Drizzle Cruets Gourmet

Drizzle Cruets Gourmet

Archive for the Category 'Olive Oil'

How can olive oil help us improve our health?

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Is there anything that we can do to obtain good health? Following the principles involved in the Mediterranean diet is certainly a big step that we can take for this matter. In order to decrease the margarine and butter consumption, you will need to use olive oil as the main source of fat. Prepackaged, processed foods and most of the ‘low fat’ varieties are other important sources of trans fatty acids. This harmful compound can also be found in cookies, chips, granola bars, candy bars, and cereals and so on.

Producers are trying to hide this ingredient through the ingredient lists of prepackaged foods, so it is really hard for us to spot it. If you discover the words: hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil on the label of a particular product, you need to know that these are trans fatty acids. Each producer will soon be obligated to list the amount of trans fatty acids on the Nutrition Facts label, according to the Drug Administration. Minimizing these products as much as possible and following a Mediterranean diet are the best steps that you can take at this moment to improve your health. You will have to read the label of the product in order to discover if it contains trans fatty acids or not.

The Mediterranean diet is based mostly on olive oil since the whole Mediterranean region includes countries that specialize in producing olive. The Mediterranean Sea is loaded with Olive trees. The olive oil is obtained by squeezing the mashed olives paste between mats. The purest, most nutrient-rich and most flavorful oil is obtained in the first pressing of the olives, called extra-virgin olive oil. This type of olive oil is practically the least processed olive oil. Due to the fact that its strong flavor diminishes or disappears when heated, we can say that the olive oil is more versatile than some other strongly flavored oils.

You can use the olive oil in your baking with great results. The more processed and refined grades of olive oil would be the lesser ones. Due to the fact that they contain less flavor and other important ingredients, the lesser grades of olive oil are much cheaper. Since it includes high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, Canola oil is considered a great substitute for olive oil, even though it is not included in the traditional Mediterranean cuisine.

Besides the monounsaturated fatty acids, the Canola oil also contains important amounts of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Moreover, olive oil contains other great nonnutritive substances that are not found in Canola oil, namely phytochemicals. However, canola oil is one position below olive oil when it comes to heart-healthy food choice.

Olive Oil Is Essential For A Healthy Mediterranean Diet

Friday, February 28th, 2014

The way food is viewed in the Mediterranean is that one eats to live; not that one lives to eat. Food is not to be obsessed about, made faster, or cheaper. It is to be enjoyed as part of life.  Yes, the Mediterranean diet is noted for and made up by the ingredients, but the Mediterranean diet is about the philosophy beyond the plate. Food is a part of culture and indicates a quality of life, as it sustains one and their loved ones. Various cultures that span the globe and time all have a phrase that boils down to being interpreted as “hand-flavor”. The phrase deems itself unappetizing, but it speaks to the thoughts, emotions, and that part of self that goes into the making of a dish.

Savory, that word should describe the food eaten and the life lived. It is an expression of self, and a symbol of loved ones. Food sustains life, and life should be a celebration of itself.  Every celebration has great food, an event that nourishes body and soul. A meal is meant to be so much more than sustenance on a plate, it is to be a time to enjoy a blissful part of the day with the ones you love in the journey of life.

With meat considered either a savory side dish or a decadent main course reserved for special occasions, the Mediterranean diet is all about the fresh produce and is a regional affair. Seasonal and local, outdoor markets offer a brilliant array of bright, fresh, and succulent vegetables that outshine much of America’s produce. In spring you have cherries, spinach, green beans, spring peas, wild greens, wild mushrooms, and zucchinis.  Summer brings with it cantaloupes, eggplants, figs, onions, peaches, peppers, tomatoes, and watermelons. Best of all is the grape harvest, with some grapes being reserved whole. The rest are pressed into wine, with even pigeage, or grape stomping, occurring occasionally. It is at this time of year, near the end of summer in the early autumn, that olives are harvested and pressed, yielding the Mediterranean’s prized olive oil. Also harvested are persimmons and pomegranates, consumed often as desert with other assorted fresh fruits.

