YES — you can cook with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, buy quality.
As you probably know, Olive Oil is often adulterated.
Mercola wrote, “When it comes to olive oil, tests reveal anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of the olive oils sold in American grocery stores and restaurants are adulterated with cheap, oxidized, omega-6 vegetable oils, such as sunflower oil or peanut oil, or non-human grade olive oils, which are harmful to health in a number of ways.”
I have found that Costco’s Kirkland Toscano organic extra virgin olive oil is good, so I stick with that for price and quality. Lately, however, my local Costco is not stocking the Toscano EVOO in dark glass bottles.
The other brands that I would use are California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Kosterino Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Their story: https://www.kosterina.com/pages/our-story
Kosterina: Cold-pressed EVOO made from Koroneiki olives in Southern Greece. Harvested early to maximize antioxidants that promote longevity and provide bold flavor.
“”Katerina Mountanos, founder of the Greek olive oil company Kosterina, explains that harvesting olives early while they are green, before they ripen—known as “early harvest olive oil”—is an important step to ensuring a high polyphenol content (along with the use of organic farming methods free of pesticides and herbicides). “For a high-quality olive oil, the olives must be milled within four hours of harvesting,” she says. This early harvesting, along with organic farming methods and careful processing and bottling, can all contribute to a polyphenol content as high as 400 mg/kg. Unfortunately, most extra virgin olive oils on the market are nowhere near this count.” Source
EVOO loses nutrients and antioxidants with time.
Look for Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a dark colored glass bottle, or opaque bottle, (not in plastic!). If the manufacture bottles in clear glass or plastic that indicates that they don’t care or understand about preserving the benefits of olive oil.
Light, heat and oxygen are enemies to olive oil.
A sealed, unopened bottle stored in a cool dark place only has 24 month shelf life from harvest date (when olives were picked from the tree). The bottle may give Best By Date, to be sure you use up the oil by that date. After opening, try to use it within a few months.
The oil should have a greenish tint.
GUESS WHAT? Olive oil is the most stable oil to cook with!
I used to think that it was not because of smoke point — now I have learned that was a myth without basis and newer research proves that this is true.
GOOD TO KNOW:
High quality, EVOO is highly stable when heated.
Thanks to the polyphenols, the EVOO is protected when heated.
Our #1 choice for cooking should be EVOO, it does not change chemical composition like other oils do (second choice for cooking would be coconut oil, then butter/tallow, then avocado oil).
Polyphenol-rich olive oil is what we want!
It should have a peppery taste, and have a little “bite” in the back of your throat.