Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Are you confused over what oil that you should use in your cooking? When I ask my clients about the oil in their pantry, they tell me they use olive oil in dressing, canola oil in baking, rice bran oil in sautéing, grapeseed oil for the BBQ and peanut oil in stir-frying.  “Why don’t you just use Extra-Virgin olive oil for everything”, I ask and their response is “it is not safe to cook with.”  The good news is not only is Extra Virgin olive oil absolutely safe to use in all styles of domestic cooking, it is far superior in its health benefits than other oils.

Let me break it down, drop by drop ….

 The concern that many people have is the smoke point of olive oil being low.  In fact, Australian Extra Virgin olive oil has a smoke point between 200oC and 215oC, which is well above home standard cooking temperatures.  These including sautéing on stove top (120oC), deep-frying (160-180oC), and roasting/baking (180oC).   There is absolutely no benefit in using more refined oils (eg grapeseed, canola or rice bran oil) that have a higher smoke point, because your cooking never reaches these temperatures anyway.  In fact, these highly refined oils have no protective polyphenols and can produce unfavourable compounds (polar compounds, trans fatty acids) when used at even higher temperatures and for longer times.  Another benefit of Extra Virgin olive oil when you sauté or roast your vegetables, it will increase the amount of antioxidants that you absorb from your vegetables.

A high quality Extra Virgin olive oil is very high in antioxidants (polyphenols), monounsaturated (heart healthy) fats and other protective factors.  Many published research shows the superior health benefits of Extra Virgin olive oil in reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes and cancer, lowering blood pressure, preventing skin damage, reducing effects of ageing and inflammation and helping people manage their weight.

The quality and freshness of Australian Extra Virgin olive oil industry is superb.  For example, Cobram Estate Extra Virgin olive oil is cold pressed within 4-6 hours of harvesting from the tree.  Australian Extra Virgin olive oils are 100% natural and the least refined as the juice is squeezed out of the olives with mechanical pressing (not chemical or heat processing).

Look for a good quality Australian Extra Virgin olive oil …

 with an Australian Olive Association symbol on the pack

  • is “Extra Virgin”,
  • look for harvest date – and use within 12-14 months of harvest date
  • store it in a cool, dark cupboard
  • and enjoy using for all your cooking needs.

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