The Four Natural Enemies of Olive Oil

A high-quality extra virgin olive oil is a must-have staple in many kitchens, partly because its delicious flavor and versatile nature allow it to be used in countless ways. For starters, extra virgin olive oil is perfect in homemade salad dressings, on roasted vegetables and as a key ingredient in a wide range of recipes.

In addition to tasting great, olive oil is also good for you. Naturally low in saturated fat, it is a healthy alternative to butter, margarine and many other oils. Versatility, great taste and a healthy profile make it easy to see why many cooks and chefs always have a bottle close at hand.

What many people do not realize about olive oil, however, is that it is actually a perishable fruit juice with some finicky preferences. This mean proper care and precautions must be taken in order to keep your olive tasting and smelling the way it should.

The Four Natural Enemies of Olive Oil

1. Time. Because it is a perishable fruit juice, olive does not have an unlimited shelf life. Try to choose bottles with a clearly marked “harvest date” and make sure that date occurred within the last 18 months to 2 years. It is also recommended that you only buy as much olive oil as you can use within 15 – 30 days of opening.

2. Temperature. Heat will cause olive oil to degrade quickly. Therefore, do not store your olive oil near your oven or cooktop because the higher ambient heat in those areas will cause it to break down faster.

3. Oxygen. Like a fine wine, exposure to oxygen for any length of time will cause your olive oil to turn rancid. To prevent this, store your olive oil in an airtight container with the lid securely fasten whenever it is not in use.

4. Light. Exposure to light will also cause olive oil to degrade more quickly. Avoid storing your olive in clear bottles or out on your counter tops. Dark green bottles are the best for blocking out sunlight, but other dark bottles will also work. Storing bottles inside a cabinet when not in use can also prolong the life of your olive oil. A cool, dark place is your best bet to prolong the life of your oil.

Avoiding the four natural enemies of olive oil will keep it fresh and full of flavor for a longer period of time. With a little bit of effort, you can preserve the delicious natural flavors of your quality olive oils.

 

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Homemade Salad Dressing

Fresh salads and healthy lifestyles go hand in hand. After all, what could be better for you than a big plate full of leafy greens, fresh vegetables, fiber-rich legumes and lean proteins? Unfortunately, you could end up negating these delicious and healthy choices if you aren’t careful about the type of salad dressing you use.

Taking a quick look at the list of ingredients on your favorite bottle of store-bought dressing can be a real eye opener. In fact, you may be surprised to see a host of ingredients you weren’t expecting, including high-fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners, trans fats, MSG, and an assortment of artificial colors and preservatives to make it all seem more fresh and natural.

Fortunately, making your own homemade salad dressing is faster and easier than you might think. Plus, you get to control how much you make at one time, so you don’t have to worry about throwing out your hard-earned money if you don’t use it all in time.

When it comes to homemade salad dressings, vinaigrettes are fast, easy and delicious choices. One general rule of thumb to keep in mind when creating your own vinaigrettes is to use 1 part vinegar (or other acidic ingredient) to 3 parts oil. In other words, if you use ¼ cup vinegar, you’ll want to use ¾ cups of oil. If you like a little more kick to your dressing, try a 2:1 ratio instead.

When choosing these key ingredients, don’t be afraid to get creative. Think beyond plain white, red or cider vinegar and give rice vinegars, aged or white balsamic, or fruit-infused varieties a try, as well. Citrus juices, such as lemon, lime, oranges and grapefruit, also work particularly well.

When it comes to choosing your oil, it’s hard to beat a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. However, you may want to consider other healthy alternatives, such as a more delicate grape seed oil, as well. Olive oils infused with garlic, rosemary or other herbs are also great choices.

A third ingredient you may want to add to your vinaigrette is Dijon mustard. Dijon is a popular choice because it tastes great and helps bind all the other ingredients together.

Beyond these three ingredients, there are countless ways you can customize your vinaigrette recipes to complement your salad ingredients. For example, you can add minced garlic, onion, shallots, fresh or dried herbs, honey, or a variety of fruit juices or zests.

Here is a basic recipe to get you started:

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1-2 cloves finely minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl or container with tight-fitting lid. Mix or shake vigorously to combine thoroughly.

Starting with this basic recipe, I bet you can come up with dozens of yummy options to suit whatever salads are on your menu. Enjoy!

 

10 Tricks To Eating Healthy While Eating Out At Restaurants! 

Just Brittany Moments

1. Ask for it your way!

Don’t be afraid to ask for a customized order. After all, you are the one consuming the food! For instance, if an item is fried, see if it can be grilled instead. If your order comes with fries, ask for a side of veggies instead. Very often the restaurant will cooperate with you requests.

2. Ask to “triple the vegetables, please.”

Sometimes a restaurant will provide a side of vegetables where the portion seems more like a garnish. When ordering, ask for three or four times the normal serving of veggies, and offer to pay extra. It’ll be well worth it and your body will thank you later!



3. Order from the “healthy, light, low fat” entrées.

Most restaurants will list the calorie amount and nutritional content of those particular foods and some chains even list nutritional information for their entire menu!

4. Ask…

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NO FEE Submission call + editor interview – Pøst, DEADLINE: Aug. 31, 2017

Trish Hopkinson

Pøst is a new bi-lingual online journal publishing in both English and French, seeking “new poetic tools to represent contemporary society, which is characterized by globalization (suppression of geographical borders, blending of languages) and plurality (fluidity in any and every form, fragmentation of identities).”

I wondered how and why this journal came to be, so I asked Editor Gabriel Kunst a few questions to find out. See my interview with Kunst and a link to their submission guidelines below.


HOPKINSON: Tell me a little bit about Pøst.

KUNST: Pøst- is an online poetry magazine that publishes texts in English and French. We are based in Montreal, but we want poets from all over the world to send us their best work. We are interested in showcasing established writers as well as emerging talents.

HOPKINSON: How/why was Pøst originally started?

KUNST: We decided to create Pøst- to allow English and French-speaking poets to publish…

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