Healing Foods

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Improve your health profile by trading saturated fats in your diet for this Mediterranean staple
extra virgin olive oil

The antioxidant content and high proportion of monounsaturated fat that occur naturally in olive oil have been proven to help prevent common life-threatening conditions aggravated by saturated fat, including coronary disease. “Swapping 2 tablespoons of olive oil every day for saturated fat can protect your heart by lowering ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol,” says Karen Ansel, MS, RD, a media representative for the New York State Dietetic Association. Extra virgin varieties also contain a plant chemical called oleocanthal, which was recently shown to be a natural anti-inflammatory.

Choose It & Use It
Choose oils from a single country. A North American Olive Oil Association or California Olive Oil Council seal certifies extra virgin grade. The latter ensures a low 0.5 percent fatty acid content, indicating fresher oil and more antioxidants. Check pressing dates; most stay fresh two years. Store in dark glass bottles in a cool, dark place. Cook with standard oils—save premium oils for dressing salads, dipping bread, or finishing cooked dishes.

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No-Cook Cannellini Salad with Pesto Dressing

No-Cook Cannellini Salad with Pesto Dressing

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A cook who has a delicious prepared pesto within arm’s reach is a bit like a woman who owns a perfect little black dress: Both are always ready at a moment’s notice to face an expectant public. In this recipe, the pesto is tossed with white beans to create an

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Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes

Quick Pesto with Broiled Tomatoes

Broiled, vine-ripened tomatoes are a seasonal vehicle for fresh basil pesto. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Portobello Carpaccio with Orange-Kalamata Tapenade

Portobello Carpaccio with Orange-Kalamata Tapenade

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Slicing mushrooms on the bias, angling the knife, rather than cutting perpendicular to the cutting board makes for broader but not thicker slices and a professional-looking presentation.

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Seared Baby Eggplant with Mozzarella and Basil Oil

Seared Baby Eggplant with Mozzarella and Basil Oil

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Basil oil is easy to make and will keep for 1 month in the fridge, so you might want to double the recipe to have some on hand for salads and roasted vegetables.

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