Posted by Olivia on Monday, March 2nd, 2015
It’s no secret that following the Mediterranean Diet is a great way to lead a healthy lifestyle, and in more recent news, can actually help reduce the risk of cancer! Oleocanthal is a powerful antioxidant found in extra virgin olive oil, which also produces that robust peppery finish we feel at the back of our throat when we taste olive oil. Recent studies have shown that Oleocanthal actually kills cancer cells in 30 minutes to an hour! Just one more reason to weave it into your meal plan!
One of the main points in the Mediterranean Diet is substituting olive oil for butter in addition to eating primarily plant based foods like fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains. Eating more chicken and fish rather than red meat and seasoning with herbs and spices more than salt. And don’t forget the glass of red wine! We’re here to help with a few delicious ways to incorporate more olive oil into your diet and a few other recommendations!
1. Swap out butter for olive oil on the stove top or in the roasting pan!
Olive oil is great to cook with and it’s a myth that you can’t cook with it at high heats. The smoking point on olive oil is 425º, so feel free to use olive oil for stir fries, pasta sauces, pan frying chicken or fish, roasting veggies, or anything you’re cooking up!
2. Make your own salad dressing rather than buying creamy, store bought varieties!
Having great olive oil on hand means making your own delicious vinaigrettes. Just whisk a 3 to 1 ratio of olive oil to balsamic vinegar and you have a simple homemade salad dressing! Incorporate other delicious flavors like mustard, crushed garlic or fresh lemon juice to spice it up! Still craving that creamy texture? Throw some Greek yogurt in the food processor with avocado, olive oil, garlic, lemon and herbs to make your own, heart-healthy dressing!
3. Substitute olive oil for butter in baking recipes, or even put it on toast!
You can use olive oil instead of butter in any baking recipe! We especially enjoy using it in whole grain quiche crusts, lemon blueberry pound cake, banana breads, and whole grain loaves of crusty bread flavored with garlic or herbs! Have some fresh, delicious toast? Try drizzling olive oil on it instead of butter, it's delicious and really pairs well with the whole grains.
Just follow this chart and use these measurements for any baking recipe!
Butter to Olive Oil
1 teaspoon = ¾ teaspoon
1 Tablespoon = 2-1/4 teaspoons
¼ cup = 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup = ¼ cup
½ cup = ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup = ½ cup
¾ cup = ½ cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup = ¾ cup
4. Use Balsamic Vinegar to add a savory flavor instead of salt!
Drizzling balsamic vinegar into a quinoa salad, incorporating it into dressings and marinades, or even reducing it into pasta sauces or stir fries can add a delicious savory flavor and help curb the desire for more salt!
5. Make sure fruits and/or veggies make up the bulk of your diet!
It’s always good to check in with yourself on just how much of your diet consists of fruits and vegetables! We like to see more than half of our plates filled with fruits or veggies, and it’s easy to do this when what you’re eating is delicious! Try mixing it up in the kitchen, making new vinaigrettes, trying new stir fry recipes or mastering a delicious roasting technique!