What exactly is “Extra Virgin” olive oil?
Well to start, regular olive oil is a liquefied fat made from olives. Olives are picked from olive trees found in the Mediterranean or other subtropical climates. After picking, the olives are then cold pressed down until the pressed olives extract an oil. Olive oil production is most commonly used for cooking purposes.
You may have heard the term “Extra Virgin Olive oil”...
Extra virgin olive oil refers to the way that the oil is processed. Extra virgin is considered an unrefined oil, meaning that the oil is untreated and very pure.
Unrefined oils packaged in a glass bottle are usually the highest quality. Unrefined oils are also the most common that are bought and sold.
You can learn more about olive oil and how it used with pasta in our blog:
But we’d like to talk about the creative ways you can use extra virgin oil this summer that even the international olive council will love. Read further to learn more!
Olive Oil uses for Food
We all know the neutral flavor of the oil from olive is perfect for salad dressings, cooking or for infusing peppers into an oil. But there are many other ways you can use olive oil in food. For instance, instead of using mayo on your favorite summer sandwich substitute with light olive oil. We recommend trying a few drops on toasted bread with feta cheese and tomato.
Another great way to incorporate olive oil into your food is drizzling it on soup. Many soup recipes call for adding heavy cream to finish off a soup. However in the medeteraian diet it's customary to add olive oil instead. This is a great way to attain the Oleocanthal properties and the oleic acid benefits found in oil from olives.
A very summery way to use olive oil is by drizzling it on ice cream, we know it sounds weird but stay with us.
You can take any plain vanilla or strawberry ice cream for your local grocery store, and drizzle a small amount of olive oil and add a pinch of salt. This will elevate the sweetness of the simple ice cream to a more refined flavor profile.
Another way we love to use this cooking oil is on our charcuterie boards. Drizzling infused olive oils onto blocks of feta or mozzarella is a great way to add a peppery flavor to mild cheeses.
One of the simplest ways to use olive oil when cooking is to combine it with balsamic vinegar and seasonings for a simple bread dip. This appetizer easily elevates typical weeknight dinners into a fancy “dining experience”. You can add as little or as much as you want in the mixture to completely personalize it to your taste buds.
Olive Oil uses for Beauty and Wellness
Recently, more and more people are turning to olive oil for beauty and wellness uses. This is really no surprise, since olive oil is gentle on skin and has antioxidant properties.
The moisturizing quality olive oil has is really incredible and therefore, makes it a great beauty product. Many have started to use it to shave. Olive oil allows shaving blades to easily glide over the skin, and leaves remaining hair follicles under the skin moisturized and un-irritated. This is a great way to take care of sensitive skin, but it can also come in handy when you’re in a pinch and can't find your regular shaving balm or cream.
Another way beauty gurus have been using olive oil to their benefit is by using it as a makeup remover. The oil from olives has the ability to break through tough make up without being too harsh on the skin. Simply place a few drops of oil onto a cotton round and gently brush away makeup. No scrubbing needed for this method because the oil breaks makeup easily. This is ideal for those who use dramatic makeup techniques like actors, but also great for those of us who have dry skin. However, anyone can use this hack especially if you run out of your favorite makeup remover.
Olive oil also makes a great moisturizer for nails and cuticles. By placing a few drops and rubbing into the nail bed, you can soften hangnails and prevent them from developing. This is important for keeping hands and nails looking shiny and healthy. If you’re struggling with painful hangnails, you can reduce irritation by applying a drop of oil. Like stated before this will softed the hangnail and reduce irritation.
High quality and refined olive oil is also best for using on hair. Not only can you make a DIY hair mask using olive oil, but you can add a few drops to your palm and work through the ends of your hair. By doing this, you can reduce frizzy hair and have it always give off a healthy shine.
Due to the amazing moisturizing properties found in oil from olives it also makes a great lip balm. By gathering a few other ingredients you can use olive oil for a DIY lip balm or scrub.
When it comes to wellness, olive oil is high in vitamins like E and K. When consumed in moderation like in the Mediterranean diet, it can lead to several health benefits.
Some health benefits that have been observed in the Mediterranean diet include:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Heart health aid
- Improved cholesterol levels
- Better digestion
Other experts who have studied olive oil claim that it can relieve symptoms of constipation, ear aches and arthritis.
Olive Oil Life Hacks
Last but certainly not least, you can use olive oil for life hacks!
Some more unique ways of using olive oil includes taking advantage of the lubricant properties of it. For instance, combining olive oil with lemon juice until it reaches a lighter color, about 50/50. Then place the mixture into a spray bottle to make a great DIY furniture polish. It’s safe to use on wood, all you have to do is spritz and gently wipe away, so very easy. The oil from olives can also be used to polish up leather, or to shine up any brass items you have around.
One of the best life hacks we’ve used olive oil for is for freeing stuck zippers! It’s true, when applied with a cotton swab, olive oil sinks into the mechanism of a stuck zipper and reduces the friction on whatever it is stuck on. This hack will really come in handy when you need it most.
If you love to DIY home projects, you probably end up with paint or grease on your skin more often than not. For this, you can combine a small amount of extra virgin olive oil with sugar. Applying this to your skin will help take off pain and grease much easier than just water and soap.
If you're the chef of the family you’ll love this next life hack. If you use measuring cups often, you know how frustrating it is when you can't remove every little bit out of the measuring cup. Well, extra virgin olive oil can help with it. If you spray olive oil into your measuring cup before, it allows for your ingredient to completely remove itself from the cup so you get every little bit while cooking.
As you can see, olive oil has a limitless amount of uses. At Dagostino’s we pride ourselves on our house olive oil. We start with the best olives we can find, not just olives from a california olive ranch. Our oil is first pressed and cold-extracted from top quality olives. The olives are hand-picked from October to December each year. Producing oil that’s golden yellow in color with olive green tones, the scent of fresh olives and a fruity flavor with almond aftertaste