Balsamic Vinegar Is More Than A Salad Dressing
Practically unknown in the U.S. until the early 90's, this fine Italian condiment has become a popular ingredient in numerous kitchen creations--here in the U.S. and all over the world.
Authentic balsamic vinegar owns deep dark color, created with all the must of Trebbiano grapes from Modena, Italy (the birthplace of balsamic). This vinegar is aged for months, years and even decades in some cases to develop its own rich, sweet and refined berry flavor and smooth, velvety texture. The longer the aging, the thick and candy.
Traditional balsamic (or aceto balsamico tradizionale) is a highly regulated Italian product, boasting a DOP certification. This vinegar must be aged for either 12 or 25 years, a protracted procedure that produces the ideal sweetness, depth and acidic balance. This balsamic goes for anywhere from $75 to $200!
Balsamic Glaze or Discount
An easy way to get a desired drizzling consistency for fresh cut fruits, roasted veggies and pasta plates is to purchase a glaze, such as Modenacrem Balsamic Glaze, or simply cook down your balsamic to create a milder ultra-rich reduction.
More Ideas for Balsamic from the Kitchen
- Create a sweet balsamic glaze for poultry or pork.
- Finish roasted, grilled or braised meats with just a drizzle.
- Use as a flavorful marinade for grilling meats, seafood and poultry.
- Drizzle over baked, grilled or poached fish for a sweet-and-tangy finish.
- Add a spoonful or 2 to sauces and soups for an added dimension of flavor.
- Amp up classic risotto rice recipes using a generous drizzle.
- Create a velvety rich balsamic chocolate sauce for fresh tomatoes.
- Add a candy splash to fizzy sodas and sparkling cocktails.
Some of Our Favorite Recipes
- Grilled Peaches with Burrata and Balsamic
- Caprese Pesto Salad with Balsamic Glaze
- Baked Salmon with Balsamic Brown Butter
- Balsamic Citrus Pork Roast
- Grilled Flatbread with Pomodoro, Goat Cheese, Basil and Balsamic
- Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding with Pecans and Balsamic Caramel
What are some of the favorite ways to use balsamic vinegar or glaze?
- Neil Naran
Is Balsamic Vinegar Actually Good For You?
Traditional balsamic vinegar originates from Modena, Italy, where families have been utilizing the same techniques for generations. Balsamic vinegar is made from pressing and fermenting grapes. It ages in wooden barrels for years, sometimes decades.
The longer it ferments, the more intense the flavor becomes and the thicker it gets. Balsamic vinegar has an array of health benefits, however you should not use to treat any sort of medical ailment.
Balsamic Vinegar Is Low In Calories
Balsamic vinegar adds a lot of flavor to any dish, without packing in too many calories. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, balsamic vinegar provides a minimal five calories per teaspoon.
This is far less than a 1-teaspoon dose of olive oil that has 45 calories. Swapping out oil or fatty dressing for balsamic vinegar shaves a significant number of calories from the diet, making it a healthier alternative.
Effects on Cholesterol
Balsamic vinegar is beneficial for stabilizing your blood glucose levels. Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL cholesterol, is the harmful cholesterol that blocks arteries, causing hardening and clogging. Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Environmental Science for Human Life looked in effects of balsamic vinegar on cholesterol.
In 2010, researchers published their findings in the"Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology." In the study, researchers observed that polyphenols from balsamic vinegar inhibit oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This benefit minimizes the risk of damage to cells from the harmful cholesterol. Drizzling balsamic vinegar on your salad at lunch can be helpful in keeping your cholesterol in a healthy range.
Beneficial for Blood Pressure
Your blood pressure is the amount of force your blood places on arterial walls. In 2006, researchers at Arizona State University looked to vinegar benefits on heart health and published their review from"Medscape General Medicine."
Since balsamic vinegar reduces atherosclerosis and hardening of arteries, it can also help normalize your blood pressure levels. Researchers explain that regular vinegar consumption has been shown to lower systolic blood pressure by as much as 20 millimeters of mercury, or 20 mmHg.
Blood pressure is the number on top of your blood pressure reading and measures blood pressure through heartbeats. It is important to be aware that this research was conducted on rats. Balsamic vinegar may be beneficial for blood pressure in humans, but further research has to be conducted.
Stabalizes Blood Glucose
Balsamic vinegar is reduced on the glycemic index. This system categorizes foods based on how much they affect your blood sugar. Low glycemic index foods cause your sugar to rise slightly and then gradually go back down over a period of time. High glycemic foods, like processed treats, cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar.
When it spikes, sugar drops sharply to below its original level. Low glycemic foods, such as balsamic vinegar, can keep you feeling satisfied for a longer period of time. Though balsamic vinegar is a low-glycemic food, it does contain sugar and you ought to watch your portion size if you are diabetic.
