-Olive oil is a monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) which can help control insulin and blood sugar levels
-It can help lower your blood cholesterol, specifically your LDL cholesterol
-Olive oil can fill you up and satisfy you after eating a meal
Obviously, the stuff is good for you. I get that. But without understanding how to use olive oil properly, I wasn't taking advantage of all the various benefits. I usually buy ONE bottle of extra virgin olive oil at a time, and use for everything until it runs out. So when I got these bottles in the mail a month ago, I laughed to myself a little. Three bottles? Overkill, right?
Well, maybe not so much. The three bottles consisted of an extra virgin olive oil, a pure olive oil, and a light olive oil. For the record, they all have the same nutritional information. Here's what I learned after researching the uses of all three types:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: the type I commonly use. As it turns out, I should NOT be heating this up to a high point when I make stir fries or saute veggies. In fact, after 400 degrees it starts to smoke, and will lose many of its benefits. This type is best used for salad dressings, dipping in crusty bread, and drizzling on foods.
Pure Olive Oil: This is slightly more refined, so it is much better for heating up. In many cases, a "pure" olive oil will have a smoke point of 410 degrees, so it can retain health benefits longer. I now saute veggies, meat and roast things with this type.
Light Olive Oil: For the record, this is light tasting - NOT- light in calories. If you have ever tried baking sweet things with extra virgin olive oil, you might have noticed a strange taste that can be overpowering in sweets. A lighter tasting olive oil lets you have all the health benefits without the strong taste, and I've used it in many recipes where butter is called for, and it works great. You can even fry in this oil, although I haven't tried that yet.
Do you use olive oil regularly at home? What types? Any other oils you use?
I've used olive oil almost exclusively for years. The only time I really use any other fat is when I buy something special for a particular meal, whether that is coconut oil for a stir fry or butter for a cookie recipe.
Have you ever tried baking with olive oil? Any tips for substitutions?
When I use extra virgin olive oil, it usually works out and I just use slightly less than is called for, but there is a slight aftertaste. With this light tasting olive oil, it honestly just tastes like I've used butter or vegetable oil.
I got these bottle of olive oil for free thanks to Crisco and the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, but all opinions and research are my own.