Your cart is currently empty!
What is EVOO?
Cooking oils are essential in our daily lives… They can enhance flavors, bringing out the best in our culinary creations, and they can even affect our health! Among the many oils available, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is in a class of its own due to its delicious flavor profile, versatility in the kitchen, and its many health benefits.
But what is EVOO?
Join us as we explore the wonders of EVOO and discover why it should become a staple in your kitchen!
What is EVOO?
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a high-quality, unrefined olive oil known for its superior taste and health benefits. Understanding the EVOO production process and quality standards is critical to recognize its value in everyday cooking.
So now that we have an idea of what is EVOO… but how is it made and what makes it so much better than everything else?
EVOO is made by cold pressing the olives without using chemicals or excessive heat. This gentle extraction method helps to preserve the olives’ natural flavors, aromas, and nutrients. Unlike refined oils, which are subjected to additional processing and may contain solvents, EVOO retains its original nutritional composition and integrity.
Moreover, EVOO must adhere to strict quality standards. These standards differ based on region, but the International Olive Council (IOC) and other certification bodies provide guidelines to ensure authenticity and excellence. Low acidity levels (less than 0.8%), the absence of sensory defects, and adherence to specific production and storage conditions are all key parameters.
EVOO differs from other types of olive oils and it is crucial to understand why. For example, virgin olive oil may have slightly higher acidity levels and minor sensory defects, whereas regular olive oil is a blend of refined and virgin olive oil. Understanding these distinctions allows you to make more informed decisions when using olive oil for cooking.
Why You NEED To Use EVOO In Your Daily Life
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not only a delight for the taste buds but also a powerhouse of health benefits! Its unique composition and abundance of beneficial compounds make it an excellent choice for including it in your cooking routines. Let’s explore six key health benefits of EVOO:
1.) Rich In Monosaturated Fats
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is mostly made of monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid. These healthy fats have been linked to various health benefits, including improved heart health and a lower risk of chronic diseases. In moderation, pure olive oil can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
2.) Antioxidant Properties
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is high in natural antioxidants like Polyphenols and Vitamin E. These compounds protect the body from oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. Polyphenols, in particular, have been connected to a variety of health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease, certain cancers and age-related cognitive decline.
3.) Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Chronic inflammation is a leading factor to various health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis. Polyphenols and other bioactive compounds in EVOO possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help combat inflammation within the body. Regular use of EVOO may help reduce inflammation and mitigate the risk of chronic diseases associated with inflammation.
4.) Cardiovascular Health
The combination of monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties in EVOO contributes to its cardiovascular health benefits. According to research, adding Extra Virgin Olive Oil into a balanced diet can improve lipid profiles by raising “good” HDL cholesterol levels and dropping “bad” LDL cholesterol levels.
Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory properties of EVOO may help lower the risk of blood clots and promote healthy blood vessel function.
5.) Antimicrobial Effects
Extra Virgin Olive Oil contains antimicrobial compounds such as Phenolic Compounds and Oleuropein. These natural antimicrobial agents aid in the fight against harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi. EVOO has been linked to a lower risk of bacterial infections, such as Helicobacter pylori, which is associated with stomach ulcers.
6.) Digestive Health
Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s high monounsaturated fat content help support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, which promotes overall nutrient absorption.
Additionally, EVOO has been shown to protect the gastrointestinal lining, dropping the risk of gastric ulcers and promoting a healthy gut.
Incorporating EVOO Into Your Daily Cooking Routine
The versatility of extra virgin olive oil in the kitchen is one of its most significant advantages. From sautéing to baking, EVOO’s distinct flavor and health benefits can elevate your dishes. Here are four ways to add Extra Virgin Olive Oil into your daily cooking routine:
Sautéing and Stir-Frying
Extra Virgin Olive Oil’s high smoke point makes it an excellent choice for sautéing and stir-frying. Its deep flavor compliments vegetables, meats and seafood. Begin by heating a small amount of EVOO in a pan, then add your ingredients and cook until tender and golden. The oil will give your dishes a delicate and savory flavor.
Drizzle EVOO Over Salads & Roasted Veggies
Extra Virgin Olive Oil enhances the flavors of salads and roasted vegetables while adding a healthy dose of monounsaturated fats. Drizzle the oil over fresh greens, tomatoes and cucumbers for a simple salad dressing, then add a splash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. You can also toss vegetables with EVOO, salt and pepper before spreading them on a baking sheet and roasting them to perfection in the oven!
Making Homemade Salad Dressings & Marinades
For your basic vinaigrette, combine EVOO with vinegar (such as balsamic or red wine vinegar), Dijon mustard, garlic and herbs. Shake or whisk the ingredients to make a flavorful dressing to drizzle over salads.
Similarly, combine EVOO with herbs, spices, and citrus juice to make a marinade base. Marinate proteins like chicken or fish for extra flavor before grilling or baking!
Use EVOO While Baking & Desserts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil can add a unique flavor to baked goods and desserts. It gives cakes, bread and cookies moisture and a subtle fruity flavor. When replacing butter or other oils in baking recipes with EVOO, use a 3/4 ratio (e.g., 3/4 cup for 1 cup butter).
Drizzle EVOO over fresh fruit & ice cream, such as strawberries or peaches & your favorite ice cream flavor for a simple yet elegant dessert!
What Is EVOO Summary
So what is EVOO? By now hopefully you have more insight into what it is and why it is growing like wildfire in popularity! Incorporating EVOO into your daily cooking routines can be a simple yet effective way to reap many health benefits. Whether used as a cooking oil, dressing, or drizzle, Extra Virgin Olive Oil adds a depth of flavor and a dose of nutrition to your dishes!
Shop Our Line of Extra Virgin Olive Oils (EVOOs) Below!