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the-mediterranean-diet-a-olive-oil-2How well do you know your olive oils? Spinach, walnuts, oat products, broccoli, blueberries, dark chocolate and olive oil—what do all these foods have in common? They are all rich in antioxidants, a central theme of the Mediterranean Diet, which came about after the dietary patterns of southern Italy, Greece, Spain and Morocco were studied.

Healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all part of the diet. Olive oil, which contains a very high level of monounsaturated fats, is the main fat promoted in this diet and it is characteristic of the Mediterranean diet.

6 Types of Olive Oil

  1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This is the first press of the olives through the cold pressing process. The virgin designation has to do with the amount of acidity of the olive oil.
  2. Virgin Olive Oil: Olives that are riper than those used for extra virgin oil are produced in the same way as extra virgin, the acidity is a bit higher, therefore, the oil is of lesser quality.
  3. Refined Olive Oil: This oil has a diminished flavor and scent, higher acidity than the two above and it is the result of refining virgin olive oil.
  4. Pure Olive Oil: Lighter in color and milder in taste than extra virgin olive oil, this oil is a result of the second cold pressing; it is not mixed with any non-olive oils.
  5. Refined Olive-Pomace Oil: This lower quality oil is produced by the ground flesh and pits left after pressing.
  6. Light & Extra Light Olive Oil: This low-quality oil is chemically produced.

This is an easy-to-make, yet healthy vegetable side dish that uses EVOO, extra virgin olive oil, a characteristic of the Mediterranean Diet.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes or Acorn Squash For Two

7031 roasted sweet potatos

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes, cleaned, with skins on, cut into 1” wedges or 1 2-pound acorn squash, cut into ¾ inch slices after being halved and seeded
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions 

  • Heat oven to 425 degreees
  • Toss sweet potatoes or acorn squash with 1 Tbsp. oil
  • Season with salt and peppe
  • Roast, turning once, about 25 minutes, or until tender
  • Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve

Roasted sweet potatoes or acorn squash are great additions for any main dish. And, they're healthy! For more food, wine and recipes, check out Sally Bernstein!

 

6849 jelly jam header

What is the difference between jam, jelly, marmalade, preserves, conserves, fruit butter, or fruit curd? This can be a tough question to answer. These "jams" are all similar, but each one is different from the rest. Some use an ingredient called pectin, which is a natural, gelatin-like substance that is added to fruit to help it thicken. It is available in dry and liquid form. Most of these are sweet, fruit-based offerings, but some are tart and others are savory. Most of the items below are stored in glass jars, although cans and plastic packets are also used.

Conserves

A jam made of whole or large pieces of different fruits stewed in sugar or syrup. These 4 items are cooked together until thick: various fruits, sugar, nuts and sometimes raisins. This mixture can be used as an accompaniment to meats or spread on biscuits or toast.

Fruit Butter

Stew fresh fruit, sugar and spices until thick, such as apple butter, which contains fresh apples, cider, sugar and cinnamon. There is actually NO butter in Fruit Butter as this term refers to its spreadability.

Fruit Curd

This creamy spread, think lemon curd, is made with the zest of the fruit, eggs, butter, sugar and citrus fruit. Curds are usually more tart than sweet and can be made in a variety of flavors, including cranberry, blood orange, lime and strawberry.

6849 jelly jam jar

Jam

Start with fruit purees and add sugar and pectin until thickened. This creates a smooth finished product with a semi-jellied texture. Jams are usually made from one fruit, not a combination of various fruits.

Jelly

This clear liquid is made from sweetened and jelled fruit juice, to which pectin and an acid, such as lemon juice, are added. Jelly is another smooth finished product.

6849 jelly marmalade

Marmalade

We usually think of orange marmalade (made from Seville oranges) but there are also many other marmalades, such as onion marmalade and beet marmalade.  In other words, marmalade includes the zest and flesh from citrus fruits or vegetables.

Preserves

Similar to conserves, preserves are made from whole or large pieces of fruit. The fruit, usually cooked with sugar and pectin, can be spread on biscuits or toast.

For more food, wine and recipes, check out Sally Bernstein!

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