Your top questions about extra virgin olive oil answered right here...right now with this Olive Oil FAQ!
1. What is olive oil?
Olive oil is basically fruit juice. For centuries, olive oil has been used as a staple for the body, inside and out. Olive oil is a wonderful addition to your food and even your skin. After all, there is a reason all of those Greek Gods and Roman Emperors were always glowing :)
2. What does extra virgin mean?
Extra virgin refers to the highest quality and grade of olive oil. This oil is unrefined, and chalked full of nutrients and antioxidants. This is the only olive oil you should be using!
3. What are the health benefits?
Extra virgin olive oil is arguably the healthiest choice when it comes to oils. Full of rich vitamins, fatty acids, and most importantly...antioxidants. It has been attributed to lowering the risk of cancer, heart disease, and even Alzheimer's.
4. How do I store it?
The key to storing your extra virgin olive oil is this: stay away from heat, direct sunlight, and oxygen. Always put the cap on after use, and storing in a pantry or cupboard is a safe bet.
5. How long will my olive oil last?
If you store it correctly (see above), your olive oil should have a shelf life of twelve to eighteen months. But remember: elements like oxygen and sunlight will quickly degrade it.
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6. Can you cook with it?
Oh, please do. Olive oil has been a staple in Mediterranean cooking for centuries. Whether it's veggies or meat, extra virgin olive oil is definitely what you want to be cooking with.
7. Is it safe for frying?
The short answer is yes. We get this question A LOT. The smoke point of extra virgin olive oil is 380 degrees F to 410 degrees F. This is well above the temperature needed to fry food. Moreover, the heat required to fry food cannot change the chemical composition of olive oil from a good one to a bad one. So you're still getting all the nutrients.
9. Why is my olive oil cloudy?
Don't stress. Cloudy EVOO is not a bad thing. This normally means it is super fresh and unfiltered, yielding a delicious oil. Unless you taste something off, and it seems rancid, your cloudy oil is okay!
10. What does the color of my oil mean?
The truth is, all EVOO comes in different hues due to the different olives and blends used to produce the oil. You really can't tell too much regarding the quality of your oil solely based on the color.
11. What does "cold pressed" mean?
So this is kind of a tricky question. All EVOO is technically cold pressed. In order for an olive oil to be qualified as an extra virgin olive oil, it must be cold pressed. The reason it is referred to as "cold pressed" is due to the fact that heat is not used in extracting the oil from the fruit.
- Olive oil doesn't get better with age, fresh is best!
- Store it in a cool, dry place.
- Don't be afraid it heat it up! Cook, bake and even fry with olive oil.
- Color does NOT dictate quality.
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