Archive for June, 2014

Did you know that June is National Men’s Health Month?

Posted on: June 17th, 2014

The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. Studies support the daily intake of 2-4 Tbsp of Ultra Premium Olive Oil per day prepared with food in order to decrease the risk for: cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and peripheral vascular disease, hypertension and stroke, high or abnormal cholesterol and cancer, especially colon cancer.

Olive Oil Chemistry 101

Posted on: June 10th, 2014

Becoming familiar with a particular Ultra Premium Olive Oil’s flavor characteristics and chemistry (i.e. antioxidant content, oleic acid, and FFA) will help you make an educated decision about which olive oil is right for you.

Oleic Acid: is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil. Olive oil is generally higher in oleic acid than other vegetable fats. The range found in extra virgin olive oil is between 55-83%. Extra virgin olive oil high in oleic acid has greater resistance to oxidation.

FFA: Based on USDA & IOOC (International Olive Oil Council) standards, the maximum limit for free fatty acid in extra virgin olive oil is 0.8g per 100g or (.8%). A low FFA is desirable. Free fatty acid speaks to the condition of the fruit at the time of crush. The higher the FFA, the greater the indication of poor quality fruit such as damaged, overripe, insect infestation, overheating during production or too much delay between harvest and crush.

Peroxide Value: Based on USDA & IOOC (International Olive Oil Council) standards, the maximum peroxide value for Ultra Premium olive oil is 20. A very low peroxide value is desirable. Unsaturated free fatty acids react with oxygen and form peroxides, which create a series of chain reactions that generate volatile substances responsible for a typical musty/rancid oil smell. These reactions are accelerated by high temperature, light and oxygen exposure.

Polyphenol Count: Polyphenols are a class of antioxidants found in a variety of foods. Polyphenols such as Oleuropein, Oleocanthal, and hydroxytyrosol impart intensity connected with pepper, bitterness and other desirable flavor characteristics. Recent studies indicate that these potent phenols are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with consuming fresh, high quality extra virgin olive oil. Phenols in olive oil decrease over time or when exposed to heat, oxygen and light. Consuming fresh, well-made olive oil with high polyphenol content is crucial when looking to obtain the maximum health benefit commonly associated with consuming extra virgin olive oil.

The Butter Replacement Guide

Posted on: June 5th, 2014

Do you want a healthy alternative to butter or margarine? Add olive oil to your favorite foods and recipes! Below are substitution amounts for butter and margarine.

Butter/Margarine Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon 3/4 Teaspoon
1 Tablespoon 2 1/4 Teaspoons
2 Tablespoons 1 1/2 Tablespoons
1/4 Cup 3 Tablespoons
1/3 Cup 1/4 Cup
1/2 Cup 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons
2/3 Cup 1/2 Cup
3/4 Cup 1/2 Cup + 1 Tablespoon
1 Cup 3/4 Cup

Suggested Uses for Butter Infused Olive Oil:

Baking

Use Harvest Ultra Premium Butter Olive Oil or any of our Ultra Premium Olive Oils for all your baking. Use our butter conversion chart to convert your butter or shortening to our Ultra Premium Olive Oil. Prepare your pans for baking with our Ultra Premium Olive Oil using an oil mister or brush.

Toast/Sandwiches

“Butter” your toast with our Harvest Ultra Premium Butter Olive Oil or use it for grilled sandwiches and Panini. The oil blunts the glycemic index of the bread, making your serving of bread less likely to add to your waistline.

Popcorn

Use 1/4 cup Harvest Ultra Premium Butter Olive Oil and 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn. Heat in a large covered kettle on the stovetop over medium high heat until popping slows. Salt and enjoy a delicious and “buttery,” yet healthy treat!

Visit Harvest Oil & Vinegar to sample Butter Infused Ultra Premium Olive Oil.

How to Make a Basic Vinaigrette, Marinade and Balsamic Reduction

Posted on: June 5th, 2014

Vinaigrette

Mix equal amounts of our Ultra Premium Olive Oil or Specialty Oil with our Aged Balsamic Vinegar to create a delicious, well-balanced vinaigrette.  Be sure to whisk or emulsify before using. View a list of pairings.

Marinade

Any vinaigrette can be used as a marinade for meat and vegetables or to baste while roasting or grilling. Alternatively, use your favorite marinade recipe but use our Ultra Premium Olive Oil and Aged Balsamic for an amazing improvement in flavor and health benefits! Marinate any type of meat. The balsamic vinegar will make the meat very tender. Our flavor combinations are endless!

Ideas to get you started (Add garlic, salt, pepper, herbs to taste if desired):

  1. Marinate shrimp or fish using Pineapple Balsamic Vinegar mixed with Persian Lime Ultra Premium Olive Oil. Add some cilantro into the mix! Do you love garlic? Add a clove or two to the vinaigrette/marinade! Make extra to drizzle over some salad greens and call it dinner!
  2. Marinate pork or beef with Espresso or Traditional Balsamic Vinegar mixed with Garlic Ultra Premium Olive Oil.
  3. Marinate chicken with Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic mixed with Tuscan Herb Ultra Premium Olive Oil.

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Our Aged Balsamic Vinegars are already more dense and flavorful than balsamic vinegar that you may have purchased elsewhere and making a reduction isn’t necessary. That said, it’s fun to experiment with creating even more thick and syrupy balsamic vinegar reductions to drizzle over salads, appetizers, meats and desserts!

Here’s how:

  1. Pour a cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the vinegar to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer while stirring occasionally.
  2. Simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (for a thinner reduction) or more (for a more syrupy consistency).
  3. Allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container; store in the refrigerator until ready to use.