Oil – more than just an ingredient
Being rapidly renewable resources, plants have come to serve increasingly creative purposes. In addition to the kitchen, we use them in the preparation of natural syrups, cosmetics, biodegradable and compostable packaging, organic paints and even vegan leather, so in a way that is as harmful as possible to nature. On a large scale, the plants are also used in obtaining oils, used in food, cosmetics or even aromatherapy. Their extraction has evolved from manual crushing to pressing in low temperature conditions.
The story of the oils takes us back hundreds of years to the East, when, from the fruits of the rich olive trees, the production of an oil used then for medical and religious purposes began. Nowadays, olive oil is almost indispensable in the kitchen. It contains monounsaturated fats, so it is healthy and is perfect for preparing a refreshing salad or sauces of all kinds. Because it moisturizes intensely, it is also a major ingredient in skin care products such as hair masks, hand creams or serums.
A portion of guacamole seems to catch our eye, but we can also get oil from the avocado pulp. Although it is a healthier option for frying, the higher price is a disadvantage of it, which makes us keep it for more special dishes. It has a very high burning point, and long exposure to heat leads to loss of nutrients. It can be added to mayonnaise, salad dressing, or it can partially replace the classic dessert oil.
Another interesting example is peanut oil, obtained in several ways. You don’t have to worry if you’re allergic: in the refined version of the product, the components that cause allergies are eliminated. This is not the case with oil obtained by the simple pressing process, where the benefit is that most of the nutrients and flavor are preserved. It can be used for frying, preparing various ingredients, or it can replace sunflower oil where it is more suitable.
In Asian cuisine, loved by people everywhere, sesame oil is very popular and has a very special flavor. The inhabitants use it more for seasoning the dishes than for the cooking itself. For a culinary addition, it is added to noodle sauces or salad dressings, but its benefits do not stop in the kitchen. It helps to soothe wounds and burns due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and for people with lactose intolerance, it is a rich source of calcium.
If we turn our attention to other uses of oils, we find that they are often used in massage and aromatherapy, bringing relaxation, mental comfort, practically a balance in the body. In the case of these plants, the substance can be obtained from leaves, petals, roots, seeds, stem. Among the most popular essential oils are lavender, mint, lemon, sandalwood, bergamot, jasmine and tea tree.
Until he produces fruit and then oil himself, our little olive tree says that he also misses the smiles and laughter around him. We look forward to seeing you there as soon as possible and on the terrace, in a magical atmosphere of the evenings. summer under the garlands of lights.