BY FRANCESCA VAN SOEST ON JAN 16 2020

If you make only one resolution to better yourself in the New Year, let it be a resolution that will not only affect you, but make it something that you can share with your family and friends to improve both yours and their wellness.

So many of us get wrapped up in our individual goals, but wouldn’t it be easier, and far more enjoyable, to share the experience with those you love most? If your health and that of your friends and family is an important driver in your life, as it is for millions, make that resolution and action, a behavior, a decision that will improve everyone's year. Make the resolution to be more conscious of the quality of the food and the ingredients that you are cooking with, especially the oils with which you cook with! This will not only affect your health positively, but the health of your entire household and friends who surround you.

Unfortunately, the way many resolutions unfold is to come into the new year with gusto to make all these changes, however many of us will eventually fall back into our old habits and patterns because the goals we have set are too difficult or too different from our established routines to make them sustainable.

Well, not this year! This year the Cobram Estate team would like to offer up some methods to help you adhere to your resolution to be more conscious of the quality of the food and the ingredients that you are cooking with. These methods will have a lasting impact on your health and the health of those surrounding you.

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Method Number 1: Use more Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)!

This one might seem obvious, based on where you are currently reading this article, but let me give you some solid reasoning as to why. EVOO has so many researched health benefits, such as helping lower bad cholesterol, helping your body absorb key nutrients, having anti-inflammatory properties, and help mitigate the risk of cardiovascular disease. Secondly, EVOO not only makes your food healthier but using more of it improves the flavor of your dish. Here are 6 immediate ways you can use EVOO in your cooking to improve your everyday dishes:

  • Saute with it! Contrary to what most people think you can, and you should, cook with EVOO. EVOO has the highest level of naturally occurring antioxidants which protect it from oxidizing when it is heated up, making it one of the best oils to cook with. Check out the article referenced below for an interesting study that was done showing how most commercial cooking oils perform under high heat.
  • Fry with it! That’s right, EVOO ha one of the highest smoke points and in the article I mentioned above, they find that it is safe, and better, to use EVOO than other commercial frying oils. This is due to its higher amount of antioxidants that protect it from oxidizing at high temperature and forming harmful polar compounds.
  • Marinade meats and veggies with EVOO! This will not only give your food lovely flavor, but it will make it easier to cook, hello nonstick solution! Cooking veggies in EVOO also helps our body absorb key nutrients from veggies that we would not be able to absorb on their own.
  • Bake with it! Find yourself a nice mild EVOO, try Cobram Estates Mild blend, and use a 1 to 1 replacement with any other oil that your recipe calls for. Not only will it make your food healthier, we have also found that EVOO keeps your baked goods moister for longer.
  • Grill with it! Give your meat and veggies an extra burst of flavor by slathering them in EVOO before throwing them on the BBQ. Try Cobram Estates Robust blend to give an extra bust of antioxidants.
  • Experiment with it! EVOO on vanilla ice cream, one word... delicious!
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Method Number 2: Replace your old rancid oils with a fresh, healthy EVOO.

Something that most don’t realize is how quickly all oils go bad. Oxidation is a freshness killer, and oils are not a shelf stable product that can be kept indefinitely, they will oxidize and go rancid within weeks of them being opened. This is important because cooking with old, rancid oils is extremely unhealthy. Oils that have gone rancid have used up any potential antioxidants in them, and the fats have begun to break down into harmful free radicals (antioxidants evil nemesis). These free radicals can cause inflammation in your body, which can be the starting point for many harmful and potentially life-threatening diseases.

Here are some trusted methods of checking if you oil is fresh, or if you should throw them out immediately:

  • Is it EVOO? If not, get rid of it! I’m only sort of kidding with this one, but seriously, EVOO is the only oil to have so much scientific research into its various health benefits, and it is not refined (like most seed oils), and it is delicious. Why would you need anything else?
  • Have you had that open bottle of oil sitting around for more than 4-6 weeks? If so, chuck it out. Like I mentioned above, all oils are sensitive to light, heat and oxygen, and begin to degrade as soon as you open them.
  • When you smell it, does it remind you of something fresh and grassy? Or does it smell dusty and greasy? One of the best ways to tell if an oil still has any life in it is to smell it. It will be pretty obvious to tell the different between a fresh bottle of EVOO (which tends to smell like fresh cut grass or something else green and fruity), and a bottle of rancid oil that can tend to smell like dusty old crayons.

Well, there you have it. Two very simple transitions to make going into 2020 that will help make you feel amazing. A good Extra Virgin Olive Oil can seriously make an enormous difference in your health and well being, and then best part is that you don’t have to give up any delicious flavors or be restrictive on portion size in order to get healthier. Let us all go into this season not thinking what we have to cut out to meet our health goals, but let us think about what we get to add into our lives to make us healthier, and happy going into the New Year!

Download the full scientific article on heating oils here.

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