Find out if olive oil is gluten-free, what it’s made of, and what brands to shop for at the store.
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If you love cooking with olive oil you’re going to love this post. Find out if olive oil is gluten free, what it’s made of, and used for. Also discover when you need to be aware of gluten making its way into olive oil, the different types of olive oil, and get a list of brands that will be safe for your gluten-free diet.
Olive oil is an extremely common ingredient in many recipes and prepared foods that you can find at the grocery store. It can be used in salads, marinades, and even used for cooking at a low heat. Many people also bake with olive oil as it provides a unique flavor to some cakes and cookies.
The olive oil that we are most familiar with is extra virgin olive oil, and this is considered a “healthy fat” oil because it is made from olives.
Olives are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for your brain, heart, and skin health. Omega-3’s are even said to fight inflammation, which can be really helpful if you are following a gluten-free diet for gut health related issues, like food intolerances or other inflammatory issues.
Let’s go over everything you know about adding olive oil into your gluten-free diet.
What is olive oil made of?
Olive oil is made by crushing olives at a high pressure to extract the natural oils that are in the olives. It’s really that simple, olives pressed to get the oils out… ta da! Olive oil is born!
What is olive oil used for?
Olive oil is used in a variety of dishes and recipes. It is commonly used in salad dressings, marinades, cooking meats or vegetables and low to medium temperatures, and can even be used in baking recipes.
Olive oil has a low smoke point, meaning you don’t want to cook it to too high of a temperature or it will smoke and begin to break down.
Is olive oil gluten-free?
Since olives are naturally gluten-free, olive oil is as well. You can feel safe using this ingredient in your gluten-free cooking, as long as you’re aware of the potential for cross contamination in some brands.
Gluten and olive oil
Since olive oil is naturally gluten-free, the main ways you’d need to worry about gluten entering your olive oil is through cross contamination. The places this might occur would be in a shared facility where the manufacturer also processes gluten-containing ingredients.
The best way to determine if your olive oil is gluten-free is to look for a gluten-free label or find a brand that is committed to keeping their facilities free of major allergens.
Another thing to consider when it comes to gluten and olive oil is in the other ingredients added to recipes you’re using. Be sure that the recipes you’re making don’t call for gluten-containing ingredients, otherwise your gluten-free olive oil won’t make a whole lot of difference!
All gluten-free ingredients plus a gluten-free olive oil will make a great gluten-free dish.
The other way gluten could contaminate your olive oil is through other gluten-containing ingredients coming into contact with the oil. An example of this might be at a restaurant that serves bread with herbs and olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Are the herbs added to the flavored olive oil added fresh or dried? Are they added from a prepared mix or added from individual containers? If a mix is used, you’d need to be sure the ingredients of that prepared mix are also gluten-free and have no hidden sources of gluten.
Be sure to check any prepared products you buy from the store for any gluten that might not be obvious from the packaging. If a salad dressing says it’s “olive oil and vinegar” flavored, don’t trust that those are the only two ingredients in that dressing.
Review the ingredients list for any other sources of gluten, or better yet, look for a gluten-free label, to be sure that product is gluten-free.
How is olive oil made?
The way olive oil is made depends on the type of olive oil you buy. The most common type of olive oil you’re likely to find at grocery stores and called for in recipes is extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is made by pressing olives with high pressure to squeeze out and extract all the oil that was inside the olives. This is done usually with no added heat, then bottled.
Making extra virgin olive oil is so straightforward, you can even make it at home if you wanted to! Get a few buckets of fresh olives and an olive press and see how much oil you can extract!
Other types of olive oil are more refined, meaning they are treated with chemicals or have been heated to extract more of the oil from the olives. The more refined the oil, generally, the less health benefits that oil provides.
Types of olive oil
There are a few different varieties of olive oil that you’re likely to find at grocery stores, each having their own benefits for creating different dishes and recipes.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is the most popular olive oil you’ll find at grocery stores and in recipes. This olive oil is extracted most naturally from olives than the others you’ll find. The most common methods of extraction include pressing or using a centrifuge.
Extra virgin olive oil is usually cold-pressed, meaning it hasn’t been heated before the extraction process.
This type of olive oil is green in color and tastes like olives. It’s great in salad dressings, marinades, and used on low heat to saute vegetables or other ingredients.
Virgin olive oil
This olive oil is made by extracting olives using mechanical methods. Compared to extra virgin olive oil, this oil is lighter green in color.
Virgin olive oil is generally less expensive than extra virgin olive oil, and is sometimes extracted using heat.
You can use virgin olive oil in the same types of recipes you’d use for extra virgin olive oil.
Pure olive oil
Pure olive oil is more refined than the virgin olive oil and extra virgin olive oil. This oil is more yellow-green than green in color.
This type of olive oil is better for cooking since it smokes less than extra virgin or virgin olive oil, but you’ll still not want the heat too high if you use this.
Light olive oil
Light olive oil is the most refined type of olive oil there is. It is more yellow in color than the other types of olive oil.
This olive oil is better when used in cooking recipes than in salad dressings or marinades, as the flavor is more neutral and doesn’t really provide much olive taste to the dish.
This olive oil can also handle more heat than the other types of oil, because it is more refined and can handle higher heats.
Brands of gluten-free olive oil
While most brands of olive oil contain only pure olive oil, it never hurts to have a short list of products you can look for knowing they’re safe for your gluten-free diet.
This list includes brands that make gluten-free claims on their product packaging or website, on their Amazon pages, or are made with pure olive oil, which would make them safe for a gluten-free diet.
- De La Rosa
- Filippo Berio
- Mary Ruth Organics
- M.G. Pappas
- Thrive Market
If you’ve been wondering if olive oil is safe for your gluten-free diet, I hope you found this post helpful. Next time you’re shopping for olive oil, be sure to check out the list of brands I shared in this post to help you make a quick and informed decision.