While the individual ingredients may vary from country to country in the Mediterranean, there are key similarities and flavors that are shared.  The heavy use of olive oil for healthy fats and fresh produce year round. Herbs prominently favored in seasoning are basil, garlic, onions, oregano, parsley, and tomatoes. Lemon and pancetta (non-smoked bacon), often garnish the meals presented in the Mediterranean diet. These similarities have been shared and endure despite time and cultural differences.

Though frequently overshadowed by pasta, bread, often dipped in olive oil, is another staple. Traditionally, bread is dark, full of grains, and substantial enough to weigh several pounds. Even notorious pastas, various incarnations of rice, and a polenta cornmeal mix are all brimming with the vitamins and health benefits found in whole grains. Very unlike the soft, white, refined, and less healthy packaged breads commonly consumed by American consumers.  Yet, there is more to the Mediterranean diet than meets the taste buds.

Olive Oil Benefits Your Diet

Sunday, January 05th, 2014

The benefits of olive oil have been outlined by researchers and chefs alike. Anyone who is prone to cardiovascular disease, should always have olive oil in their kitchen.  Olive oil gets it’s healthy reputation because of the high amount of monounsaturated fat. Along with the nutritional health benefits, don’t overlook the benefit of the gourmet taste of olive oil in your cooking as well.

There are two main types to consider keeping on hand. The first is extra virgin olive oil, which is a great salad topping, because it doesn’t have to be cooked. When extra virgin olive oil is cooked, it tends to alter the flavor a bit. It may cost a bit more but the taste is worth the price. Another kind of olive oil is light or pure olive oil. It doesn’t have fewer calories, it has a lighter flavor and color. It is best for cooking with or sautéing.

For olive oil taste, try dipping a crusty loaf of bread, you can easily create a dipping sauce by adding different cheeses and herbs, or just by using olive oil by itself. If you would like to dress up the oil a bit, try making a homemade vinaigrette.

Tips for making a homemade vinaigrette.

It can be useful to know how to make a homemade vinaigrette, that will taste a lot more fresh than the store bought vinaigrette. It can also be more practical. To make vinaigrette you will want to use three parts olive oil to one part vinegar. If a substitution is used in the vinaigrette such as a less acidic lemon juice, then less oil will need to be used to accommodate the substitution. If you use top quality ingredients when making your homemade vinaigrette you will achieve the best results.

When making the vinaigrette you will want to add the oil, while using a whisk to stir it. It may also be helpful to use a bowl with a rubber bottom in order to prevent tipping. A towel wrapped around the bottom of the bowl will get the same results. Next you will want to use bit of salt and add to the vinegar, because the salt will dissolve easier in the vinegar. You can always add more seasoning at the end if the vinaigrette needs it.

The oil and vinegar will blend together better when a small amount of Dijon mustard is added. Using the whisk combine the mustard with the other ingredients and then steadily pour the oil until all the mixture is completely combined. More salt and pepper seasonings can be added to the vinaigrette when it is finished.

You can try altering this simple vinaigrette by using different types of vinegar and olive oil. To add to the dressing you may want to try garlic, herbs, and spices. You can spice up a meal by drizzling over cooked vegetables, meat, fish, pasta salad, or simply tossed with a salad.


Vinaigrette over a salad, the healthy selection

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

Vinaigrette over a salad. Over the past few decades, there has been a change in salad dressing tastes in the country. More and more people have shifted from primarily using sweet and thick dressings to preferring vinaigrette dressings.

While vinaigrette dressings are commonly used in salads, this is not the only type of food that they are used with, and they are often used with main-course dishes such as fish or chicken. There are even new varieties of vinaigrette dressing such as sweetened mint-raspberry vinaigrette that chefs have begun serving over desserts and fruit salads.

Vinaigrette dressings can be used at either room temperature or after being slightly warmed. While the word ‘vinaigrette’ seems to imply that these dressings are made of vinegar, they are often made using other types of acid-based compounds such as citrus juice instead of vinegar.

