A healthy olive oil story
Scientists always look for medicinal and therapeutic secrets in plants. Discoveries within the olive tree and olives of natural compounds provide promising health and medical benefits. Keep reading if you wanna know more about this ‘A healthy olive oil story!’
Some research suggests that extra virgin olive oil is the most digestible of all edible fats. Olive oil also helps the human body to assimilate vitamins A, D, and K. The benefits of olive oil consumption include slowing down the aging process and helping with liver, bile and intestinal functions. Due to its culinary attributes and organoleptic virtues, olive oil is valued: flavor, bouquet or aroma, and color. The various grades of olive oil are derived from the time of pressing. Earlier pressings are considered to be of better quality. Cold pressed olive oil is a pressing process that does not require heat or chemicals to destroy vital nutrients. Generally speaking, this olive oil is best used for cooking and health.
Olive oil has been extensively used in the cooking process and is an integral part of Mediterranean basic diet. It is a healthier alternative to butter. Strong, pungent olive oils are great for frying fish or other products that have a strong flavor. Olive oil extra virgin goes well with salads. A late harvest of olive oil, which is mellow, can be used for baking cakes. Gourmet olive oil is a healthier and a tastier replacement for other fatty cooking oils.
Olives and their oil are amongst today’s oldest foods. Olive cultivation has been traced back as far back as 5000 BC. It’s really quite surprising, given it’s been around for so long, that many people still just discover it. It’s not only delicious but loaded with essential fatty acids and high in antioxidants. It’s incredibly healthy too.
Below is an explanation of some of the common types and terms used to describe olive oil.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Is the oil obtained from the olives first press. Usually it is greener than other olive oils and has very low acidity (it may not exceed 0.8%). Ideally suited for dressings, dips and marinades.
Virgin Olive Oil: Is also obtained from the first pressing of the olives, although is slightly higher in acidity (it may not exceed 2.0%). It is very good oil but just not good enough to be designated extra virgin.
Olive oil: A mixture of refined oil and virgin oil is often used. The virgin oil gives it the taste which is missing in heat treated and refined oil. A strong oil all around, better suited to cooking because it has a burning point slightly higher than the virgins.
Light Olive Oil: Is the oil extracted from the latter pressings. Through subsequent olive pressing results in less flavored and lighter oil. The term ‘ light ‘ only applies to the color and taste, not the caloric content. Again, it is ideal to fry or sauté.
Pomace Olive Oil: oil obtained from the left over the flesh and the pits after being pressed. This oil (pomace) is often treated with solvents and heat to release the remaining oil. The resulting oils are then refined to be suitable for human consumption; because of this refining, there may be a lack of flavor. It is ideal for frying as it has a very high burning point.
Early harvest: Simply refers to the fact that the fruit has been picked slightly below maturity. The olive’s low ripeness results in a slightly bitter, peppery and very green oil that is sought after. The smaller olives produce less oil, and therefore Early Harvest oils often sell for more.
Late harvest: is oil from fully mature olives, resulting in a smooth oil that could be characterized as sweet and fruity.
Cold Pressed: refers to the fact that the olives were pressed without the use of heat. Olives that are pressed when heated produce more oil, but the heat can destroy some of the delicate flavors, which are kept when cold pressed.