Legend has it that the olive tree was a gift from the goddess Athena to humanity. Homer referred to olive oil as liquid gold, and Thomas Jefferson proclaimed it the richest gift of heaven.
In my family olive oil is the most precious kitchen item, we always have at least 2 bottles in our pantry, if god forbid we run out. But, many people make the mistake of cooking with extra virgin olive oil. This article will explain the benefits, common mistakes people make and some random facts about this beautiful liquid.
The health benefits:
The health benefits of olive oil are extensive. Olive oil is high in a type of fat known as monounsaturated fat which helps lower your cholesterol and control insulin levels in the body. In addition to olive oil, they can be found in avocados, nuts and fatty fish.
Cardiologists recommend at least two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil each day to enjoy the many ways olive oil can be beneficial to your health and wellbeing. In addition to boosting the immune system and helping to protect against viruses, olive oil has also been found to be effective in fighting against diseases such as: cancer, diabetes, blood pressure and obesity.
Top 3 mistakes you’re making with olive oil:
Mistake #1: Buying plastic or clear glass
The two biggest enemies of olive oil quality are oxygen and sunlight. Once air and light touch the oil, it can begin to go rancid. To preserve olive oil’s quality, opt for glass bottles that are dark green or dark brown, avoid plastic and clear glass at all costs.
Mistake #2: Believing one olive oil fits all
When confronted with six shelves of olive oils, do you grab the cheap store-brand option or the fancy bottle that costs more than a tank of petrol?
So here is a my answer- everyday cooking requires a middle-of-the-road pick of olive oil. But, if you’re looking to elevate your homemade salad dressings, then I’d recommend splashing out and buying a premium extra virgin olive oil.
Mistake #3: Cooking Over High Heat
High-temperature cooking methods can destroy the antioxidants in extra virgin olive oil and alter the flavour. You shouldn’t use extra virgin olive oil for any cooking method that requires temps above 180° C. So by all means, sauté veggies and poach fish in the oil, just don’t fry anything with it. Healthy oils that can withstand high heats are coconut oil and grape seed oil.
Random uses of olive oil:
Olive oil eases storing: Taking a sip of olive oil before heading to bed can help lubricate your throat muscles.
Taking 2 tablespoons of olive oil before you go out drinking helps lessen the effects of a hangover as it lines your stomach. I live by it!
Olive oil also has benefits for hair. Comb a bit of the stuff through dry or frizzy hair to help tame and moisturize your locks, especially in winter or on humid days. Olive oil can also provide some relief for damaged hair.