There are also variations in the flavours of the vinegar used to make vinaigrette dressings. Some of the different types of vinegar that can be used are sherry vinegar, raspberry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, honey vinegar, garlic or shallot vinegar, or various herb vinegars. While most vinaigrette dressings are made using extra virgin olive oil, some are made using herb oil, red pepper oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil, ginger oil, spice oil or sesame oil.

You can also make great vinaigrette dressings by sautéing fish, poultry, vegetables or meat dishes using animal fat and pouring in some vinegar with whatever is left in the pan after you finish cooking. You can then pour the resulting sauce over food, giving it a great taste. You can also dice and sauté slab bacon before adding it to vinegar and pouring the resulting sauce over salad greens to make a classic French bistro salad.

A good vinaigrette dressing, made properly, should balance the sharp acidity of the vinegar and the unctuous oil, and neither taste should dominate the resulting blend of ingredients. The typical proportion of ingredients to use is one part of acid component to three parts of oil, If the acid you are using is sweet, however, such as orange juice or balsamic vinegar, then you could use two parts of oil to one part of acid or even an equal amount of each.

Vinaigrettes are also excellent when used as marinades for fish, poultry, and meat. If you plan to use vinaigrette in this manner, however, then you should ensure that the proportion of acid to oil is higher than usual. If you intend to use your marinade as a sauce for your meat, poultry, or vegetable dish, you should never use the original marinade. Instead, you should either heat the marinade until it boils or make a new batch to use as a sauce.

Preparing a vinaigrette for use as a sauce or dressing on a dish is a simple task, because you simply taste it and adjust the proportion of ingredients as you make it, adding more vinegar or acid until it tastes just right.

If you find that you have prepared more vinaigrette than you need at the moment, then you can simply place the rest in an airtight container which you can then leave in the fridge for a week or so without it going bad.

The one problem that people often encounter when attempting to make a vinaigrette is that they are unable to emulsify the oil and vinegar properly. To do this, you must beat or shake the mixture in a jar. To make the process easier, you could also add some mustard to the vinegar before adding the oil to it.

Some other ingredients that can be used in a vinaigrette dressing are grated minced herbs, diced fruit, crumbled cheese, or various spices.

[tag] vinaigrette for salad, vinaigrette dressing[/tag]

Olive Oil in your cooking

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

The benefits of Olive Oil

Olive oil is a must in any household with members who are suspected of being susceptible to cardio-vascular diseases or other heart related problems. Olive oil can be used to add fantastic flavor to food, and is widely used in Mediterranean cooking.

There are two different types of olive oil that you should use in different situations. The first, extra-virgin olive oil, is the most expensive and it should be used with foods that do not require cooking such as in fresh salads. This is because heat causes the olive oil to become burnt and gives foods an unappetizing taste.

For use in cooking or sautéing, you should use either pure or light olive oil. Light olive oil obtains its name from its light color and flavor, and not from any lack of calories or beneficial mono-unsaturated fats.

If you wish to make your meal resemble something from a restaurant, you could prepare a loaf of crusty bread with some olive oil-balsamic dipping sauce, or some other form of olive oil dip. Dipping sauces can be made by simply using plain olive oil or by flavoring olive oil with various herbs or cheeses. The following recipe is excellent if you wish to make a dip with some zest.

Olive Oil-Balsamic Dipping Sauce

3 Tablespoons of Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
1 Clove of minced Garlic
½ Teaspoon of Italian seasoning, dried
½ Teaspoon of Salt
½ Teaspoon of Pepper, freshly ground
¼ Cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
1 Loaf of Multi-grain bread, unsliced (16 Ounces)

Place the cheese, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix them together. Then drizzle the mixture with oil and vinegar and continue to mix.

Bake bread for 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until hot on the lower rack of your oven. Slice the bread into 1 inch pieces and dip in dipping sauce.

[tag] healthy olive oil, olive oil cooking[/tag[ 


Olive Oil Flavor

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

The rich flavor of Olive Oil

For well over 6,000 years people worldwide have enjoyed the rich fragrance and flavor of olive oil. With dozens of brands of olive oil now found on the shelves of supermarkets, consumers are starting to take notice of the quality of the olive oil that they buy, almost as much as people buying fine wines do.

