The Many Uses and Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Most people know that there are many health benefits of olive oil. It is high in monounsaturated fat, a "good fat" that lowers your cholesterol. It contains antioxidants and vitamins A, D, E and K, which are believed to slow the aging process. It may lower your risk of heart disease and colon cancer. Olive oil also aids digestion and helps your body absorb calcium.
It is a good oil to use daily. It is tasty too. But don't use too much! Like all oils, it is 120 calories per tablespoon. Just substitute it for the other fats you already use. Use it in stir fries or dip your bread in it instead of using butter.
Try it on your salad instead of salad dressing. Drizzle a little olive oil on your lettuce, just enough to coat the leaves. Splash on a little vinegar and salt and you're done.
Olive oil is also excellent on a plain tomato salad.The tomato juices mix with the oil to make a delicious dip for your bread. You could just simply slice up some tomatoes, and add olive oil and salt. A little oregano or basil is nice too. Or add a sliced up cucumber or some boiled, diced potatoes.
Here is a conversion chart
Butter or margarine
2 1/4 tsp
1/4 c + 2 Tbsp
1/2 c + 1 Tbsp
Use olive oil instead of butter.
I have actually used olive oil in place of butter in cookies and granola bars and no one has noticed! You may want to use light olive oil instead of extra virgin as its flavour is not as strong.
But everyone knows you can cook with olive oil. What else can you do with it?
Olive oil as medicine
- Soothe ear aches: Warm a little olive oil in the microwave. Lie on your side and place a few drops into ear. Lie still for a few minutes to really get it in there.
- Sore throat or cough remedy: In a pan, mix together 3-4 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 c honey, and 1/2 cup olive oil. Warm on low for five minutes. Take one tablespoon every 1-2 hours.
- Cradle cap: Rub a little olive oil onto your baby's head and let it soak in for a few minutes. Using a baby comb, very gently scrape away at the flakes. Shampoo hair.
- Laxative: Take 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil on an empty stomach. If you can't stand the taste, mix with the juice of one lemon. Wash it down with a cup of water.
- Sunburn remedy: Mix equal parts olive oil and water. Beat on high until it becomes an emulsion ( like mayonnaise). Apply to affected area.
- Reduce the effects of alcohol: Take 2 tsp olive oil before going out to drink. It will prevent alcohol from entering the bloodstream so quickly.
It is recommended that you use the highest quality extra-virgin olive oil you can afford. It is the tastiest and also the highest in antioxidants.
- Bath oil:Add a little to your bathwater and your skin will be amazingly soft. Just be very careful, your tub will be very slippery!
- Body scrub:Mix 1/2 c olive oil with 1 Tbsp coarse grain sea salt. Add a few drops of scented essential oil, like lavender, if you wish. Massage all over your body and shower off when you are done.
- Eye makeup remover:Rub a drop onto your eyelids and gently wipe off with cotton balls. This will also moisturize the delicate skin around your eyes.
- Olive oil conditioner:Mix 1/2 c olive oil with an egg yolk and a few drops of lemon. Shampoo hair. apply conditioner and leave on for five minutes. Shampoo, rinse, repeat.
- Frizz tamer:To get rid of frizzy, flyaway hair, place a drop or two of olive oil onto your hands. Rub hands together and run fingers through the length of your hair.
- Hot oil treatment: Warm a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in the microwave. Massage into scalp and hair. Heat further with a hair dryer for a few minutes. Let soak in for 15 minutes. Shampoo, rinse, repeat.
- Cuticle softener: Soak your fingertips in a bowl of warm olive oil for 5-10 minutes. Rinse off and push back your cuticles.
Around the House
Here are a few environmentally friendly cleaning formulas:
- Floor cleaner: First sweep and wash floors with water mixed with a little vinegar. When floor is dry, mix several drops of olive oil with several drops of lemon juice. Pour onto a dry mop and rub onto your floor until it's shiny.
- To avoid wax buildup in your candle holders, rub a few drops olive oil inside. Melted wax will wipe out easily.
- Wood furniture cleaner: Mix 1/4 c vinegar, 1 tsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp baking soda. Dip a dry cloth in and rub onto wood.
- To restore wood furniture: Whisk together 1 c olive oil, 1/2 c lemon juice until emulsified. Place into a spray bottle, spray and wipe.
- Furniture polish: Mix the juice of one lemon with 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp water. Dip a cloth in, wring out well and rub onto furniture with a circular motion following the grain of wood. Let stand 5 minutes, then buff with a dry cloth.
- Use a little on a dry cloth to polish brass, pewter or stainless steel.
Adding olive oil to your pet's diet will give your pet a nice, shiny coat. It appears to slow the shedding process in dogs and cats and may prevent fur balls.
Just mix it in with their food. Add 1/2 tsp a day for cats and small dogs. Medium sized dogs weighing up to 50 pounds can have 1 tsp. Dogs weighing 50-100 pounds can have 1-2 Tbsp and for dogs over 100 pounds, you can add 1/4 cup.
Use it to lubricate your dog's nose or paws if they seem a little dry. Just try to distract her for a few minutes after applying, or she will lick it all off.
If ear mites are bothering your pet, mix 3 tsp olive oil with the liquid from a 500 IU capsule of vitamin E. Drop into ears and massage it in. Try it for three days, stop for two and repeat for three more days. If there is no improvement, see your vet.
Things can get a little messy with these home remedies. For stain removal, try rubbing baking soda onto the spot, leave overnight, and wash as usual. The baking soda should absorb the oil.
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