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Our 10 Favorite Ways to Enjoy Olive Oil

When I was a child, my father used to put olive oil on almost everything we ate. It was the Italian way. His father, who originally hailed from Sicily, did the same. Why? I imagine both of them loved the flavor and luxurious texture of olive oil. But I like to think that they also instinctively knew that it was good for them.

Dr. Sinatra eating green salad with Vervana organic extra virgin olive oil EVOO
Enjoying fresh, local produce with EVOO while dining outdoors…

Several studies have shown that a traditional Mediterranean diet, which includes plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, fish and olive oil, is linked to better health and longevity. U.S. News and World Reports has also consistently rated it as the #1 Best Diet Overall. Having read numerous studies demonstrating olive oil’s potential to benefit health, I’m convinced that it is the diet’s “secret sauce.” Because of this, I try to eat at least 4 Tbsp olive oil a day (the amount taken in the Predimed study) -sometimes more. But it also happens to make other heart-healthy foods like vegetables and beans tastier and more satisfying.

Needless to say, I eat olive oil with a lot of foods. My Vervana team and other family members have also opened my eyes to ways of using olive oil that I hadn’t thought of before…and I now enjoy these occasionally or often, depending on how healthy they are. It’s fun sharing food ideas – I hope you like our list below!

We Love Using Olive Oil to…

A plate of green salad with apples, and bottles of Vervana organic koroneiki olive oil and Vervana organic balsamic vinegar

1. Dress salads up in rich, silky goodness – Let’s face it, the difference between a so-so salad and a stellar one lies in the dressing. With their unique flavor profiles, Vervana Organic EVOOs are smooth enough to stand alone as dressings, and they also pair well with balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice. For more robust flavors, try using Lemon, Basil, Blood Orange, Garlic or Rosemary Flavored Olive Oil to dress your salad – solo or in balsamic vinaigrettes.

2. Make potatoes even better – when not deep fried or loaded up with less healthy ingredients, potatoes can be very healthy – especially when a healthy fat like olive oil added. Roast potatoes with Rosemary or Jalapeno Garlic Olive Oil and Dipping Spices, mash them with Garlic Flavored Olive Oil…the possibilities are endless!

3. Transform steamed veggies or veggie sautés into delectably satisfying dishes. We especially love using Jalapeno Garlic Olive Oil in veggie stir fries!

Vervana organic artichoke risotto with organic extra virgin olive oil

4. Enhance a rich, creamy risotto – Although rice is higher-carb, adding olive oil helps promote healthier blood sugar levels when consuming it. Not to mention, it elevates the flavor to ultra-savory.

5. Mix with spices and dip bread & veggies in – we add a sprinkle or so of Vervana Italian Seasoning & Dipping Blend to Vervana EVOO for outstanding dipping. In fact, this spice blend was actually designed for this purpose (we later discovered how versatile it is as a zesty all-purpose blend). Garlic, Basil and Jalapeño Garlic olive oils also make incredible dipping oils too.

6. Adorn pasta with luscious texture and flavor. Whether as a finishing touch on pasta and sauce or to dress naked pasta or pasta salad, adding a healthy fat like olive oil promotes a healthier blood sugar response while adding awesomeness. Use organic EVOO for classic enhancement, and garlic, rosemary, basil or jalapeño garlic flavored olive oil for added herbal or hot pepper flavors (pasta primavera with herbed olive oils is especially good!).

7. Finish grilled, sauteed or baked meats, poultry or fish – Drizzle EVOO, or rosemary, garlic, or jalapeno garlic flavored olive oil for succulent steak and pork. Finish poultry and fish with EVOO or flavored olive oil – lemon, blood orange, garlic, and jalapeno garlic are game changers!

8. Take the edge off of hunger – Taking sips of olive oil from a shot glass or small snifter is not only a way to experience and savor the flavor of exceptional quality olive oil, it helps quell your appetite. So next time you need a quick fix, have a Tbsp or 2 of olive oil – you may just find it hits the spot and helps you eat less in the long run. 

9. Take popcorn to the next level. Next time you pop up a batch of organic/ non-GMO popcorn, drizzle it with Black Label EVOO instead of melted butter and toss with a few grinds of Vervana Salt Blend. You’ll have a new appreciation for popcorn!

10. Make ice cream that much better… you read me right. A small (about ½ to ¾ cup) of good quality ice cream (organic and/or just a few whole-food ingredients) topped with about 1 Tbsp of Black Label EVOO makes ice cream an experience your brain will appreciate. Adding healthy monounsaturated fat helps balance the carb load, which does your brain and heart a favor. I also like to sprinkle on some chocolate nibs for more antioxidants. If you already eat ice cream, try it with olive oil next time and see if you notice a difference in how you feel after eating it – you may never go back to regular ice cream again.  

What are YOUR favorite ways to eat olive oil? Email us at info@vervana.com with your recipe(s) and we may feature it in a blog, email or social post – Mangiare!

From my heart to yours,

Dr. Stephen Sinatra signature

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