For the longest time, we’ve been using only avocado oil for healthy cooking at home. My husband especially favors avocado oil above all else since it has a very high smoke point which makes it great to use for frying. Also, it has an extremely beneficial fatty acid profile, good levels of antioxidants and other healthy compounds.
Since we’re now exploring more recipes to try when cooking at home, we found that one of the next best types of oil is olive oil. With similar nutrition profile consisting of 120-124 calories per tablespoon and 14 grams of fat as avocado oil, olive oil is also rich in monounsaturated fats, which are the heart-healthy kind that promote good cholesterol. It’s rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which are largely resistant to heat, thus there’s less or minimal carcinogenic compounds that will be formed during cooking.
There’s so much arguments and debate going on whether cooking with olive oil is safe or bad for the health. I’ve gone through several articles and found a scientists’ report in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry which states that “olive oil withstands the heat of the fryer or pan better than several seed oils to yield more healthful food.” Another study points that “olive oil—both extra-virgin and refined—produced fumes with fewer volatile aldehydes than canola oil. Furthermore, most scientific studies show that olive oil is able to retain its nutritional properties and resist deterioration despite high heat.
So for now, the bottom line I choose to believe is that using olive oil for cooking is safe, and it’s probably safer and better when you can avoid reaching the smoke point. While it’s not harmful to the health, cooking oil past its smoke point can cause nutrient loss and create unpleasant off-flavors that’ll affect the taste of the finished dish. Note the slightly different smoke points of each type of olive oil:
- Extra virgin: 375 to 405°F
- Virgin: 390°F
- Pure: 410°F
- Light: 470°F
In the Philippines, one of the brands for olive oils we came across with recently is Doña Elena. Doña Elena uses two varieties of olives (hojiblanca and picual) and these are grown in Andalucia, Spain, which is known to be the global leader in terms of olive oil. These two varieties are delicately blended, producing a mild and fruity taste that is perfect for the Filipino palate.
Below are two easy and delicious recipes which make use of olive oil. What’s great is that these require only minimum effort so you won’t be stressed out and won’t have a difficult time in preparing for the family.
Fettucine with Seared Beef and Sour Cream by Chef Mikel Zaguirre
Yield: 3-4 persons, Time it takes to prepare: 30 minutes
- 200g Marinated Beef Tenderloin, Cleaned
- 2 Tbsp White Onion, Finely Chopped
- 1 Tbsp Garlic, Peeled and Finely Chopped
- 1 Tbsp Dona Elena Capers
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire
- 150 g Doña Elena Fettucine
- 2 Tbsp Doña Elena Red Wine
- 3 Tbsp Doña Elena Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp Sour Cream
- Beef Dry Rub
- 1 tsp Pimenton, Sweet
- 1 tsp Cocoa Powder, Unsweetened
- 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1/4 tsp All Spice Powder
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon Powder
- 1/8 Cayenne Pepper Powder
Combine all ingredients together and set aside to use for marinating beef tenderloin.
- Sear beef tenderloin with Dona Elena Pomace Olive Oil until desired doneness is achieved and let the meat rest.
- In a pot, boil 2L of water and add salt. Cook Doña Elena fettucine for 7-8 minutes and set aside.
- Using the oil from the seared meat, saute the onion and garlic briefly.
- Add the capers and deglaze with red wine.
- Add the cooked pasta and season with worcestershire.
- Slice the beef tenderloin.
- Plate the pasta and add the slices of beef tenderloin
- Add the sour cream and serve.
Chocolate Penne Rigate with Dried Fruits and Walnuts by Chef Mikel Zaguirre
Yield: 2 persons
- Belgian Chocolate, melted 1 Cup
- Penne Rigate 1/2 Cup
- Dried Apricot, chopped 1 Tablespoon Dried Cranberries, chopped 1 Tablespoon Walnuts, chopped 1 Tablespoon
- Cook the penne rigate until Al Dente. Set aside until cool.
- Line up the cooked penne rigate in a foil or mesh then pour in the melted chocolate.
- Sprinkle the apricot, cranberries, and walnuts.
- Let it cool for 30 minutes then ready to serve.
Doña Elena Olive Oil is exclusively distributed by Fly Ace Corporation in the Philippines. It is the consistent no. 1 Olive Oil brand according to A.C. Nielsen. Available in three (3) variants, extra virgin, pure and pomace which comes in 250 ml, 500 ml, 1 L glass bottles and 5L PET bottle sizes. For more tips, recipes, and promos visit @donaelenacuisineraclub on Facebook and Instagram.