Looking for more ways to cook with olive oil? Check out these new ideas to add olive oil to your family’s meals.
Benefits of Olive Oil
Olive oil is known to protect the heart by reducing bad LDL cholesterol and increasing good HDL cholesterol. Furthermore, olive oil is ripe with antioxidants and Vitamin E, which may protect the body from cancers and the signs of aging. To top it off, olive oil has a delicious nutty flavor that can add a little something extra to all your carefully prepared meals.
5 Ideas to Get You Started
- Dump the Butter. Use olive oil on bread instead of butter. When setting out a fresh-baked plate of rolls, don’t cover them with artery-clogging butter. Instead, set out a plate of extra virgin olive oil that the whole family can dip into.
- Make Pesto. Instead of using pasta jarred sauces, which often contain lots of sugar and unfriendly trans-fats, make your own pesto. Simply combine salt, garlic, fresh basil and pine nuts (or almonds) in a food processor until a paste forms. Slowly drizzle in olive oil until you’ve got a delicious, ticker-friendly sauce that can be eaten with pasta, fish, salads and even as a spread on sandwiches. Store unused portions in a glass jar and top with more olive oil to keep the rest of the ingredients fresh.
- Sauce Your Greens. Store-bought salad dressings often use unhealthy oils and many contain sugar, MSG and tons of sodium. Instead, create your own delicious dressing. Use it for salad, pasta salads, cooked vegetables and as a marinade for meats. In a food processor or by using a whisk in a large bowl, combine 2 parts olive oil with one part balsamic vinegar. Add in crushed garlic, salt, ground pepper and fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano.
- Rub down Your Meats. Rub fish, meats, tofu and other proteins with a healthy coating of olive oil before baking, grilling or pan-frying. Not only will you help the meat stay soft and moist, you’ll also help keep your heart pumping and your arteries clean.
- Just Cook with It. Unless you are deep-frying, olive oil can be used like any other oil to cook vegetables, sauces, meats and more. For an easy way to add both veggies and olive oil to any meal, simply follow this 5 to 10 minute recipe. In a frying pan, heat oil on medium. Toss in vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, green beans, thinly sliced potatoes or whatever else your family enjoys. Add salt, pepper and crushed garlic and stir frequently so everything cooks evenly. When your vegetables are almost done, add a splash of balsamic vinegar or soy sauce and cook for one more minute. Serve steaming hot.