- Neil Naran
6 Great Ways to Use Olive Oil
So many great dishes start with olive oil. Here are just six more creative ways to put this versatile oil to use
Change up your usual tomato sauce. Cook and drain pasta, reserving some cooking water. Drizzle pasta with olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, and black pepper. If needed, add a little of the reserved pasta water to get a slightly saucy consistency. Add shredded fresh basil leaves and toss to coat. Try this recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio.
Olive Oil Sundaes
This may sound odd, but it makes ice cream extra creamy: Drizzle top-quality extra-virgin olive oil over vanilla or strawberry ice cream, then add a pinch of kosher salt. Amazing!
From-scratch salad dressing is easy, and the taste is amazing. In a screw-top jar, shake together olive oil, an equal amount of vinegar (e.g., balsamic, or red or white wine), a little mustard, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. If you want, add minced fresh garlic and/or shallot, chopped fresh herbs, or a little bit of honey.
Stir together equal amounts of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan. Then dip away with bread or crackers.
Heat a little olive oil in a pan over low heat. Stir in your favorites -- lemon, orange, or lime zest; crushed red pepper; a halved fresh chile; basil leaves; rosemary; or even a little bacon fat -- and cook until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Use it immediately over pasta or as a dipping sauce. For a stove-free edition, try this recipe for Infused Olive Oil.
Before refrigerating homemade pesto, add a thin layer of fine virgin olive oil on top of the sauce after putting it into a jar. The oil can help the pesto maintain its green color.
- Neil Naran
Knowing When You Should Be Using Vegetable Oil vs Olive Oil
Believe it or not, all oils are not created equally.
Oil is an essential, and often underestimated, ingredient that's vital for in recipes. Choosing which type of oil to put in a recipe will greatly affect its results. Two of the most popular oils used are vegetable and olive oil, but what's the difference between them? When should you use vegetable oil vs olive oil, or vice versa? Allow me to break down these two oils for you, so you pick the best one to include in your future recipes.
Vegetable Oil vs Olive Oil
Vegetable oil and olive oil come from two different sources. Vegetable oil is made from plant sources like seeds and nuts, while olive oil is made from the olive fruit. This causes a difference in the oils' smoke point (the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke at).
Vegetable oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil, so it is better to use when cooking at high temperatures. On the other hand, olive oil has a lower smoke point, meaning it's best to utilize for moderate to high heat functions.
When it comes to taste for vegetable oil vs olive oil, vegetable oil has practically no taste, which functions well once you want all the flavor to come from the recipe. Meanwhile, olive oil, especially extra-virgin olive oil, is more likely to disrupt a recipe's flavor because it has a very distinct taste. However, some chefs like olive oil specifically because it adds a certain flavor to a dish.
When to Use Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil should be used primarily for deep frying and stir-frying. It's a basic universal oil that can be utilized in almost any recipe. Additionally, vegetable oil is relatively cheap, so it's the best choice to get if you are on a budget.
If you're searching for the perfect snack to make with vegetable oil, try this healthy veggie chips recipe.
When to Use Olive Oil
While olive oil may seem quite similar to vegetable oil in regards to the fact that it's a universal oil, olive oil is typically utilized in fancier dishes because of the flavor it can add. It's also more expensive than vegetable oil because it stems from a fruit.
This lemon olive oil cake recipe really showcases the flavor olive oil can bring into a sweet dish.
To simplify the issue of when vegetable oil vs olive oil ought to be used, try to remember a few things: vegetable oil is a universal oil that needs to be used when cooking at high temperatures, and olive oil is an oil that adds flavor that should be utilized when cooking at moderate temperatures.
- Neil Naran
What are the Essential Benefits of Olive Oil?
Olive oil has been used medicinally for centuries. In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates called olive oil "the great healer" and prescribed olive oil for various general ailments. Now, contemporary scientific and technological advancements have allowed researchers to understand exactly what health benefits you can expect by consuming olive oil daily.
We have compiled the most compelling research that link olive oil intake to specific health conditions so you can learn how to improve your health, and what to search for when purchasing olive oil for these functions.
Improve Brain Function
Simply switching to higher-quality oil sources can have a protective effect on brain health, even at doses as low as 2 tablespoons a day. Researchers found that older study participants that entirely replaced all the various vegetable oils in their diet (such as safflower, canola or low-quality olive oil) to high-quality extra virgin olive oil had improved cognitive function just one year later one.
Similarly, mice fed with EVOO for 2 months displayed less Alzheimer's disease-causing protein aggregates within their brain, resulting in improved memory and cognitive function.
Incorporating high-phenolic EVOO into your daily routine may represent an effective procedure to defend against diabetes. Earlier this year, researchers found that olive oils high in phenolic compounds can be used for the maintenance of diabetes.
