Olive oil hints and tips


It can be tricky to keep up with the latest superfood, so it's lucky that some of them are here to stay. Probably one of the best known is olive oil, a staple in the oh so healthy Mediterranean diet.

Extra virgin olive oil is natural and packed with anti-oxidants, plus it has a lot of essential fatty acids. Because of these two things research has found it can help with a variety of illnesses; it protects from cardiovascular disease and some cancers, has anti-ageing properties, can help with diabetes and heart disease.

Convinced you need to head to the shops and pick up a bottle? Good stuff, but there are a few things to think on first.

Many people buy light olive oil because they presume it's got less calories and is better for them. This isn't the case, it actually just means the colour and flavour is lighter. So don't be guilted into going for this option if you don't really like it!

Similarly, it's not true that extra virgin olive oil shouldn't be used for cooking. Health.com points out that many stick to popping this in salad dressings because they are concerned about its low smoke point. It's true it takes less to get this version smoking (and so tasting different) but you can still fry with it over a medium heat.

Another regular error is where olive oil is stored. Yes it might seem easy to have it right next to your cooker, but the heat and light will make it go off too quickly. It's best to pop it in the cupboard where it won't be affected by light or anything. Unsure if your oil is OK to use? It should smell like olives (no surprises) so it the scent alters it's probably time to wave your bottle goodbye. Also think about how long you've had it, as it should last for around six months. Over that time, it's best to splash out on another jar.

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