Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday Tip: Olive Oil

Ever go to the olive oil section just to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices?  No pressure, but making the wrong choice could leave you hating olive oil--for life!  Let's take a look at a few different olive oils!

{The left one I use frequently while the one on the right I use in the summer}

What's the difference?  They both come from olives!  Well, one is used for salads, bread dips and other cold dishes.  The other is used for hot cooking.  Can you guess which is which?

Olive oil labelled 100% extra virgin or "first cold press" olive oil is the oil you want to use when making salads or dipping bread.  Why?  This oil has a good, strong flavor and is typically green in color.  Adding heat to this olive oil will break the oil down, changing the flavor.  This oil also has a low acidity and is typically the most expensive.

Olive oil that has been not been cold pressed (it can be a first press) is higher in acidity and a good all-purpose oil, except for deep frying.  You can use this oil in anything: from salad dressings to sauting.  This oil will not break down when heat is added so it is ideal when making Mediterranean dishes or for healthy cooking.

There is one more olive oil: pure olive oil.  This oil has been refined and blended to remove impurities.  This is also an all-purpose oil, but it has a lighter flavor than extra virgin olive oil.  The price tag, though not as high as extra virgin, is still pretty steep.

Typically in the summer, I buy a bottle of extra virgin olive oil because I make more cold salads in the summer than I do in the winter.  Normally, I just use a first press because it's cheap and all-purpose.  Can't go wrong with that!

By the way, if you didn't know, olive oil is good for your hair, especially if it is dry (like mine!).  Only put a little in 1/4 teaspoon at a time concentrating on the ends.  Hair should look shiny after the oil has been put in--not greasy!!!  I do this 1-2 times a week and then twist my hair into a bun leaving it in overnight.  You can also warm the oil up and apply to your hair for about 1 hour for a speedier hair treatment.

So that concludes our tutorial on olive oil!  Please let me know if you have any other questions!

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