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Olive oil. Healthy and delicious, there really are no downsides to this wonder food! Rich in essential fatty acids, it’s an important component of everything from salad dressings to hummus, and makes a great option for vegan sauteing and frying! Read on to find out more.
What kinds of olive oil are there?
Olive oils range from unrefined extra virgin to refined. Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality, and is made by the process of cold-pressing and has a low acid content. It also has the strongest flavour and darkest colour, and is perfect for salad dressings. Virgin olive oil is slightly lower in quality but is great for frying and sauteing.
After these you have the lower quality pure olive oil (made from a mix of extra virgin and refined) and refined olive oil, which are suitable only for cooking. If you’re wondering where you can buy olive online, here at PlantX we’ve got a wide variety of the highest quality extra virgin oils!
What are the benefits of olive oil?
You may have heard of the many benefits of the Mediterranean diet, particularly for your heart health. A main component of this diet is the high amount of olive oil that is consumed in the Mediterranean.
One great thing about olive oil over other kinds of oil, is that its predominant fatty acid is a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid which may potentially reduce bad cholesterol and reduce inflammation.
Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants, particularly extra-virgin olive oil. Extra-virgin olive oil is cold pressed without heat or chemical solvents, meaning it retains its polyphenols, which may provide extra antioxidant effects.
Where is olive oil made?
Olive trees need a warm and sunny climate to flourish, though they can tolerate a cold (but not too cold!) and rainy winter. Production is therefore mostly concentrated around the Mediterranean Basin but some is produced as far afield as California, South America and Australia. Spain’s ideal climate and location make it the world’s top producer of olive oil but there are delicious, high quality olive oils available from countries such as Palestine like Zaytoun Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Greece.
What are the best brands of olive oil?
As previously discussed, the best quality olive oils are the Extra Virgin varieties. The benefits of natural extra virgin olive oils is that they are cold-pressed, without the use of heat or chemicals or any additives. This means they retain the benefits of their naturally occurring polyphenols, antioxidants and vitamins.
PlantX is the perfect place to buy vegetable oils online, as we have a wide range of natural, plant-based extra-virgin olive oils to satisfy every palette! The great thing about high quality extra virgin olive oil is that you can really taste the subtle differences of each olive variety, so it’s worth trying out a few to see which is your favourite.
For a crisp, peppery flavour you might want to try the Gold Star Great Taste Award winner Organico Extra Virgin Olive Oil, made in Spain with Verdial, Hojiblanca and Manzanilla olives. Or if you prefer fruity and aromatic you might opt for Biona Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Calabria in Southern Italy. Another tasty choice is Extra Virgin Olive Oil made from fruity Dolce di Rossano and punchy Coratina olives. Whichever one you go for, you can rest easy knowing PlantX only sells vegan, plant-based oils!
Frequently Asked Questions
What does olive oil taste like?
Unlike standard vegetable oils, it does in fact have a unique flavour to it! The highest quality extra virgin variety can have tastes ranging from that of fresh herbs to fruity to slightly bitter and peppery.
How much olive oil should I consume daily?
Between one and two tablespoons a day is a sufficient amount to consume. You can do this through drizzling it over some delicious sourdough with a little balsamic, blending it into homemade hummus or adding a little to vegetable soups for extra richness.
What other uses are there for olive oil?
Not just for cooking with, there are many ways people use it outside of the kitchen. It can be used as a makeup remover, facial oil, massage oil, lip balm, sunburn lotion, hair mask or around the house as a furniture conditioner or even shoe shiner!
Can you use olive oil for frying?
Yes, it’s great for frying! Although there’s an idea that the smoke point of extra virgin olive oil is too low for frying, the smoke point of good quality extra virgin olive oil is somewhere between 193°C and 210°C. This makes it suitable for all except very high heat frying. Frying with extra virgin olive oil is also the healthiest option when it comes to your favourite fried foods!