Good ole’ olive oil. It’s hard to imagine that something so accessible and affordable was once called liquid gold. While the nickname came from the fact that virgin olive oil was valued so highly it was used as currency centuries ago, it’s still relevant today due to its unique flavor and appearance.
Now, olive oil is a staple of many cuisines because of its versatility. From sauteeing veggies and baking cakes to being the base of salad dressings, it pairs well with both sweet and savory creations. But did you know that different kinds of olive oil taste unique depending on the preparation?
Today we’ll be breaking down the details of cold-pressed olive oil, including what makes it so special and some of its unique benefits.
What is Cold-Pressed Olive Oil?
You may be wondering how cold-pressed olive oil differs from regular oil, but the name gives you a pretty big hint. According to Healthline, cold pressing is a common way to make the olive oil we know and love without using heat or chemicals.
The process starts by crushing olives into a paste. Then, a mechanical press applies forces to separate the golden oil from the pulp. The European food dictates that the temperature during this process cannot exceed 81°F.
The highest grades of olive oil, such as extra virgin (EVOO) and virgin, should always be cold-pressed since the process helps preserve their signature flavor.
Benefits of Cold-Pressed Olive Oil
Because of how it’s made, cold-pressed olive oil has a few unique benefits that make it stand out from alternative oils.
Here are just a few:
1. Full of Antioxidants and Good Fats
Because no heat or chemicals are used when olive oil is cold-pressed, the end product retains more of its nutritional value. The Olive Wellness Institute explained that EVOO has more antioxidants and healthy fats than regular olive oil that is refined and stripped of these important nutrients.
The Institute further emphasized that cold-pressed olive oil contains over 30 types of phenolic compounds that help protect our bodies against free radicals (the molecules that cause cell damage, disease, and the aging process). While a “healthy fat” may sound contradictory, EVOO is primarily made up of monounsaturated fat, which is known to be heart healthy. This fat has been shown time and time again to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and chronic inflammation in adults.
2. Promote a Healthy Brain
Your heart isn’t the only thing that quality extra virgin olive oil can help keep in great shape. According to Healthline, diets high in cold-pressed olive oils have been shown to also support brain health. They highlighted a study conducted on the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet which uses lots of olive oil for cooking. It found that individuals who followed this diet have a slower decline in mental sharpness and memory with age.
Cold-pressed olive oil makes the list of brain-boosting foods that are backed by science. Incorporating it into your diet, along with other “brain food” like veggies, berries, nuts, whole grains, and fish, and you can be giving your intellect an edge.
It’s important to note that for this diet to be successful, you should stick to the recommended serving of cold-pressed olive oil and avoid foods high in sodium.
3. Help You Lose Weight
The International Olive Council emphasized that olive oil is a “nutrient of great biological value”. And even though it is high in calories like other fats and oils, it can help you lose weight when incorporated into a healthy diet.
According to the council, it has been demonstrated that an olive-oil-rich diet can lead to greater and longer-lasting weight loss when compared to a low-fat diet (like the Mediterranean diet). Since cold-pressed olive oil is in its purest form, it’s the best kind of oil to add while you cook. A few tablespoons add great flavor and antioxidants when cooking vegetables, and a few dashes in a salad can level up your greens.
Cold-Pressed Olive Oil From Sonoma Gourmet
Are you hungry yet? While plain, cold-pressed EVOO is perfect for cooking, the chefs at Sonoma Gourmet are spicing it up with our selection of flavored olive oil.
We’re taking olive oil to the next level so you can add a little zing to your next meal or even your dessert. We weren’t kidding when we said cold-pressed olive oil goes with everything. Next time you head to your freezer for a scoop of your favorite ice cream, add a light drizzle of flavored olive oil and prepare to have your tastebuds sing.
For more dinner inspiration, check out our easy recipes that you can whip up in a matter of minutes with our cold-pressed olive oil, pasta sauces, and other great creations.