Olive Oil has a place in the kitchen
Olive oil was once a very much maligned fat but now has gained honor in the kitchen. Olive oil is healthy due to mono unsaturated fatty acids. The oleic acid found in olive oil is very stable at high temperatures. The body processes oleic acid easier than any other fatty acids.
When you buy organic extra virgin olive oil you also are purchasing a product that is high in antioxidants which fight free radicals, preventing premature aging. The oxidation process is neutralized by the antioxidants.
Obviously, the safest vegetable oil for frying is olive oil as it resists oxidation at higher temperatures. When preparing a recipe from the Mediterranean area of the world, frying is very much a common preparation of the Mediterranean cuisines.
When frying, there are some olive oil tips that can be used in the kitchen.
• Use smaller quantities of olive oil when cooking since the oil expands in volume and it is less absorbed by the food being prepared.
• You can reuse your olive oil up to five times.
• Never fry meat in the same olive oil that you fried fish in. Flavors will blend.
• Even though olive oil looks thicker than other oils, it has no more calories than sunflower oil.
In the 20th century, it was learned that the olive oil based Mediterranean diet reduced cardiovascular disease as noted by the late Dr. Ancel Keys. Since people living in the Mediterranean have better cardiovascular health, the initial medical study was around the use of olive oil. It was proven that the use of olive oil will balance the cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart attacks, fight high blood pressure and can prevent arteriosclerosis.
Other areas of the body were researched as to the effects olive oil had. So far, the results have been very positive. With just two tablespoons of virgin olive oil taken daily, the health benefits will be like that of the people living in the Mediterranean.
There are many ways olive oil can be integrated into your diet. Dipping slices of soft bread into olive oil, using it instead of butter and adding olive oil to salads with some salt. Anywhere you go in Europe, you will find people who have their unique ways of instilling the use of olive oil into their dietary habits.
A popular snack is Catalan bruschetta which is bead with tomato. Preparation is very simple. Cut a very ripe tomato crosswise, rub the bread with one half of the tomato on both sides. Drizzle olive oil liberally over the bread, sprinkling with salt. You can add cooked ham, cheese, tuna fish, anchovies, figs and olive for a prosciutto style meal. Include in your meal, salads with olive oil dressing, romesco, a cold sauce and sopa de farigola which is thyme soup.
Recent studies have indicated that the consumption of olive oil is not merely in the olive oil but from the Mediterranean diet as a whole. With this in mind, bon appetite and enjoy Mediterranean way of eating with the liberal use of virgin olive oil.
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