They extracted the medically active phenolic substances from high-quality olive oil and found that these EVOO extracts were more effective at ridding diabetes-related enzymes than Acarbose, a common medication prescribed to diabetics.
High-quality EVOO has a repertoire of medically-active chemicals that keep inflammation in check and protect against growing chronic inflammatory diseases. Various phenolic substances, such as oleuropein, oleocanthal and hydroxytyrosol, and triterpenic compounds, such as oleanolic acid and maslinic acid, have been credited with the antioxidantanti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties of medicinal EVOO. In fact, a recent human study demonstrated the importance of consuming olive oil that is full of both phenols and triterpenes for reducing inflammation and DNA oxidation.
Fend off Cancer
Regular EVOO intake has been linked to decreased risk of developing cancer. In fact, men and women in the Mediterranean basin have decreased rates of cancer and decreased cancer mortality6, maybe due to higher EVOO consumption than the rest of the world.
Studies have linked the polyphenols found in EVOO to its cancer-fighting abilities; these polyphenols can destroy cancer cells, although not non-cancerous cells, eliminating many of the side effects seen with classic chemotherapies, and can reverse acquired resistance to standard-of-care breast cancer treatments8.
Boost Heart Health
Supplementing your diet with high-phenolic olive oil has been demonstrated to improve your cardiovascular health. High-phenolic olive oil, but not low-phenolic olive oil, has been shown to enhance blood pressure and endothelial function.
And just 3 weeks of consuming two tablespoons a day of high-phenolic olive oil enhanced cholesterol levels, whereas low-phenolic olive oil intake actually worsened cholesterol levels10. The negative effect of low-phenolic olive oil strengthens the importance of using high-quality EVOO.
- Neil Naran
The Essential Benefits of Olive Oil For Hair Regrowth
In today's world, everybody is seeking to have the very best hairstyles with exceptional colors and curlers. To keep up with the changing fashion statements, people are beginning to use hair products that degrade the quality of hairloss. To remain fashionable and stylish, it has become a frequent trend for people to experiment with their hair by changing hair products.
Most individuals have resorted to using heat producing products for stimulating hair growth. The simple truth is that these heat-producing devices have devastating effects as they tend to weaken hair strands instead of making them strong.
Using Olive Oil For Hair Regrowth
Instead of using products that have chemicals that cause problems to your scalp, why not enjoy the benefits of olive oil for hair regrowth? While it is good to experiment with your hair, keeping it natural is the perfect way to go. Taking care of your hair starts with utilizing proven natural products and methods. While there are many natural techniques that you can use to maintain your hair, experts suggest that olive oil is the best product to style and grow your hair.
A Brief Look At Olive Oil
For many years, olive oil has been utilized for many purposes, but a few people understand the rejuvenating effects of petroleum when used as hair merchandise. The benefit of using olive oil to style your hair begins with its ability to strengthen your hair.
Olive oil has a moisturizing effect that nourishes your scalp, which can prevent dandruff, which is one of the causes of hair loss. For the hair to remain healthy and long, hair strands have to be maintained strong to avoid breakages. This is what olive oil does to help strengthen individual hair strands to avoid hair splits.
Olive Oil and Your Hair
Your hair has to be elastic to prevent against pulling off when you brush or blow-dry. Olive oil increases the elasticity of the hair, which is why your hair can remain strong and straight.
Not many people know that olive oil is connected to hair development. While olive oil is used for cooking and treatment of skin diseases, hair experts say that olive oil is the best treatment of the problem of hair loss.
One of the key benefits of using olive oil is that it prevents and cures hair loss.
There are many reasons why individuals may lose their hair. This might be because of use of hair products with damaging chemicals.
Other men and women lose hair because of the DTH hormones that are proven to decrease the hair follicle shafts. The application of olive oil inhibits the production of DTH hormones on your scalp, which cure the problems of hair loss.
Olive oil contains considerable amounts of antioxidants, which boosts the heath of the scalp. This makes olive oil the best hair . Remember that an unhealthy scalp cannot support development of hair. Considering olive oil nourishes the scalp, it provides an appropriate product that not only strengthens your hair, but also protects your scalp.
Final Considerations and Tips
If you have been using chemicals that may have damaged your hair, olive oil is the very best merchandise that can change this occasion and facilitate hair growth. Olive oil is a natural hair conditioner, that softens your hair. Your scalp has to be healthy. Olive oil contains antibacterial and anti fungal properties that protect your scalp from infections.
Olive oil can be mixed with castor oil and lavender to offer a scalp massage using your fingers. Remember that there are several types of olive oils on the market, including extra virgin and pure, but virgin oil has been fronted as the ideal sort of olive that bolster the beauty of your hair while enhancing hair growth.
- Neil Naran