Welcome to the Choose Cooking Blog

It seems you can buy any cooking oil you want in the grocery store these days as long as its Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

‘Extra Virgin’ means it is fragile and unrefined to protect its delicate flavor. It is produced from a single type of olive rather than a blend of several olive varieties making it more expensive than other oils. Extra Virgin Olive Oil can be used for short term medium to medium low sauteing and baking and most are safe to use up to 325 degrees, depending on brand. At this point the oil may begin to smoke and break down into trans fats, creating free radical molecules with potential health effects.   One thing that most of us will agree on is that trans fats are bad for health and to be avoided.

Manufacturers recommend (and I agree) the best use of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is for finishing dishes – added at the end of cooking for a healthy flavor boost, drizzled over a soup or entree, in salad dressings, dipping oils, and pestos to name a few. Better choices for medium temperature cooking are grapeseed oil, coconut oil, and pure olive oil (a blend of virgin and refined oils). Save EVOO for uses where its delicate flavor can be appreciated. Your health and your wallet will thank you.  Click here for an excellent resource for information on oils and uses by temperature on the Spectrum Organic website.   More on this topic later!

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Maria W. on February 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I’m glad to see this clarified. I’ve always questioned the the over use of this oil. Looking forward to learning more about healthier eating and cooking practices.


  2. Posted by Deb G on February 24, 2012 at 7:02 am

    And as we all know too much of even a good thing can be BAD! I’m always telling my husband this as he slathers his bread with dipping oils 🙂 It’s still FAT and still has calories – it’s just a better alternative to butter when used in moderation.


  3. Well said, Deb. Even though olive oil is a healther fat than some other choices there are more calories per gram in fat than in protein and carbohydrates combined. It’s easy to over do!


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