The Holiday Season is here – time to get cooking! For many folks, holiday cooking is one of their favorite things to do. If you are one of those people, you understand how fun and rewarding it can be. But you might also know the stress, especially from big meals such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. They can be mammoth undertakings requiring planning and prep. And self-expectations are high: You want all the traditional favorites, you want them all to be delicious, and mainly, you want things to be memorable, not mundane. One of the best ways to keep holiday cooking joyful and lively is by using our Extra Virgin Olive Oils (EVOO), Balsamic Vinegars, and other products.
Give Butter the Boot
Butter can be a delicious ingredient, but there are plenty of reasons to break its dominance over holiday cooking and give EVOO a try. Perhaps the most important reason is your health. Butter is 63% saturated fat – EVOO is only 14%. Additionally, EVOO contains monounsaturated fat, one of the good fats that help bolster healthy cholesterol levels and improve heart health. It is hard to overstate how healthier EVOO is than Butter and many other cooking oils. Especially during the holidays, it is nice to indulge more – thanks to EVOO.
But what is it like to cook with EVOO versus Butter?
For versatility in the kitchen, EVOO wins again. The main factor is the smoking point: the temperature when frying at which an oil or fat ceases simmering and begins to smoke. In general, smoke can harm the flavor. It can also reduce the good nutritional qualities of food. The smoking point of butter hovers around 302º F – fine for frying small, quick-cooking items. On the other hand, the smoking point of EVOO ranges from 350-410⁰ F and higher with our high-quality ultra premium EVOO! EVOO is great for everything from sautéing vegetables to searing steaks to pan frying poultry.
For one holiday heavyweight – the traditional, oven-roasted turkey – EVOO has another distinct advantage: It will make a crispier skin. Butter is over 20% water, but EVOO contains no water. For crispier cooking, less water is better, making EVOO the best choice.
Finally, with EVOO you don’t have to give up buttery flavor. Our butter olive oil lets you enjoy the creamy flavor of butter, along with all the health benefits of monounsaturated fats. This naturally-infused EVOO oil can be used anywhere you might use melted butter including seafood, pasta, mashed potatoes, and even popcorn! Take that butter!
All About Flavors and Fun
As mentioned, the best way to keep holiday cooking from feeling like a chore is to avoid being dull. Not to say you have to go wild. After all, there are flavors and traditions folks might be disappointed to miss out on. But there is always room for experimentation – that’s where the fun is.
When mixing it up a little, it is hard to go wrong with our Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oils, Modena Italy Balsamic Vinegars, and Specialty Oils.
Put a sumptuous spin on your Thanksgiving turkey: Infuse the bird with our Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil for a savory experience.
Another lively bet is our Fig Balsamic Vinegar. Thick and ripe, bursting with sweet fruitiness, this aged balsamic vinegar from Modena shines in Fig Glazed Roasted Turkey with Cornbread Stuffing. It is also a mouth-watering marinade for pork and beef, vegetables or as a vinaigrette. It’s even incredible as a holiday cocktail in a Fig Old-Fashioned. No wonder it is our most popular seller!
And since we are “talking turkey,” we have Gourmet Gobbler™ Turkey Brine & Rub Kits in store. This easy-to-use, all-in-one kit includes: a spiced-brine blend, a heavy-duty BPA-Free brining bag (for turkeys up to 24 lbs), 1.25 oz of Gourmet Gobbler™ Smoky Peppercorn & Herb Rub –everything you need for a juicy, moist turkey, every time!
How about your holiday ham – give it a sweet-hot twist with this recipe for Cinnamon-Pear Balsamic Glazed Ham, featuring our Cinnamon-Pear Balsamic. Or, try your hog with a glaze using our Vermont Maple Balsamic. Oh, and this balsamic is outrageously good for breakfasts – think pancakes, waffles, and glazing bacon!
Our Extra Virgin Olive Oils (EVOO) and Balsamic Vinegar can infuse any holiday meal with great flavor and joy. They can also help with that other major challenge during the holiday season, finding the perfect gift.
These are just a few ideas to help liven up your holiday cooking. But there’s more – at Vita Sana Olive Oil Company, we’re full of ideas and happy to share. Whether you’re seeking more holiday suggestions or simply have questions about EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar, please stop by and let us know. You’ll be glad you did.