Olive oil: A guide to buying, recipes and health

There are so many types of olive oil on the shelves these days and working out exactly which one you should be cooking with / adding to oils and dipping your bread in can be a bit mind-boggling. So when Jamie’s Italian sent me a handy buyers guide to help choose the right olive oil for the right recipe or food then I thought I should share it with you all.

Looking at this guide makes me realise that I have definitely been making the wrong choices over the years when it comes to frying / baking or making homemade vinaigrettes and pestos etcetera. I have generally always gone for whatever was on offer in the supermarket. Which in hindsight was the wrong thing to do. So, as with independently buying and sourcing my meat, eggs and fish, I will now be spending the right time and money on good quality olive oil.

Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and is a major part of the Mediterranean diet; where evidence and research suggests (comparatively) that people have longer life expectancies and a lower risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. A study published in the scientific journal Diabetes Care even showed that a Mediterranean style diet rich in olive oil reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by almost 50 percent compared to a low-fat diet. Type 2 diabetes is the most common and generally preventable form of diabetes.

Olive oil is a fat obtained from the fruit of the Olea europaea (olive tree), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean region, where whole olives are pressed to produce olive oil. The oil is used in cosmetics, medicine, cooking and soaps.  I even use it occasionally as a hair mask and to massage Florence with.

So, I thought I would pull a few recipes together for each of the three olive oils.

Light olive oil:

Olive, spinach and spring onion “no bread” muffins

 

Lemon and sesame kale crisps

Mrs P’s Pesto Baked Chicken

Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt Multi-seed Crackers

Pure olive oil:

Sesame Chicken Goujons and Avocado Chilli Cream

Sweet Potato, Leek and Lime Fritters

Wok a rainbow: Broccoli, chilli, garlic and ginger prawns

Extra virgin olive oil:

Tahini Courgetti with chilli mango dressing

Paleo Mayonnaise

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Courgetti

Sources of information: www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-health-benefits

This post was written in affiliation with Jamie’s Italian, but-as always- all views are entirely my own.

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