Why Olive Oil?
Oleocanthal: the Most Important Ingredient, in Olive Oil
Oleocanthal is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that has been shown to have similar effects to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. This means that consuming olive oil with high levels of oleocanthal may help reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to a variety of health issues, including heart disease, arthritis, and cancer.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, olive oil is also a good source of monounsaturated fats, which can help lower bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
However, it's important to note that not all olive oils are created equal. In recent years, there have been concerns about fraud and adulteration in the olive oil industry, with some products being labeled as "extra virgin" olive oil but actually containing lower-quality oils or even other types of oil altogether.
One way to test the authenticity of olive oil is to taste it. Real extra virgin olive oil should have a distinctive fruity and slightly bitter taste, with a slight burning or tingling sensation in the throat caused by the presence of oleocanthal. If the oil tastes flat or rancid, it may not be genuine.
Another way to test olive oil is to look for certification from reputable organizations, such as the International Olive Council or the California Olive Oil Council. These organizations have strict standards for olive oil quality and can help ensure that the product you're buying is genuine.
Olive oil is a healthy and flavorful ingredient that is an important part of the Mediterranean diet. By choosing high-quality, authentic olive oil and incorporating it into your diet, you may be able to enjoy the health benefits of oleocanthal and other beneficial compounds while also adding flavor and nutrition to your meals.
Starbucks is not the only Company Offering Olive-Oil Infused Drinks
- Blue Bottle Coffee: This specialty coffee company based in California offers an "Olive Oil Latte" on its menu. The latte is made with a blend of espresso, steamed milk, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
- Boxcar Coffee Roasters: This Colorado-based coffee company offers an "Olive Oil Mocha" on its menu. The mocha is made with espresso, melted chocolate, steamed milk, and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Olyra: This Greek company produces a line of olive oil-infused herbal teas, which combine olive oil with ingredients like chamomile, sage, and mint.
While olive oil is not a traditional ingredient in coffee or tea, some experts believe that it could become more popular in the future as consumers become more interested in healthy and sustainable food and beverage options. Olive oil is a good source of healthy fats and antioxidants, and using it in hot beverages could provide a unique flavor profile and health benefits.
However, there are also potential challenges to incorporating olive oil into hot beverages. Olive oil can have a strong flavor and aroma, which may not appeal to all consumers. Additionally, the oil may separate or congeal in hot liquid, which could affect the texture and mouthfeel of the drink. Also, both Olive Oil, and Coffee, can accelerate a person's bowels; so taken together, even more so. Start with a small serving!
The use of olive oil in hot beverages like coffee and tea is still a relatively niche trend, but it will be interesting to see if it gains more traction in the future as consumers continue to seek out unique and healthy drink options.
What Else can be Infused into Coffee, and are there Health Benefits?
- Cinnamon: Adding a dash of cinnamon to your coffee can provide a warm, spicy flavor and aroma. Cinnamon is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and may help lower blood sugar levels.
- Cardamom: This spice has a sweet and floral flavor with a hint of citrus. It is commonly used in Middle Eastern coffee preparations and may help with digestive issues and bad breath.
- Ginger: Ginger has a sharp and slightly sweet flavor with a spicy kick. It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and may help with nausea and digestion.
- Vanilla: Vanilla adds a sweet, creamy flavor to coffee. It is a popular addition to flavored coffee drinks and can also be used as a natural sweetener.
- Coconut Milk: For a creamy, dairy-free alternative to traditional milk, try adding coconut milk to your coffee. It has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor and is a good source of healthy fats.
Infusing coffee with these ingredients can provide both flavor and health benefits, allowing you to enjoy a delicious and nutritious drink. Additionally, by adding natural flavorings like cinnamon or vanilla, you can reduce the need for added sugars or artificial sweeteners in your coffee Infusing coffee with different flavors and ingredients can be a fun and creative way to enjoy your daily cup. Whether you prefer sweet, spicy, or nutty flavors, there are many options to explore. And by using natural ingredients, you can enjoy the taste without the added sugar or artificial flavors that can be found in some commercial coffee drinks.