I use olive oil for so many things, it’s quite funny really. I use it for cooking, for baking, drizzled over salads. It’s seriously my go-to if I want to add a punch of flavor just like that. In cooking, it helps synthesize all the flavors in the dish right from the get-go. From sauteeing to the final stages of any dish, cooking with infused olive oil can really make a difference sometimes. This recipe is good for people who aren’t too fond of the flavor of olive oil, but would still like to incorporate it into their meals for health purposes.
Garlic and Olive Oil — A Winning Combination
It’s such a shame that in this day and age with so much information available to us that there are still many people out there who religiously use vegetable oil for cooking. When you consider that heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, you would think more people would be conscious of the effect that the food has on their health. When you heat vegetable oil, it causes oxidation, and once consumed it can increase blood pressure and total cholesterol, inflammation, and it can also increase your risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. (1)
By swapping out harmful vegetable oils for olive oil though, you are actually consuming a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids that not only protect your cardiovascular system, they provide many other health benefits as well. (2)
Regular Olive Oil vs. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Olive oil is graded according to its oleic acid content. They are all the same type, but vary in color, quality, and taste. Changes in appearances are common, even when they are the same ‘type’ of olive oil. Regular olive oil typically has more oleic acid and is lighter in color. Extra virgin olive oil contains less than 1% of oleic acid, and is darker and more bitter than regular olive oil. However, it contains more antioxidants and fewer sensory flaws.
For this recipe, be very careful about choosing the type of garlic you use. Do not use bottled or canned garlic as this has been soaked in water, so the flavor is not quite the same. Also, fresh garlic has a more pungent aroma, which is what you want when infusing oils. You want both the smell and juices to permeate the solution for maximum absorption. Aside from adding flavor, garlic adds an extra level of protection in the body thanks to its anti-inflammatory and immune system boosting properties. (3)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 2-3 thyme sprigs (optional)
- 2 small dried chilis (optional)
- In a saucepan place all the ingredients.
- Cook over very low heat for 5 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the oil registers 180ºF.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely at room temperature.
- Transfer in a bottle and seal the lid.
- Refrigerate up to 1 month.
Now that you have your garlic infused olive oil, it’s time to test it out. Try cooking these paleo recipes with it.
- The Best Ever Zucchini and Green Bean Salad
- Slow Cooked Bolognese Sauce with Sweet Potato Noodles
- Paleo Zucchini Fritters
Want more Paleo recipes? Take a look at the Paleo Grubs Book. With 470+ easy-to-prepare Paleo recipes in 17 comprehensive categories it is the only Paleo book you will ever need.
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