We’ve had our eye out for fresh, vibrant choices and thought we’d share how a simple standby, olive oil, is the beloved basis of tasty meals and good health in our homes.
We’re interested in the natural healing properties of the foods we consume. As mentioned, the oleic and lipoic acids which occur in olive oil are beneficial to the detoxification process within the liver and boost immunization. A high-quality, fresh olive oil may also reduce the risk for heart disease and cancer, slow the effects of aging, and has zero cholesterol. Plant physiologists at the US Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Research Service suggest that 99 percent of olive oil’s health benefit is related to the presence of phenolic compounds. However, the presence of polyphenols, unique antioxidants, was surprisingly low in most commercially available olive oils. So freshly harvested olive oil makes the most difference for our health.
Adding extra virgin olive oil (evoo) to our diets has been as easy as cooking with it. We are careful how much heat we use though. Evoo is an unrefined oil and at high temperatures the smoky, disagreeable odor from its scorched particles can be stomach-turning. (The distinction between cooking oils which are refined versus unrefined is primarily how much process filtration they undergo before they are ready for purchase from a trusted source like We Olive. “Unrefined oils are best suited for unheated dressings, sautéing, or baking. Their natural resins and other beneficial particles burn easily and develop unpleasant flavors and unhealthful properties if overheated,” reports PCC Natural Markets in their article on choosing the right cooking oil. Check out their helpful cooking oil chart which identifies ideal temperatures, characteristics and uses.)
Our final (but not last) thought on evoo:
Health benefits aside, we also appreciate the all-important factor of delightful
taste. A favorite ingredient like olive oil is one to be savored. We simply enjoy its aroma and flavor at the table with a hunk of bread, balsamic, garlic… yum!
Easy Veggie Sautés to try:
-Olive oil, 2-3 garlic cloves minced, fresh leaf spinach and
fresh-frozen corn kernels seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin to taste. Sauté
uncovered until spinach is wilted and corn is heated through.
-Olive oil, fresh snap peas, broccoli pieces, thinly sliced carrots, cut yellow squash with salt, pepper, thyme and garlic powder to taste. Sauté covered for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally until broccoli and peas are bright green.
Stephanie Mendoza and Michelle Wells are two Belmont Shore parents, Type A Volunteers, as well as small businesswomen who are interested in finding healthy food and healthy choices for their families and friends.