meat, such as poultry, again it is cooked Greek style in olive oil and tomato or in the oven with potatoes and olive oil.
So with this pattern we usually consume about 2-3 tablespoons a day and the remaining portion of the calories will come from vegetables, some bread (rice, potato or pasta), cheese, cheese and fruit (and wine).
Olive Oil is not only for salads.
As soon as we say olive oil is the main fat, we do not mean just in salads but as you can see it is employed for most cooking requirements. We do understand that some people may not like the taste of olive oil, but honestly from the Mediterranean cuisine, olive oil is part of the flavor of the dish.
Also I shall once again, mention that yes you can fry with olive oil, as the smoke point is sufficient for home frying needs, and you will not even reach the smoke point which is about 410 degrees F for extra virgin olive oil. By gently sautéing, you may shed a small amount of antioxidants but can retain most, so you are definitely still getting the benefits.
You shouldn't re-use olive oil.
Many men and women re-use olive oil after they have fried together with it, that is a big no-no. Obviously this used oil will not taste as good, or fresh and the heat oxidizes it as well. While frying or sautéing the first time with olive oil can cause a small loss of antioxidants, repeated usage more than once or twice will cause greater reduction of the nutrition and flavor qualities.
A Spanish study published last year, based on information gathered from over 40000 Spaniards, revealed that there was no association between eating fried food and coronary heart disease, however one of the details was that the food was fried in olive oil and was not reused, in other words they didn't fry with the same oil over and over again.
- Neil Naran