Looking for something for dinner tonight that is delicious, and good for you?
According to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, olive oil is a healthy choice among fats. For starters, olive oil contains monounsaturated fat that can lower your risk of heart disease by reducing the total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol levels in your blood, while
saturated and trans fats (e.g. butter, animal fats, tropical oils and partially hydrogenated oils) can actually increase your risk of heart disease. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), if you consume about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil a day (use it in salad dressings or for cooking, or dipping) , you can get this benefit. “Extra-virgin” or “virgin” olive oils are the least processed forms, so they’re the most heart healthy. Those types contain the highest levels of polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant that also can promote heart health.
There’s a dizzying array of different olive oils to choose from. You’d be surprised at how different they can be both in color, and in flavor. In fact, olive oils can be so distinct, olive oil tastings and stores that specialize in a variety of olive oil, are more popular than ever.
Recently, I was introduced to Gaea at a Health and Wellness Expo. Gaea is a company that specializes in ingredients and products of Mediterranean Greek cuisine. The food isn’t just tasty, it’s healthy. In fact, “Gaea” (mother earth in the history of creation in ancient Greek mythology), is a symbol of fertility and the goodness of earth.
Gaea has quite a few different olive oils: SITIA-CRETE DOP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL 500ml /250ml ; KALAMATA DOP EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL 500ml/250ml ; EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL WITH NATURAL ROSEMARY, 250ml ; EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL WITH NATURAL OREGANO, 250ml ; ORGANIC EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, 500ml ; GREEK NATURAL OLIVE OIL WITH BASIL & BLACK PEPPER, 250ml; and GREEK NATURAL OLIVE OIL WITH GARLIC & CHILLI, 250ml. I tried the first two:
The Sitia-Crete EVOO looks slightly green-ish in the bottle, and it has a clear, light, slightly peppery taste. The multi-award winning olive oil comes from Sitia, eastern Crete and is made exclusively from handpicked and cold pressed Koroneiki olives. is a winner of top prizes in prestigious international competitions.
Also award-winning is the Kalamata EVOO. It is rich and also slightly peppery, good for dipping (wonderful with whole grain breads). Kalamata olives are small, purple-ish olives with a tangy taste. This olive oil comes from Kalamata in South Peloponesse. It’s made from the cold pressed exclusively Greek olive variety “Koroneiki”.
If you’re not into olive oil, you might want to try one of Gaea’s five heat and eat, cooking sauces, that let you “cook Mediterranean” without having to do more than chop up some meat and veggies, and stew them with something like the Myconos Greek Cooking Sauces with tuna fish and kalamata olives, and nothing artificial (the only ingredients are: tomato, water, tuna, kalamata olives, EVOO, onion, capers, basil, garlic, oregano, brandy, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. One 9.9 o jar makes 19 servings of a low sodium (88mg per serving) and low calorie (25 calories) delightful dinner. You can use this sauce as a pizza sauce, or pour it over pasta, too.
If if matters to you, Gaea is “green,” too. The company has Certification for production of ORGANIC products in compliance to both the European and the new USA / NOP standards. They are currently working on ISO 14001 the environmental accreditation and they have an on-site compacting and recycling policy, in addition to an environmentally friendly sewage treatment plant. Some interesting facts about the Gaea Agrinion plant: it produces 6,000 jars/per hour of olives in brine’ 1,000 jars/per hour of olives in olive oil; 5,000 bottles/per hour of extra virgin olive oil; 3,000 jars/per hour of spreads, dips, sauces; and 1,000 1kg pots/per hour of fresh refrigerated olive/salad products.
Copyright ©Alison Blackman Dunham. All rights reserved. The Advice Sisters is a registered United States trademark. No content may be used or copied with written permission. If you want to use my work, please obtain it legally: Email: advicesisters-at-advicesisters-dot-net Subscribe to this blog by email or in a feed reader (See the right hand column of this blog). Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/advicesisters
or Facebook http://www.facebook.com/alisonblackman I use provided samples for most of my reviews. Learn more in the “A Note About Compensation” section of my What Works Beauty, Cosmetics and Fashion review column: http://www.advicesisters.net/whatworkscol3.html