Uses of Olive Oil
Olive oil is known as the healthiest oil in the world. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, people consuming olive oil tend to live longer because they are not at risk of developing circulatory or heart disease, or cancer.
There are two common types of olive oil, including pure olive oil and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). The former is made from a filtering process that involves the use of chemicals, whereas the latter is cold pressed, giving you high-quality olive oil.
People mostly know about the culinary uses of olive oil, and that too in a small capacity. This liquid gold from the Mediterranean is also used for skincare and miscellaneous things around the house.
Let’s dive deep into the uses of olive oil and how they can simplify your life:
Salad Dressings: One of the most common culinary uses of olive oil is in salad dressings. Extra virgin olive oil, with its robust and fruity flavor, adds depth to your salads. When paired with balsamic vinegar or any other acidic condiment, it creates a sweet-sour vinaigrette that can transform a simple salad into a culinary delight.
Sautéing and Frying: Olive oil has a high smoke point, which varies depending on the type of olive oil you are using. Pure olive oil has a smoke point of 375°, which makes it a good option for deep-frying and baking. Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point and is richer in flavor, making it an excellent choice for sautéing vegetables and drizzling. It is also a healthier alternative to many other cooking oils, thanks to its high levels of monounsaturated fats.
Drizzling: For an elegant touch, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over dishes just before serving. This enhances the dish’s presentation and adds a burst of flavor. It’s particularly popular on dishes like grilled vegetables, pasta, and soups.
Dipping Sauce: In Mediterranean cultures, it’s customary to serve a dish of olive oil for dipping with fresh bread. To create a delicious dipping sauce, simply mix extra virgin olive oil with spices, herbs, lemon juice, and garlic for an added punch. This simple yet flavorful concoction can be served as an appetizer or accompaniment to various dishes in different cuisines.
Baking: While olive oil is often associated with savory dishes, it can also be used in baking. In Middle Eastern and Mediterranean baking, olive oil is a common ingredient in recipes like focaccia bread and cakes. Not only does it add flavor to the dish, but also moisture. When using olive oil in baking, it’s essential to select a light or mild olive oil to avoid overpowering the sweetness of your treats.
Marinades: Olive oil is a key ingredient in marinades for vegetables, meats and seafood. The oil helps tenderize the protein while infusing it with flavor. For a basic marinade, combine olive oil with herbs like oregano, rosemary, and thyme. This mixture can be used to marinate chicken, beef, lamb, or even tofu.
Roasting: Roasting is another culinary application of olive oil that yields delectable results. Coat vegetables, potatoes, or whole poultry with olive oil to help them achieve that irresistible golden-brown crispiness. The oil also prevents the food from drying out during the roasting process. The choice of olive oil can influence the final flavor of your dish, with extra virgin varieties imparting a richer taste.
Pesto: Pesto is a traditional Italian sauce with the key ingredient olive oil. To make pesto, you will need olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, and pine nuts. The oil binds the ingredients and provides a creamy, smooth texture. This sauce can be added to pasta, used for grilling meats, and spread on sandwiches.
Infused Oils: Infused olive oils are a culinary delight. These are created by infusing olive oil with various flavors like garlic, chili peppers, or herbs. To make infused oil, warm the oil and add your chosen ingredients. Let it sit for a few days to allow the flavors to meld. The result is a custom oil that can be used in a wide range of dishes.
Finisher for Stews: A little bit of extra virgin olive oil as a final touch can work wonders for stews. One of the reasons olive oil is added as a garnish is because it releases polyphenols, which help lower blood pressure and promote good circulation.
Antipasti and Tapas: Antipasti and Tapas are integral components of Italian and Spanish cuisine. The former is a first course, whereas the latter is an appetizer, which is olives marinated in olive oil, spices, and herbs and served in a bowl to refresh your palate.
Grilling Meats: Olive oil is often used to coat meats before they hit the grill. This imparts a delightful smokiness to the food and prevents it from sticking to the grill. The smoky, charred flavors of grilled items pair perfectly with the fruity notes of olive oil.
Preserving Foods: Extra virgin olive oil isolates food from the air, which leads to oxidation. It creates an air-tight seal that prevents mold. Herbs, vegetables, and even cheese can be submerged in olive oil to extend their shelf life while imparting unique flavors. Feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes preserved in olive oil with spices and herbs are notable examples.
Olive Oil and Skincare
Benefits of Olive Oil for the Skin
Olive oil is known for its rich composition of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, making it a valuable addition in skincare products. Before discussing its uses in this area, here are a few key properties of olive oil that make it an excellent ingredient for maintaining radiant and healthy skin:
- Moisturizing: Olive oil contains fatty acids that help lock in moisture and prevent your skin from drying out. This is particularly beneficial for people with dehydrated skin.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Olive oil has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe inflamed and irritated skin. This makes it a suitable option for people with conditions like psoriasis or eczema.
- Antioxidant-Rich: The antioxidants in olive oil, such as polyphenols and Vitamin E, protect the skin from free radical damage. This is the culprit that accelerates skin aging, damaging it in the process.
- Exfoliation: When combined with natural exfoliants like salt or sugar, olive oil creates a nourishing and gentle scrub. This removes dead skin cells, leaving your skin feeling smooth and soft.
- Cleansing: Olive oil is an effective natural cleanser. It can dissolve sunscreen, makeup, and other skin impurities without stripping away natural oils. This is why most people prefer skincare products with olive oil for double cleansing.
