We have been told that vegetables are nutritious for our bodies, and that the best way to prepare them is by boiling. Recent studies conducted, however, belie that claim. This research cooked vegetables in three different ways, and compared the results in terms of nutritional content and antioxidant capacity of the vegetables after cooking.
What are phenols?
These are compounds that are beneficial to your health. They prevent cancer, and are anti-oxidants. They are found in plants, fruits and vegetables.
The phenols in vegetables are greatly affected by the cooking process. In this series of experiments, it measures the effect of the cooking agent used – extra virgin olive oil or water or both. Read More →
Salmon is one favorite fish to cook and eat. It is readily available, can be cooked in so many ways, and is a tasty fish to enjoy. Many don’t know that salmon skin is absolutely delicious when deep-fried with skin on. It is crispy and tasty, but cooking it without burning is rather an acquired skill. The skin, making direct contact with the pan or grill, is most likely to burn before the inside of the salmon is cooked.
The best way to ensure the fish is thoroughly cooked is to use the method of sous vide. It is a French method of cooking, where the food, in this case the salmon, is placed inside the food bag, along with its seasoning or herbs. It is then vacuum-sealed using a vacuum-sealer, which locks in the flavors of the seasonings and herbs. The vacuum-sealed food bag is then given a water bath in a sous vide water oven or using a sous vide immersion.
It is important that the food bag is tightly sealed to lock in flavors, and to prevent water from entering the bag, thus ruining or diluting the flavors. As important as the sous vide equipment is the vacuum-sealing system you use. According to Abigail’s foodsaver reviews, a countertop vacuum sealer can do the trick, and most models these days are automatic, making it so easy to use. After the pre-set cooking time is done, remove the salmon, and give it a quick searing on the grill or pan to make the skin crispy.
Another way to enjoy salmon is poaching it. It is a method of cooking where the food is submerged in water, or in this case, we are going to use extra virgin olive oil for added flavor and to make this meal totally healthy and good for the heart. Read More →
There are different varieties of olives, and each one has its own specific characteristics that make it ideal for special recipes. For everyday of the week, you can have your olives and a new way of preparing it.
Here are 7 kinds of olives:
It is a specialty of Greece and is so different because of its color of deep purple. This can be used to brine or pickle and you would love the rich sweet flavor in your salad. Like all olives, this healthy food is a good source of monounsaturated fats (MUFAS) which regulate cholesterol level and keeps you away from cardio diseases. Read More →
Olive oil is an acquired taste, just like wine. It takes some experience to know which foods to use olive oil on so the flavors will complement each other. There are times, too, that you can experiment towards contrasting flavors instead. Each kind of olive oil and each brand for that matter, has its own character, and you have to learn how not to overpower flavors and how to bring out different tastes.
Cooking with meat
One of my favorite processes that involve olive oil is sous vide cooking, particularly with the premium cut steaks. This is a method of cooking where the meat is mixed with flavors and seasonings, placed inside a food bag, vacuum-sealed to seal in the goodness and finally given a water bath in controlled temperature. This method absolutely brings out the best in the meat. It is tender and juicy because of the water bath that thoroughly cooks it inside and out without drying it up and it is full of flavors because vacuum-sealing locks in the tastes of the olive oil and herbs, infusing the meat so each bite is tender and delicious. The cookbook for sous vide will give you best guide about the method.
Pairing with vegetables
Vegetables make a good side dish for any main course, particularly if you are having the flavor-infused steak that has been cooked sous vide. You can give the vegetables a quick stir-fry in olive oil, or you can broil them and drizzle some olive oil on top before serving. You can also make barbecue vegetables and use olive oil to brush on top of it while being cooked. Or very simply, use olive oil as a dip for vegetable appetizers. To make the dip, combine in a container the olive oil, olives, red pepper flakes and garlic. Read More →
Frying as a method of cooking is not particularly healthy. However, it can be if you are using extra-virgin olive oil. It has compounds that prevent cancer, heart diseases and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. Olive oil is a healthy kind of fat called monounsaturated (MUFAS). While olive oil itself is proven to be healthy, there are some arguments about using it for cooking. Let us qualify the different points and determine exactly how healthy this option is.
Is it healthy to deep fry?
Yes. Deep frying enables the compound phenols from the extra-virgin olive oil to transfer to the food being fried. Based on the experiment, vegetables deep-fried in extra-virgin olive oil became enriched with phenols from the cooking oil, and improved in quality.
The qualities of olive oil degenerates the least when deep-fried as compared with other kinds of oil. The experiment fried different kinds of cooking oil for six hours, and after such length of time, only olive oil was ‘resistant to degeneration’.
Is it healthy to pan-fry?
