Looking for how to make olive oil at home? This recipe helps you make your own olive oil with just the equipment in your kitchen.
It’s a great idea to make your own olive oil. Olive oil has so many health benefits and is easy to add to your everyday diet. It is full of healthy fats (which are good for your hair and skin) and is packed with antioxidants. In Naturopathy, it is also said to help prevent the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes amongst other diseases.
But before we start breaking down the method, do note that it is will take time and effort to extract olive oil at home. It is much easier and faster if you invest in the right equipment but that can be expensive. If you’re not planning on making your own oil regularly, you can make do with what you have at home.
Here’s how oil is extracted
Extracting oil from olives follows a basic process of grinding, pressing and separating. The olives are ground into paste which is then pressed to extract a fine oily liquid. Finally the liquid is allowed to settle and separate into layers, with the denser oil rising to the top. This oil is then decanted into a bottle for use.
How to make olive oil at home
Let’s learn how to make olive oil at home. For this recipe, you will need about 1 kilogram of olives which will give you approximately 70 ml of oil. You can use either green or black olives. Kalamata olives are a popular choice for oil because they usually have more taste, but you can use any type you like. You cannot use canned olives for making oil at home.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A powerful food processor
- A cup of warm water (suitable for drinking)
- A large square of cheesecloth, muslin or fine linen
- A mesh strainer
- A clear jar or bowl in which to collect and separate the oil
- A long handled spoon or ladle
- Bottles with lids for storage
- How to make olive oil at home
The first step in making olive oil is to wash the olives thoroughly in cool running water. Pick out stems, twigs, leaves or any debris too. Leave to dry on a clean surface. The olives do not have to be completely dry before you start.
Next, you will remove the pits. If you are using a heavy mechanical press to grind the olives, you can leave the pits in. Olive seeds contain a considerable amount of oil but you do not have to use them. If you are using a food processor, remove the pits because they might damage the blades.
Blend the pitted olives in batches to extract the pulp. You might have to do this in batches if you have a regular sized blender at home.
Grinding the olives will give you a chunky paste. You will run this through the blender again to break down the larger parts so that the paste is fine and smooth. Adding a quarter cup of warm water at this stage helps to release the oil.
At this point, you should start to see a soft shine developing in the paste. This is the oil.
It’s time to strain the paste. Line a large straining vessel with a cheesecloth, muslin, or fine linen cloth. Place a clear glass bowl or jar beneath. Pour the paste into the strainer and allow it to begin to drip into the bowl. Gather up the edges of the cloth into a bundle and squeeze. Squeeze the cloth bundle until you are left with the dry remnants of the paste.
Allow your collection jar to rest for two hours to allow the oil to separate. The oil will form a layer on top of the juice.
Using a long-handled scoop or ladle, siphon off the oil and decant your homemade olive oil into a bottle. Congratulations! You’ve made a bottle of delicious olive oil all by yourself!
Your homemade olive oil has no preservatives so make sure you store it in a cool dry place away from the light. Your bottle will last about 2 years but you should use it before that.
How to use olive oil
Olive oil is also known as liquid gold thanks to its incredible benefits. Whether you use it in your food or apply it to your skin and hair, it is good for you. The Mediterranean diet which is known to be great for heart health uses olive oil for good monounsaturated fats. Once you learn how to make olive oil at home, there are many ways to use it.
Here are some ways to use your homemade olive oil:
Use raw as a main ingredient: Your cold-pressed olive oil is ideal for drizzling on salads or over pasta, or on top of roast veggies. You could also serve it with a splash of balsamic vinegar as a topping for freshly baked bread or on bruschetta.
Use for cooking: Use olive oil to add fats to marinades and sauces. You can also use it for sautéing or roasting meats or vegetables. You can find a host of recipes using olive oil on the consumer websites of the Australia Olive Association.
Use on skin and hair: You can use your homemade olive oil to make a nourishing hot oil treatment for your hair, or rub it into your lips or cuticles for a burst of moisture. Olive oil can also be used as a massage oil or as a carrier oil for aromatherapy treatments. Find out more in our blog about aromatherapy here.
If you’ve been looking for how to make olive oil at home, you know that pressing and extracting your own oil gives you complete control over the final product. You can make a preservative-free, unrefined oil that is delicious and healthy for you and your family.