Exciting new research from Spain[1. Predimed, http://media.jamanetwork.com/news-item/mediterranean-diet-plus-olive-oil-associated-with-reduced-breast-cancer-risk/] has shown that women who ate a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil showed a 68% reduction in risk for malignant breast cancer. This landmark new study had us wondering, how do you get more olive oil in your diet?
Women on the Predimed plan were instructed to add 3 tablespoons of the oil to their diet a day. Here are five ways you might enjoy getting your daily dose.
Cook brightly-colored vegetables in extra virgin olive oil.
There is evidence that cooking orange, yellow and red vegetables in fat makes carotenoids (a powerful antioxidant) easier for your body to absorb. More antioxidants = healthier cells.
To try: Sofrito, a Latin American sauce that is flavorful and full of healthy oils. This versatile condiment can be used with pasta, as a spread on bread, tossed with vegetables, or even to brighten up rice.
Other vegetables may also benefit from being sauteed in olive oil. One definite benefit is making them more palatable, so you’ll eat more of them! Try broccoli, cauliflower, kale or spinach heated with olive oil to increase your daily intake.
- Make your own mayonnaise
Yes, for real! If you have an immersion (stick) blender, you could be enjoying homemade mayo in two minutes flat!
To make: separate an egg (save the white for a facemask or refrigerate it for another time.) Put the yolk in a deep cup, then add 1 tablespoon of water, the juice of half a lemon, half a teaspoon of mustard powder, and a pinch of salt. Add 1 cup of olive oil and let the whole thing settle for 20 seconds. Then push your blender right to the bottom of the cup and turn it on (you want the olive oil to remain on top.) As the mixture thickens, lift the head of the blender up slightly to allow more oil in.
That’s it. For real. You just made mayonnaise! It will keep for a week or 10 days.
- Use it in place of butter
If you’ve eaten in an Italian restaurant, you’ve probably had olive oil presented as an alternative to butter for dipping your bread. Similarly, you can drizzle it over vegetables in place of butter.
A great lunchtime snack idea: Ryvita topped with sliced avocado and drizzled with olive oil. Two healthy fats in one!
Try it on corn on the cob, or mashed potatoes.
If you like olives, you’ll find dozens of uses for tapenade. Great on breads, on vegetables, on cheeses, and on chicken and fish, this versatile condiment can also garnish sandwiches and boiled potatoes.
There are dozens of good recipes on the internet, but the basic premise is simple: blend black or green olives with garlic, anchovies, and herbs. Doctor it up with a squeeze of lemon juice, a handful of mint, or pine nuts, if you’d like to mix things up a bit.
Make a delicious tapenade
- Add it to your morning yogurt
Researchers have found that adding a tablespoon of olive oil to your morning yogurt (you definitely want to stir it!) increases feelings of satiety. That means you’ll stay full, longer, while doing protecting your breasts. Fabulous!
There you have it: five ways to get more olive oil in your diet. Remember, the Mediterranean diet focuses on whole grains, and lots and lots of vegetables – limit dairy and meat in order to follow it closely. We think that once you’re drenching your veggies in olive oil or flavoring your quinoa with pesto, it’ll be a lot easier to stick to than other dietary changes you’ve made in the past.
Have any delicious ideas for our olive oil diet? Share in the comments below!