These 5 recipes will help you reap the health benefits of olive oil

 reap the health benefits of olive oil

The positive effects of the olive-derived polyphenol oleuropein, on human health have been demonstrated in studies, and confirmed traditional beliefs of the beneficial effect provided by olive derivates. So, these 5 recipes will help you reap the health benefits of olive oil daily.

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Recently, olive leaf extract, a derivative of olives, has been reported to have a variety of health benefits. Some of which include: fight cancer, protect the brain and act as a natural anti-ageing remedy. So, here are 5 recipes will help you reap the health benefits of olive oil daily.

1) Crisp rosemary and olive oil flatbread

Ingredients (Makes 3)

230g plain flour
1 tbsp chopped rosemary, plus 2 sprigs
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ tsp salt
125ml water
75ml olive oil plus more for brushing
Salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 220C/450F/gas mark 7. Stir together the flour, chopped rosemary, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the water and oil and gradually stir into the flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead it gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

Divide the dough into 3 pieces, cover 2 of them with clingfilm and roll out the other on a sheet of baking paper into a 25cm round (the shape should be rustic, the dough thin).

Lightly brush the top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake on a preheated oven tray until pale golden and browned in spots – about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the flatbread to a rack to cool, then repeat with the other more rounds.

Flatbreads can be made 2 days ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

2) lamb Souvlaki(serves 4)

Ingredients

21.33 oz lamb (or chicken or pork), cut in 1-in (2.5-cm) cubes
2 2/3 floz wine white or red
1 1/3 floz olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
0.67 tablespoon sea salt
0.67 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
1.33 tablespoon dried oregano

method

Set oven to broil or turn barbecue on to high.

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Let marinate for at least 2 hours (best if overnight).

Place 4-5 pieces of meat on each skewer and broil or barbecue, turning so that meat is browned and cooked evenly on all sides, about 7-12 minutes.

3) Greek salad

ingredients

1 large head romaine lettuce, washed and torn into bite size pieces
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced in half
1 cup cherry tomatos, cut in half
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 small red onion, separated into individual slices (for garnish)
1 tsp dried mint

Dressing

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1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

method

Prepare the greek salad dressing first by combining extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and garlic. Whisk together and refrigerate for 15 minutes so the flavors blend.

Meanwhile, you can prepare your lettuce and vegetables and place in a large bowl. Just before serving, pour the dressing over salad, sprinkle with sea salt and ground pepper and toss. Add the Kalamata olives and feta cheese and lightly toss again. Garnish with the red onion slices and sprinkle the mint over the top.

4) spinach salad with candied almonds (serves 4)

ingredients

For the salad:

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
Candied Almonds (recipe below)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or favorite fresh berries
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

For the candied almonds

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 drop fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup roughly chopped Almonds, roasted

method

Place mustard and garlic in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in lemon juice, vinegar and sugar, making a smooth mixture. Gradually whisk in California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil. Place spinach, candied almonds, cranberries or berries and goat cheese in a large bowl. Toss lightly with dressing and serve immediately.

Candied Almonds: Preheat oven to 250°F. Place a sheet of well-oiled foil on countertop. Place sugar in a very clean medium saucepan and cover with water and lemon juice. Place almonds on a baking sheet and place in oven to warm them.

Bring sugar and water to a boil, and boil until sugar turns deep golden brown, swirling occasionally to ensure even color. Stir in warm almonds, and immediately spread coated almonds onto prepared foil. (Take care not to touch them – caramelized sugar is extremely hot). Cool completely, then chop roughly or break into small pieces. Store airtight up to 4 days.

5) Strawberry Olive Oil Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp crushed pink peppercorns

method

Pour all of the ingredients into the blender and mix.

Pour the smoothie into a cup and sprinkle the crushed pink peppercorn on top as a garnish.

You may want to read more about the 3 health benefits of olive leaf extract you never knew about, and how the use of olive oil in the mediterranean diet may help protect your heart. Did you also know that sniffing olive helps with weight loss and that it also helps breast cancer survivors? It important to note that, including this ingredient into your diet is the best way to reap the health benefits of olive oil, but you can do other things in the kitchen with olive oil such as: preserve herbs, and here is how to do it.

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