Makeup Remover: Dip a cotton pad in olive oil and wipe away makeup. It is even effective in cleaning waterproof mascara, lipstick and eyeliner. Its moisturizing properties will leave your skin feeling clean and hydrated.
DIY Face Massager: Apply a small amount to your dry face, massage it in, and then rinse with warm water. This will help maintain your skin’s elasticity and keep it firm. For deep hydration, apply it in the morning and before bedtime.
Body Moisturizer: Extend the moisturizing benefits of olive oil to your body by applying olive oil to your damp skin. It will lock in the moisture, leaving your skin supple and soft.
Face Mask: Create a hydrating face mask by mixing olive oil with ingredients like avocado, honey, or yogurt. Its antioxidant properties will protect your skin from environmental damage and give it a natural glow.
Lip Balm: Olive oil is an effective remedy for chapped lips. Apply a small amount to your lips to prevent dryness and keep them soft. Its hydrating properties will also reduce pigmentation.
Cuticle Oil: Massaging olive oil into your cuticles keeps the nail bed moisturized and hydrated. This prevents your nails from becoming brittle and dry.
Hair Conditioner: Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and minerals that deeply moisturize and nourish the scalp, preventing flakiness and dryness. A clean scalp is able to absorb nutrients fully, which promotes hair growth. It helps to condition and strengthen your hair, leaving it shiny and more manageable.
Tips for Using Olive in Your Skincare Routine
While olive oil can be a fantastic addition to your skincare routine, there are some precautions to keep in mind:
- Select High-Quality Olive Oil: Opt for extra virgin, as it retains more of its beneficial properties compared to refined versions.
- Patch Test: Before using olive oil on your face, always do a patch test to ensure you don’t have an adverse reaction.
- Moderation: A little goes a long way. You don’t need to drench your skin in olive oil. A few drops are sufficient for moisturizing.
- Remove Excess Oil: If you find that olive oil leaves your skin feeling too greasy, gently blot the excess with a tissue.
- Consult a Dermatologist: If you have specific skin conditions, consult a dermatologist before incorporating olive oil into your skincare routine.
From personal care to cleaning, olive oil is a valuable addition to your daily life. We have already discussed at length it’s uses in the kitchen and why you should include it in your skincare routine. Next are its uses for miscellaneous things around the house.
Wood Furniture Polish
Olive oil is a natural and effective wood polish. It opens up the wood fibers and deepens their color. Mix olive oil with a little vinegar and apply it to your wooden cabinets, tables, or chairs. It not only adds a beautiful shine but also nourishes the wood, preventing it from drying out and cracking.
If you own high-quality leather items like bags, shoes, or belts, you probably keep them wrapped in tissue paper to preserve their beauty. If there are scratches on them, use olive oil to clean them. As a natural moisturizer, olive oil helps restore luster. Gently rub a small amount on the scratch and see the magic unfold.
Stainless Steel Cleaner
Tired of seeing fingerprints and smudges on your stainless-steel appliances? A few drops of olive oil on a soft cloth can help you wipe them away and leave the surfaces gleaming. In fact, it creates a protective layer that prevents dust from accumulating on the appliance. This is what makes olive oil an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to store-bought cleaners.
If you have pets, olive oil can be beneficial for their overall health. Mixing a small amount with their food supports bone health, improves their coat’s shine, aids in digestion, strengthens the immune system, and reduces plaque. It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian for the proper application and dosage.
Removing Labels and Stickers
We all have struggled with sticky residue left behind by stickers. Olive oil can be your secret weapon to remove the half-torn and stuck mess. Apply a small amount to the residue, let it sit for a few minutes, and gently rub it away. It works like a charm and is much gentler than harsh chemicals.
Lubricant for Kitchen Appliances
Stiff kitchen appliances and stuck doors can be a nuisance. A few drops of olive oil on the hinges will banish that annoying squeaking noise and get the parts moving parts freely.
Shaving Cream Substitute
Did you forget to buy shaving cream on your last visit to the superstore? No worries! Grab the bottle of olive oil from the kitchen and use it to get silky, smooth hands and legs. Olive oil provides a soft surface for the razor and prevents irritation and razor burns.
While olive oil makes for a good ointment to remove earwax, we advise you to use it with caution. Warm a small amount of olive and use a dropper to add a few drops into your ear. This will soften the wax and make it easier for you to remove it.
Olive oil can also be used for creative projects, such as candle-making.
Simply fill a glass container with extra virgin olive oil, insert a wick, and light it. The low smoke point of EVOO makes it an eco-friendly option to create an inviting and warm atmosphere in your home.
Olive oil prevents oxygen from entering the metal’s pores, protecting it from rust. Apply a thin layer to items like kitchen knives or gardening tools to keep them rust-free.
DIY Cleaning Products
Olive oil, when combined with other common household items like lemon juice and vinegar, can be a key ingredient in DIY cleaning solutions. Oleic acid in olive oil is excellent at breaking down and dissolving grease and grime, making it a powerful cleaning agent.
And there you have it – an exhaustive list of the uses of olive oil. So, now you know that your culinary creations in the kitchen, the morning and bedtime skincare routine, and miscellaneous things in the house demand olive oil. This liquid gold will improve your life from head to toe and the house with its décor.
Maverick Oils offers different types of high-quality olive oils that can be used for all the purposes mentioned above. For more information about their oils, browse their website or call +1 (888) 516-8881.