When you pan-fry extra-virgin olive oil, there is actually faster degeneration compared to deep frying. Experts explain this is due to higher exposure to oxygen in the atmosphere. However, if compared with other kinds of cooking oil, when you pan fry, olive oil still retains its anti-oxidants, and is therefore still the healthier option. Read More →
Thanksgiving officially starts the eating season. We all appreciate the turkey, pies and every delicious and fattening bit of food. Instead of butter, a healthier alternative is to use olive oil. It is more delicious and a hundred times healthier. Try it on these recipes:
In a bowl, mix olive oil and some herbs. Put some baguette on a platter, and have your guests enjoy the bread and dip. You can also drizzle olive oil on dips and cheese plates for added color and heightened flavor. Butter, when left out too long, can congeal and not be appetizing anymore, but with olive oil, you don’t have to worry about it.
The turkey is the main star, but sometimes, inexperienced cooks tend to fear preparing the turkey no matter how they condition their minds that it is just a bigger version of a chicken. Use olive oil instead of butter so you don’t have to labor in trying to get butter between the flesh and skin of the bird. Mix olive oil and some herbs, and spread it all over the chicken, inside and out. You can also inject some of this special mixture into the bird’s breast and thighs. For added flavor, sprinkle salt and pepper. You can also stuff inside the turkey some lemons and herbs for a delicious smell and to make sure the turkey remains moist and flavorful.
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Frying as a method of cooking is not the healthiest option. Firstly, the method of frying matters. When deep frying, the whole food is immersed in oil and fat. When shallow-frying, there is no complete immersion so this is the healthier option. Secondly, thecooking oil you use will not only affect the taste of your food, but more importantly, it may be unhealthy for your body.
Extra-virgin olive oil or EVOO is the healthier option. Even when frying fish, the component in EVOO affects the fats in the fish.
The Fishy Details
Experts conducted a study using two kinds of cooking oil – sunflower oil and EVOO.
In the first test, no food was used, but the oils were fried.
In the second test, fish fillets of gilthead sea bream and European sea bass were fried using a microwave and a pan to hold the fish. Oil temperature was at 340 degrees Fahrenheit, and the fillets were cooked for 2 ½ minutes on each side. After this process, lipids or fats were extracted from the fish cooked in sunflower oil and in EVOO. Read More →
Research shows that cancer and other chronic diseases can be prevented or avoided if you strictly adhere to the Mediterranean diet.
What do you think is in Mediterranean diet that makes it so healthy? Loads of olive oil. The purer it is, the healthier it is. So if you are talking olive oil, choose the extra-virgin olive oil, its purest form called the ‘liquid gold’.
What’s in the oil?
Healthy fats. All our lives we were told not to eat fats like oil and butter because it can clog the heart and well, fatten the stomachs and hips. Well this time, there is actual research that shows that the good kind of fats is good.
Monounsaturated Fats or MUFA make up olive oil. This kind of fat is good for the heart. It lowers bad cholesterol or LDL, which when left untreated, clogs the arteries. This results to stroke and other heart diseases. Read More →
Matera in Southern Italy produces one of the best, if not the best and purest extra-virgin olive oil in the world. Its hills are abundant with the round and fleshy olive fruits that are gently picked and cold-pressed within 24 hours to control acidity level.
The Character of Olive Oil
Olive oil comes from countries like Spain and Italy, found in the Mediterranean region. It is usually used in cooking, as a salad dressing, and also in cosmetics, soaps and pharmaceuticals. It also has religious significance in some religions.
Olive oil comes in different varieties as olives come in variety. They can vary in terms of flavor, texture and shelf life. Olive oil is classified according to its purity. The highest and purest form is the extra-virgin olive oil, which means it has not gone through chemical treatment. Other classifications are Virgin Oil, Ordinary Virgin Oil and Lampante Virgin Oil.
The Health benefits of olive oil
Because of its purity, olive oil is good for the health. Read More →
‘Liquid gold’ is the name given to the valuable extra-virgin olive oil from the hills of Matera in Southern Italy. Olives originated from Asia, but olives that now grow in Mediterranean countries like Spain and Italy are one of the best in the world because of the climate in these places that suit the growth of olives. Among the different kinds of olive oil, the extra-virgin olive oil has the best flavor and best quality.
For half a century now, the Valluzzi olive-press produces top quality extra-virgin olive oil from only one particular kind of olives, the cultivar majatica, thus the name La Majatica. These high-quality olives grow abundantly in that little town of Materano in Basilicata. It is lovingly and gently picked, and within 24 hours, it goes through the cold-press method to ensure the low acid level of the olive oil.
The Big Difference
What makes the olive oil from Matera so different? It comes from beautifully grown, healthy olives that give a delicate fragrance. The oil is processed within one day from picking so the acid level is lower. The color is a magical shade of green with yellow reflections. The taste is delicate and fruity, although a bit bitter and ends with an elegant spicy touch that balances the whole experience. In general, extra-virgin olive oil is pure on how it looks tastes and smells.
The La Majatica extra-virgin oil is best used to flavor food that is lightly cooked, and with delicate aroma. It can be used on salads and fish recipes. Read More →