|Olive Oil – Gift of the Mediterranean
Last week I posted a piece about Olive Oil and its benefits to our health, especially in heart health. I want to add a few practical matters to that discussion.
Here are a few suggestions for how to use olive oil. You may want to add some of them to your current practices.
· Use an Olive Oil dressing on your favorite salad. Making your own will spare you the additives in store-bought dressings, and will give you a much tastier dressing.
Creamy Italian Herb Dressing*
2 cups olive oil
1 cup basil
1 cup parsley
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tsp onion
½ lemon, juiced
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbs honey
2 Tbs dried Italian seasoning
1/ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
Blend all ingredients in a blender.
· Sprinkle green vegetables with olive oil instead of margarine or butter. Make pesto and serve with your favorite pasta.
· Prepare your own raspberry vinaigrette for salads.
Try this one:
1 ¼ cups raspberries
1 cup orange juice
2 Tbs olive oil
½ Tbs lemon juice
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
· Add flavor to olive oil by infusing the oil with sprigs of rosemary or other dried herbs.
In addition to all the benefits there are to putting olive oil inside our bodies, it’s good to keep in mind that the same antioxidants that heal internal cells may help protect the outer layers of cells, our skin, from damage. People living thousands of years ago in ancient Greece took for granted that extra virgin olive oil is one of the best beauty secrets to be found. It’s a wonderful lubricant for dry skin, and can also be used to create a hair mask or eye makeup remover.
Indeed, the multibillion beauty industry of today beauty uses olive oil in a large proportion of its products, from skin moisturizers to nail care kits.
Some people are interested in the study of olive oil, much like there are connoisseurs of wine or coffee. Several months ago I heard a fascinating interview of Tom Mueller, who, in 2011, released his book Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.” In it he makes the point that not all olive oils are equal in taste quality or health benefits, depending largely on how much they have been tampered with and/or tainted in the processing mechanisms. I was very interested in what he had to say, bought his book, and put it on my shelf where it remains yet unread. That’s another story, but if you live near me and want to borrow it, I will happily lend it in return for a nice book report. If you’d like to buy your own copy, you can click on the image below, and get right to it. (If you take that route, I will appreciate the small commission I receive from Amazon, which has no affect on the price you pay. Thanks for helping me to spread the word about healthier eating and living!)
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* Recipes from Living on Live Food, by Alissa Cohen