The last thing you want to do when the summer sun is out is spend countless hours next to a hot stove. Oil To Stay Cool & Healthy, eating healthy foods is extremely important to help your body handle the high temperatures during the summer months. With Texas olive oil, you can easily prepare healthy dishes that don’t require much cooking and can be enjoyed cold. This golden liquid from the Texas Hill Country Olive Co. can be used for soups, salads, and even desserts.
Scorchin’ Summer Lovin’
Summer days are one of the most misrepresented motifs in pop culture. Hear me out. Everywhere you look – TV, ads, or your Insta feed – everyone seems to be having the best time in the sun. But summer brings more than just fun. Without proper protection and hydration, heat can compromise your body’s ability to regulate temperature, cause heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, or hyperthermia, and even alter your behavior.
Extreme temperatures can worsen chronic conditions such as cardiovascular, respiratory, or cerebrovascular disease, and diabetes-related conditions. If you suffer from such pre-existing conditions, you need to take extra precautions to protect yourself from the high heat. It’s always a good idea to pay a bit of extra attention to your heart health and opt for foods that keep it running smoothly.
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO for short) has been the focus of many studies over the years. And each study reaches the same conclusion: it’s one of the healthiest ingredients you can consume. EVOO lowers your blood pressure, improves the lining of your blood vessels, and protects your blood cholesterol from oxidation. When consumed regularly, it can lower the risk of heart disease.
EVOO helps prevent excessive blood clotting, which is one of the main causes of strokes. Oleic acid, the predominant fatty acid in olive oil, reduces inflammation in the body and has beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. The high quantities of antioxidants found in EVOO are also anti-inflammatory and linked to a lower risk of heart disease. The monosaturated fats in EVOO are resistant to high heat, making it ideal for cooking.
Other omega-3s-rich healthy fats you should include in your diet are fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and trout), avocado, nuts (walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, and pecans), and seeds (flaxseeds, chia, hemp, sesame, and sunflower). Don’t forget about leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and collard greens which contain a wealth of antioxidants to keep your heart healthy.
Texas Olive Oil Summer Recipes
Salmorejo is a cold soup originating from the South of Spain but enjoyed in kitchens throughout the world. Easy to make with little to no heat involved in the cooking process, it quickly becomes a favorite in areas that experience high temperatures during the summer. This creamy and hearty soup can be made in bigger batches and is suitable for freezing for up to a month. In the fridge, it lasts for 5-7 days.
The quick 10-minute recipe calls for:
- 2 lbs of fresh, ripe tomatoes (plum or vine-ripe tomatoes are ideal because of their intense flavor)
- ½ loaf of white bread (stale bread works perfectly but you shouldn’t use the crust)
- 1 cup of extra virgin Texas olive oil
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 1 splash of sherry vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
… All placed in a food processor and blended until smooth. If the soup is too thick, you can add more EVOO or some water. If it’s too runny, a bit more bread will do the trick. Once blended, chill in the fridge for an hour before serving. Hard-boiled eggs and cured ham make for perfect toppings but salmorejo tastes fantastic even without added toppings (and it’s vegan-friendly this way).
Salad fans and haters alike enjoy this 15-minute, no heat-involved, Melon, Pistachio, and Olive Oil Salad. Sweet and fresh, it’s the perfect summer snack or side dish. To prepare it, you need ripe cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and watermelon. Quantities will vary depending on how much salad you want to make. Cut the melons into cubes and drizzle with ¼ cup EVOO and ¼ cup honey. Sprinkle with feta cheese, pistachios, fresh mint, and salt.
Salted Rosemary and Olive Oil Ice Cream is probably a combination you never thought about. But it works! Adding the EVOO gives the ice cream a rich mouthfeel, while the rosemary brings another dimension to the flavor. This homemade ice cream will help you stay cool during the summer while providing some much-needed healthy nutrients. Prep your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and let’s go!
Mix 1 cup each of whole milk, heavy cream, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with 1 teaspoon of coarse salt and 3-4 springs of fresh rosemary. Pour the mixture into a saucepan over low-medium heat and whisk frequently until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and grab a large bowl where you will whisk together 10 egg yolks and ⅔ cup of EVOO until fluffy.
Slowly add the milk mixture to the bowl (keep whisking!) and let everything cool down before refrigerating overnight. In the morning, add the mix to your ice cream maker and use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the ice cream is frozen, serve with a sprinkle of coarse sea salt and a drizzle of Texas olive oil. The measurements above should yield 12 servings but who’s counting when you’re eating something so delicious?