The flavor of olive oil is preserved when kept in a glass handblown cruet, also known as an olive oil cruet. They can be found online at Cruets.com.

Olive oil tasting has become an activity to rival wine tasting, and tasters use the same terminology with olive oil as they do with wine. Aromas may be mild, mellow or fruity; flavor can be nutty, zesty, peppery, sweet, rich, buttery or assertive; and appearance may be clear, cloudy, green or amber. Olive oil differs from wine in that it does not age well, and a bottle kept in a cool, dark area will remain good for only a year or two.

Listed below is a guide to the various grades of olive oil in descending order of quality:

Extra virgin: This grade of olive oil is the result of cold-pressing olives and not refining the resulting oil. Extra virgin olive oil has an acidity level below one percent, although acidity and taste will vary with the type of olive plant, soil, growing and harvesting methods, and pressing process. A more robust flavor can be achieved by using unfiltered extra virgin olive oil. When using extra virgin olive oil, you should use the less expensive varieties to sauté foods while saving the more expensive types for drizzling.

Virgin: Virgin olive oil has a slightly sharper taste than extra virgin olive oil. This is due to it having an acidity value of between one and three percent. It is rare to find this grade of oil being sold in the United States.

Pure: Pure olive oil typically has an acidity level greater than three percent. It is further processed with various chemicals and bleaching clay before being mixed with virgin olive oil to arrive at the final product.

Light: Light olive oil actually contains as many fats and calories as the other grades of olive oil. Its only difference is a lack of taste. 


[tag] olive oil flavor, olive oil cruet, handblown cruet, wholesale cruets, cruets.com, [/tag]


Rosemary Infused Olive Oil

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil

Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil is ideal for pouring onto pasta, adding to soup, or as a dipping sauce for crusty Italian bread. Slow cookers are perfect for infusing olive oil with rosemary. It can be done on the stove top. However, it can be difficult to keep the oil from getting too hot.

Cooking Time: 1-1/2 to 2 hours on HIGH
Slow Cooker Size: 4 quart

Makes one cup 

1 cup mild olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Pour olive oil into slow cooker and add rosemary leaves. Cook on uncovered on the HIGH setting for up to 2 hours. Turn the slow cooker off. Cool for about 20 minutes, and then remove the rosemary leaves from the oil by pouring it through a sieve or collider lined with a paper towel and placed over a metal bowl. After the oil has cooled completely pour it into a glass jar. Cover and refrigerate. Refrigerated the oil will last up to a month without losing its quality. Do not worry if the oil becomes a bit cloud within the month, it will become clear once it reaches room temperature.

Olive oil can also be infused with other herbs such as basil or garlic. Simply substitute the rosemary for the herb of your choice and prepare in the same fashion.

[tag] rosemary infused olive oil[/tag]


Olive Oil on your shelf or in the fridge

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Preserving and Storing Olive Oil Like all other oils, extra-virgin olive oil should be stored in a cool, dark place. Its flavor is strongest immediately after it is extracted from the harvested olives, and its taste, fragrance and color are all at their peak. Olive oil undergoes oxidation while in storage and its flavor and taste will deteriorate at a steady pace. Mild olive oils are oxidized particularly  fast, and have a shorter shelf life. Although all olive oils will inevitably become too oxidized to consume, this process can take up to three years. Olive oils that are fruity or spicy tend to resist being oxidized longer than other olive oils.

In order to preserve the quality of the extra-virgin olive oil that you have at home, make sure you store it in a cool and dark area. A dry kitchen cabinet far from heat sources or even the refrigerator will suffice to keep your olive oil fresh for some time, although olive oil solidifies when stored in the refrigerator and will require several minutes of thawing before you will be able to use it again. Containers should be made of glass, porcelain or stainless steel and should never be made of plastic or reactive metals. Olive Oil Cruets from Cruets.com are perfect for storing and preserving oil and vinegar. The oil and vinegar grape cruet is specifically designed for this. 

[tag] store olive oil, olive oil storage[/tag]


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