Extra virgin olive oil is very special. For centuries, olive oil has been a nutritional staple in kitchens around the world—and a quintessential ingredient of Mediterranean cuisine. In this post, we’ll explore the many benefits of cooking with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), from its health benefits to cooking applications.
Try a bottle of Tantillo Extra Virgin Olive Oil to see the difference for yourself in the kitchen!
Health Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Hearts Love EVOO
Extra virgin olive oil contains a high number of monounsaturated fat molecules. These are the good fats that are necessary fuel for the body. Monounsaturated fats protect us from harmful artery-clogging fats—those nasty fats responsible for all manner of cardiovascular diseases. By substituting extra virgin olive oil for cooking products containing saturated fats (i.e., butter, margarine, shortening, etc.), you can drastically reduce your risk of heart disease.
Oxidants are “free-radicals” that cruise around your body damaging cell tissue. Extra virgin olive oil is high in antioxidants. You can think of these as the oxidant police, which reduce the number of harmful free radicals in our system. The antioxidants found in olive oil are known as polyphenols, a natural chemical compound that partners with the vitamins and minerals in our body to fight against radicals that could otherwise lead to cancer, coronary blockage, heart disease and inflammation.
Health the Mediterranean Way
The Mediterranean diet is known to be one of the healthiest on the planet, inspired by the eating habits of Greece, Italy, and Spain. The diet consists of fresh fruit, vegetables, hearty whole grains, lean meats and a healthy intake of extra virgin olive oil. This combination has been shown to reduce instances of diabetes while improving weight management.
Cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a juggernaut in the kitchen, with a wide range of kitchen applications surpassing many other ingredients. EVOO has two standout culinary qualities: flavor and function. Let’s explore these finer points in a little more detail before diving into some specific application tips.
Add Flavor with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil can be as complex in flavor as that of wine. These flavors can range from rich and sweet to earthy and spicy. It all depends on the olives or blend of olives used in making the oil. A drizzle of EVOO can be used to enhance the flavor of nearly any dish. The enhanced flavor can also reduce the need for salt in your recipes as another health benefit.
Tantillo Foods EVOO is made from a blend of top-quality olives harvested from the Mediterranean region. Our oil offers a balance of rich and sweet with the earthy and spicy flavors.
The Function of EVOO in the Kitchen
Extra virgin olive oil has a medium-high smoke point, hovering around 374°F. This smoke point makes it ideal for use in cooking applications like sautéing. Beyond heated cooking applications, EVOO can also be used as a “finishing oil”, adding wonderful flavor to sauces, dips, pastas, marinades and vinaigrettes.
Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Here are some of our favorite uses for EVOO:
Olive oil acts in the same way as other oils when it comes to baking, providing moisture, tenderness and richness. Feel free to substitute olive oil in your brownie, cake or cookie recipes, instead of those other mega-saturated, harmful oils. The Italians love making delicious cakes with olive oil to impart incredible flavor.
Sautéing is the recommended stove top cooking method for using extra virgin olive oil. This method is generally a moderate heat application that won’t cause your oil to degrade (as opposed to high heat stove top methods like frying or pan searing). Vegetables adapt perfectly to being sautéed in olive oil—think sautéed leafy greens, mushrooms, beans and peppers.
One of our favorite uses for extra virgin olive oil is drizzling! EVOO can add so much depth of flavor and round out your dishes with just a simple, light touch. Drizzle EVOO over a pasta dish, give roasted meat and seafood a finishing touch, or add a silky earthiness to soups. You name it, and it can be drizzled with olive oil. For a unique treat, try drizzling it over ice cream!
Olive oil’s versatility makes it an easy companion to homemade condiments like tapenade, pesto, salad dressings, mayonnaise and marinades. Many, if not most, condiment recipes call for olive oil. Feel free to experiment with this beneficial oil when creating condiments in the kitchen!
Shop Tantillo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Are you ready to get cooking with the world’s healthiest, most flavorful and versatile oil?
Tantillo Foods offers a fabulous selection of high-quality olive oils at affordable prices. Try our incredible selections today, including Premier Extra Virgin Olive Oil 500ml, Roasted Garlic Flavored Olive Oil (perfect for drizzling). Of course, there are many other great cooking oils in our collection, too. These oils are perfect for every level of culinarian, from professional chef to home cook!