I spent yesterday at the incredible Cobram Estate and learnt all about the health benefits of using Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in cooking. Not only does it taste fantastic, #EVOO is the most natural and unrefined oil you can use in cooking. The founders (Rob & Paul) are true champions. Their journey so far and how they strive to deliver such high-quality oil is extremely inspiring!
Did you know that high-quality EVOO makes the safest cooking oil given that it produces very few potentially harmful polar compounds in comparison to canola, grapeseed, rice bran, sunflower oils among others? Well, the study by Cobram Estate on cooking with extra virgin olive oil confirms the above statement. Also, that the best predictors of an oil’s behaviour when heated is its oxidative stability (i.e. the more antioxidants, the better), the amount of PUFA (polyunsaturated) fat (i.e. lower the better) and the degree of refining.
Wonder what makes the extra virgin olive oil superior to the others? I did too. And here’s what I learnt from Cobram Estate: –
- The smoke point is high enough
- EVOO is high in mono-unsaturated fat so it is very stable under heat i.e. does not readily create all the nasties such as free radicals and other cell-damaging compounds when heated
- It has high levels of natural, complex antioxidants that protect it while cooking and infuse into the food.
- During the cooking process, there is an exchange between the fat that we cook with and the fat in our food. Frying a beef schnitzel in EVOO will make the schnitzel have lower levels of saturated fats and higher levels of monounsaturated (healthy) fats. Contrarily, frying the same schnitzel in seed oils will only increase the levels of polyunsaturated and trans (nasty) fats in the food.
The average olive oil produced by Cobram Estate is typically characterised as early harvest oil – picked at the right moment, capturing the rich fruit flavour, natural goodness and antioxidants. The EVOO is so versatile you can use it for hot and cold cooking, adds an incredible flavour and is good for our health as a whole. I am so grateful to the wonderful team at Cobram Estate for having had us over! It was an insightfully delightful tour.
As a conclusion, I’d say, having been to the best olive oil estate in Australia and having witnessed so much of the genius process myself, I know what cooking oil I’ll reach for in a supermarket here on!💪🏻☺️