Have you heard the myth that EVOO is not suitable for cooking? Some people have heard that because the smoke point of extra virgin olive oil is lower than other oils, then you shouldn't use it for cooking. But this is not entirely true. Although olive oil has a lower smoke point than other cooking oils, extra virgin olive oil for cooking is a good choice.
The main thing that happens when you heat EVOO oil is that some flavor compounds evaporate. As a result, some spicy, rich flavor is lost in the cooking process. However, the oil remains stable and retains most of its beneficial nutrients.
Reasons why you can use extra virgin olive oil for cooking
As we have already mentioned, one of the leading persistent myths is that you cannot or should not cook with olive oil. But the truth is that olive oil has more monounsaturated fats than other oils. Why is this important? Because these healthy fats are very stable.
Cooking oils are made up of different fats; some are more stable than others. Saturated fat is the most durable, but it lacks any health benefits. Monounsaturated fat is excellent for stability and has documented health benefits as well.
Polyunsaturated fats are the least stable and break down quickly over time, especially when heated. The best olive oil has antioxidants that prevent oxidation and give extra virgin olive oil more stability over time and when heated.
EVOO oils are produced without chemicals or heat and retain the highest amount of antioxidants. Authentic extra virgin olive oil will have antioxidants in varying amounts depending on how diluted the virgin olive oil is. But the stability of extra virgin olive oil is so good that you can even reuse it a couple of times for cooking without losing its benefits (if you do, it is good if you filter it after each use).
But what about the smoke point? You may have heard that olive oils have a low smoke point. In reality, olive oil has smoke points very close to common cooking oils. The ideal temperature for cooking or frying is around 350⁰ Fahrenheit.
Does EVOO lose its health benefits when you cook with it?
While heating extra virgin olive oil will probably reduce its nutrient benefits, recent studies have found that EVOO still retains large amounts of its healthy compounds. So even if you heat your extra virgin olive oil, you can still receive its health benefits. Including being high in healthy fats and antioxidants, helping protect against heart disease and type 2 diabetes, helping to kill harmful bacteria, and more.
Studies have found that heat reduces the number of polyphenols in olive oil, but the antioxidant and polyphenol numbers remain relatively high when heated. In other words, you will lose some nutrients when the oil is heated, but many of them will remain. And compared to other oils, cooking with EVOO still contains more nutrients and antioxidants.
Can you bake with EVOO?
Yes, you can bake with olive oil! You can use it for baking cakes and bread in any flavor you like, and even butter lovers agree that olive oil makes baked goods more tender and moist. Don't worry about quality; the excellent taste of extra virgin olive oil will not overpower the flavors of your cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. Actually, it will give a special touch to the taste.
Additionally, EVOO oil is liquid at room temperature, creating cakes and baked goods that don't dry out, even when you have leftovers for a few days. Not to dwell on this point, but substituting butter for extra virgin olive oil in your cakes is an excellent way to reduce saturated fat intake.
Some tips when cooking with extra virgin olive oil
There are a couple of things recommended when cooking with olive oil.
• First, avoid overheating extra virgin olive oil to get the most flavors possible. It is advisable to heat the oil until it shines but does not smoke. The olive oil will start to move around, and a slight sheen will be visible on the surface while some tiny bubbles form underneath. You might even see some steam. Thus, your certified olive oil is hot enough to cook with and doesn't need to be heated further.
•Second, experiment with combinations. To know how to combine some oils with your dishes, you must try the combination of their flavors. For example, avocado oil has a neutral flavor, and you can use it in different recipes without fear of changing the essence of the main ingredients. But it is always better to try it out first.
In contrast, extra virgin olive oil for cooking offers a more intense flavor that can help bring out other flavors or spices. It goes well with Italian herbs, fruits, vegetables, meat, and mild flavors. You can use it in both main dishes and desserts. It is worth mentioning that authentic olive oil tasters consider the type of olive harvested since each one gives it a truly unique touch. Learn more in our article on avocado vs. olive oil.
• Third, it is recommended to use a splash guard. If you are working with ingredients that have some water in them, the oil may start to splatter. Invest in a splash guard to prevent oil stains on clothing and not get burned. They come in different sizes to fit your pans and are a great way to cook safely with California olive oil.
Cook healthy and with more flavor with authentic extra virgin olive oil
Now that you have left behind the myth that you cannot or should not cook with olive oil, you can realize that it is an excellent ally in the kitchen. You will find the best extra virgin olive oil for cooking at We Olive. So give it a try, and you will not regret it. Well, maybe you will regret not using it for cooking before.
We invite you to get to know our wide variety of products on our website, including flavored balsamic vinegar and flavored olive oil like garlic olive oil, olive and pepper, olive and fig, olive oil and lemon, basil olive oil, and much more. You can also visit our specialized stores to taste and sample our unique products. To know where to find us, you can use our tool olive oil stores near me.
The main reason to love extra virgin olive oil for cooking is the result: tasty food you can feel good about! Buy now and start enjoying the authentic liquid gold of EVOO. Feel free to contact us today and send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.