Showing posts with label Olive Oil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Olive Oil. Show all posts

May 20, 2016

Olive Oil Facts

Generally speaking, olive oils fall into one of two broad categories: unrefined (virgin and extra virgin), and refined (pure and light).

Olives used to make the two virgin, unrefined oils are cold pressed and not treated with heat or chemicals. The olives are simply pressed and squeezed to get the oil out. Olives that produce the highest quality oil in terms of rich taste and acidity make extra virgin olive oil. Slightly riper olives, that are also just pressed, produce virgin olive oil.

To be graded extra virgin, the olive oil must have an oleic acid content of less than 0.8%, while virgin olive oil can have as much as 2.0%, or 1.5% under International Olive Council standards.

Extra virgin olive oil is generally preferred for things like dressing and dips, where a flavorful oil is preferable and the oil is not going to be subjected to high heats that would rapidly degrade it.

The refined oils are generally made from oils that would be relatively unpalatable if bottled without further processing. They are treated with solvents and high heat to remove undesirable odors and flavors. The process leaves a relatively neutral-tasting, light color olive oil. Sometimes, in order to make light oils taste a bit like the more expensive grades, a small percentage of virgin olive oil is blended into the refined oil. Some labeled light olive oils are blended with other oils such as canola.

While the refined olive oils are less nutritious, they are also less affected by high temperatures when compared with the virgin oils. For comparison, the smoke point of extra virgin olive oil is approximately 320°F (160°C), virgin at approximately 420°F (215°C), and light at approximately 465°F (240°C). As such, it is typical to use light olive oil for baking, grilling, frying, and sautéing, essentially where high temperatures are required.

During 2015, Italian authorities discovered that 9 out of every 20 bottles of olive oil sold by its top exporters were tainted with other types of oil. Among the companies allegedly selling lesser-quality oils as “extra virgin” were Bertolli, Carapelli and Primadonna.

To get around the problem of mislabeling, in the US the California Olive Oil Council provides olive oil grade certification, with its seal appearing on certified bottles. Beyond looking for these certifications, it is also important to avoid olive oils that lack a harvest date on the label, as extra virgin olive oil’s shelf life is generally only in the range of 18-24 months and a lack of such data could possibly indicate older oil being sold. Choosing oils that include their harvest date on the label ensures fresher oil.

It is best to store olive oil away from light and heat, as well as to limit exposure to air as these factors will rapidly degrade the quality of the oil.

Jun 13, 2014

Essential Oils

An essential oil is a concentrated liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, or ethereal oils. An oil is 'essential' in the sense that it carries a distinctive scent, or essence, of the plant. Essential oils do not form a distinctive category for any medical, pharmacological, or culinary purpose. They are not essential for health.

is best for blood-pressure reduction. In a 2013 study, women who smelled clary sage experienced reduced blood pressure and breathing rates. They were also able to relax during a stressful medical exam. Sage also increases memory and attention.

Peppermint is best for stress relief. Research shows that breathing in eau de peppermint can decrease the body's levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. It also reduces fatigue.

Orange is best for decreasing anxiety. A study found that people who sniffed it before a stressful test were able to stay calm under pressure without anxiety spikes.

Rosemary is best for enhancing brainpower. Breathing it in can improve speed and accuracy during demanding mental tasks, per a 2012 study. Other research found its scent left people feeling refreshed and mentally stimulated. It also has been known to reduce fatigue.

Cinnamon is best for improving focus. It may stoke the area of the brain that governs alertness. Research found that drivers were more focused after breathing in cinnamon-oil scents.

Lavender increases relaxation and relieves some symptoms of PMS. A 2013 study found that it also eases pre-period symptoms such as mental confusion and depression. It also reduces some migraine pain.

Olive Oil  may help you lose weight, according to a recent study in the American Journal of Nutrition. It says the scent of olive oil might help you feel full.

A diffuser is the most effective way to unleash essential oils into the air, but you can add one or two drops of oil into a bowl of steaming hot water. Another option is to place one drop of oil on a cotton ball, put it under your nose, and inhale normally for one to two minutes.

Essential oils should never be used for more than one hour at a time. Look for 100 percent pure and organic oils free of fillers, pesticides, and synthetic chemicals.

Aug 30, 2013

Fun Facts About Olive Oil

Calories per tablespoon: 119
Total fat: 13.5g
Saturated fat: 1.82g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Vitamin E: 4% Daily Value

Olive oil comes from California, France, Greece, Italy and Spain. All olive oils are graded in accordance with the degree of acidity they contain. The best are cold-pressed, a chemical-free process that involves only pressure, which produces a natural level of low acidity.

Extra virgin olive oil, the cold-pressed result of the first pressing of the olives, is only 1 percent acid. It's considered the finest and fruitiest of the olive oils and is therefore also the most expensive. Extra virgin olive oil can range from a crystalline champagne color to greenish-golden to bright green. In general, the deeper the color, the more intense the olive flavor. After extra virgin, olive oils are classified in order of ascending acidity.

Virgin olive oil is also a first-press oil, with a slightly higher level of acidity of between 1 and 3 percent.
Fino olive oil is a blend of extra virgin and virgin oils (fino is Italian for "fine"). Products labeled simply olive oil (once called pure olive oil ) contain a combination of refined olive oil and virgin or extra virgin oil.

Light olive oil contains the same amount of beneficial monounsaturated fat as regular olive oil and has exactly the same number of calories. Light" refers to  an extremely fine filtration process and this olive oil is lighter in both color and fragrance. It's rather nondescript flavor makes "light" olive oil good for baking and cooking. The filtration process for the light-style oil also gives it a higher smoke point than regular olive oil. Light olive oils can be used for high-heat frying, whereas regular olive oil is better suited for low to medium-heat cooking, as well as for salad dressings and marinades.

Olive oil can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. It can be refrigerated and last up to a year. Chilled olive oil becomes cloudy and too thick to pour. However, it will clear and become liquid again when brought to room temperature.

Olive oil is obtained from the pulp of olives by separating the liquids from solids. To make the finest, or extra-virgin olive oil, the fruit is gathered when fully ripened, ground to a paste under granite or steel millstones, layered over straw mats, and pressed in a hydraulic press. Today, most olive oil is produced by just one pressing. The resulting oil is separated from the juice by settling or by centrifuge and then filtered. Olive oil of good quality is ready to use, without further refinement.

Although olive oil is chiefly used as a food or in food preservation, it is also used in soaps, certain pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.

Jun 15, 2012

Bacon Olive Oil

If bacon coffee is not enough, how about some bacon flavored olive oil. It is vegan, but has the rich smoky flavor. great for cooking or dunking.