Types of Olive Oil
There are four major types of olive oil; the extra-virgin, virgin, refined, and pure olive oil. The extra-virgin oil is the best one, and, therefore, is also the most expensive one. This is the strongest yet the most tasteful one and has very low acidic contents. This is also extracted through cold-pressing and can be drunk without adding any ingredients as well.
The virgin oil is almost the same as extra-virgin but is a little more acidic and has a milder taste. This should be used for low-heat cooking. The refined one is from black and ripe olives, and is not as tasty, and contains rather low-quality oil. For this reason, it is best if used for high-heat regular cooking.
The pure one, on the other hand, is a little better. This oil is not at all pure and instead is a mixture of refined olive oil and either virgin or extra virgin olive oil. The addition of virgin oil improves the quality, aroma, and taste of the refined oil a bit but is not close to being as good as the virgin one itself.
Ways to Cook with Olive Oil
Unlike what you may already think, olive oil is a great type of oil for baking purposes. Even though, if baked correctly with olive oil, it can work wonders, people do not use it often. By using this for baking, you can get even more polyphenolic compounds and monounsaturated fat, getting lots of health benefits.
Through this, you can also keep your cholesterol levels in control and also reduce the fat levels in your diet. However, for baking, you are suggested to use milder and lighter forms of olive oil. This is especially recommended for savoury bread, and sweets like cookies, cakes, and other desserts. In place of a quarter cup of butter, you should use three tablespoons of olive oil.
Salads, Pastas, and Appetizers
Another great way to use olive oil in cooking is through salads, different kinds of pasta, sides, and appetizers. By using these, not will you only be able to make your rather simple food even more delicious but will also make it look and taste even better. This will also help balance the acidity of highly acidic substances and will help add depth to your food.
For salads, simply drizzle it or add the oil to the dressing. For pasta, on the other hand, do the frying of the substances with olive oil. Moving to appetizers, you may toast your bread before rubbing a garlic clove over it and pour some oil on top.
For Sauces and Sides
You may also use olive oil for sides as this will make them more tasteful and make you savor each bite. For a great side recipe with olive oil, you should add some boiled beans, a bit of garlic, and some olive oil to a food processor before processing it fully and topping with fresh herbs. This dip will not only be tasty but also extremely healthy.
By adding just a little bit of olive oil into your sauce, you can make it even more savory and flavourful. In addition, it will help emulsify and better blend all of the watery ingredients of the sauce. For this, once done with the rest, simply add a dash of oil or use it in place of other oils or butter.
Other Ways That You Can Use Olive Oil in Cooking
There are also many other ways to use the different types of olive oil in cooking. For instance, a great way would be to use it in marinades instead of other oils for all types of meat, including red meat and white meat, as well as poultry, fish, and vegetables.
In addition to all that, you can also use olive oil for making parathas or something. Another amazing and healthy way would be to use olive oil to fry things in instead of other oils. Some things that you can fry in it are samosas and pakoras, etc. You may also make eggs using olive oil, add them to rice, or brush a baking tray or grill before baking or roasting, respectively.
Benefits Of Cooking with Olive Oil
Aids in Weight Loss, Strengthens Bones, and Improves Sex Life
Using olive oil in cooking has many different benefits. Now, even though these vary a bit from the type of olive oil you use, they are approximately the same. So, first, olive oil aids in weight loss. Now, olive oil is less fattening as compared to many other oils, and, therefore, you will be able to enjoy your most fatty dishes if you use olive oil without worrying much about getting flabby.
Olive also helps with the strengthening of your bones. This type of oil helps increase the levels of osteocalcin in your bones, helping strengthen them further. In addition to all that, olive oil is great if you want to perk up your sex life. It is an amazing aphrodisiac and a massage with olive oil every now and then will help improve blood circulation throughout your body, including the sex organs.
Helps Prevent Cancer, Diabetes, Depression, and Alzheimer's Disease, and Treats Rheumatoid Arthritis
Another great benefit of olive oil is that it helps prevent breast cancer. The oleuropein contents in it reduce the risks of breast cancer by over sixty percent. Additionally, it prevents diabetes as it contains healthy fats and helps control blood sugar levels. Also, it increases the serotonin levels, having an antidepressant effect, and, therefore, preventing stress and depression.
The extra-virgin olive may also help prevent and even treat Alzheimer's. Now, even though this has not been proven yet, a study showed that this can help improve learning and memory, helping treat Alzheimer's. Lastly, olive oil can help prevent Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease causing painful and deformed joints. It does this by improving inflammatory markers, joint pain hand grip strength, and morning stiffness, and reducing oxidative stress.
Tips for Buying the Correct Olive Oil for Cooking (Conclusion)
Now that you know some of the types of olive oil, the ways to use it in cooking, and some health benefits it has, let us consider some tips to make the best use of it. First, you should keep it away from heat and sunlight as they will destroy it completely and make it smells as well as taste funny.
However, you should also not keep it in a refrigerator as that can cause it to dilute and spoil quickly. You should also taste before buying, if possible, and buy two bottles; a nice one for salads and all and a cheaper one for frying and other cooking purposes. Aso, the country of origin does not matter and you should it is best if used within the first year.
Choose Your Flavour
This is where your personal preference may affect the oil you choose. Olive oils range from extra virgin to virgin to pure, and the flavour ranges from strong to mild accordingly. Everyone's preference is different, so we recommend choosing oils that meet your nutritional and cooking needs and tasting them to find your favorite!