HEALTHY FRENCH FRIES IN THE OVEN

Is there someone among us that doesn’t love french fries? The one and only reason we avoid eating them sometimes is because they are unhealthy and loaded with calories.

We are happy to tell you that there is a way to make the french fries healthy and still delicious!

 

No one will be able to tell the difference, the french fries in the oven are as crispy and delicious as the fried ones.

Once you try this recipe, you will never go back to the unhealthy fried french fries!

 

Ingredients:

1 kg potatoes

4-5 tbs extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

oregano (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Peel of the potatoes in thin sticks or thin round slices. If you want to cut them thick, you will follow the same procedure but you will need to boil them for 10 minutes before cooking them in the oven.
  2. Make sure that the potatoes are dry before placing them in the pan. If they are not, they will not become crispy.
  3. Preheat the oven at 250°C.
  4. Coat the pan surface with olive oil with a cooking brush so that they don’t stick.
  5. Place the potatoes in the pan one next to another. Use the brush to oil the potatoes.
  6. Sprinkle with the sea salt (you can also add the salt after that fries are done 
  7. Place the pan in the preheated oven at a low position.
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Turn the potatoes upside down and continue to bake them for another 15 minutes.
  9. Add salt and oregano according to your taste and enjoy!

 

Tip for healthier french fries (in the frying pan)

 

If you insist on frying the french fries, here’s a tip to make them healthier.

After peeling off and cutting the potatoes, put them in a bowl with water for at least 30 minutes. A very unhealthy substance called acrylamide is formed during frying potatoes.

Soaking the potatoes in water before putting them in the pan can significantly reduce acrylamide levels.

WHICH OIL IS BEST FOR COOKING AND FRYING?

Try asking your friends which is the best oil for cooking and frying and you will get several different answers. There are many myths around cooking and frying with olive oil and in this blogpost we will try to answer all the questions you may have.

The one and only truth is that olive oil is perfect for both cooking and frying. Plus, it’s the only oil you need in your kitchen.

People around the world use butter for cooking and seed oils for frying. They believe that it’s more tasty and maybe healthier. But olive oil is a miracle ingredient and best friend of celebrated chefs throughout the world. We, Greeks, keep the olive oil handy in our kitchen in order to use it for salads, cooking, frying, everything! It’s well known that the greek cuisine is based on the Mediterranean diet, and olive oil is the key ingredient.

Is it healthy to fry with olive oil?

Yes, it is! Actually, it’s the healthiest option you have since extra virgin olive oil is very resilient to high temperatures and keeps all its health properties. One of the myths surrounding extra virgin olive oil is about its smoking point. Despite the misinformation, the smoking point of olive oil is way higher than the temperatures reached when frying or deep frying. Choose to fry with olive oil and you will have the healthiest option in your pan. Apart from the health benefits, frying with olive oil gives a very pleasant flavour to your food.

Extra tip for frying with olive oil:

Don’t discard the used olive oil. You can fry with the same olive oil twice. Keep in mind that it would be best to use it with the same type of food (e.g. only fish or only french fries). After the first time you use the olive oil to fry, wait until it’s cool and use a strainer for the remainders. Keep the olive oil in a jar or glass bottle until the next time you fry.

Can I use olive oil for cooking?

You can and you should use olive oil for cooking! Not only it elevates the taste of your meals but also it’s the healthiest fat you can have in your kitchen!

You can bake, grill, create pasta recipes only with olive oil!

If you use butter there is a simple guideline that you can follow. Substitute olive oil for butter at a 3:4 ratio by volume. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup (225 grams) of butter, you can replace it with 3/4 cups (180 ml) of olive oil.

Cooking with olive oil gives you really tasty dishes but more importantly it promotes good health. Let’s not forget that high quality extra virgin olive oil, like the My Precious Olive Tree extra virgin olive oil, helps protect from cholesterol and heart disease and fights inflammation. Thanks to its powerful antioxidants, it benefits your heart, brain, joints and health overall.

You don’t have to worry that the temperature during cooking will diminish or destroy the antioxidants of the olive oil. Thanks to the high content of monounsaturated fatty acid olive oil is relatively stable; in fact it’s more stable than many other oils when heated which helps olive oil retain its health benefits while cooking.

If you want to have plenty of extra virgin olive oil delivered straight to your door, adopt an olive tree from our grove. My Precious Olive Tree is an award winning extra virgin olive oil of high quality that elevates the taste of the meals and offers so much to our health. You only need to choose the package that fits your needs best and… enjoy!

OLIVE OIL FOR HAIR AND SKIN

OLIVE OIL FOR HAIR AND SKIN

Extra virgin olive oil is the key ingredient of a healthy diet and people all around the world start to become familiar with using olive oil in their cooking. What many people probably don’t know is that we can use olive oil for hair and skin with great results!

There are many beauty tips with olive oil that I will share with you in this blogpost and from my personal experience, they all work. Someone would think that they don’t want to use a high quality olive oil for hair and skin. I suggest you try! Apart from the fact that it’s pure and efficient, it turns out to be less expensive than the cosmetics we buy.

Olive oil for silky hair

This hair treatment is a beauty trend all around the world. It’s a pre shampoo treatment that moisturises your hair, giving it a healthy look.

First, warm the olive oil in the microwave. Then apply it generously to the ends of hair and scalp. Leave it in for 15 minutes and then wash it out thoroughly with shampoo.

You will love this hair treatment! Your hair will immediately look healthier and silkier.

Olive oil as a serum for hair

If you want to give an extra glossy finish at your hair, just rub a few drops of olive oil on flyaway ends. It styles your hair and at the same time it nourishes. The only thing you should be careful with is the quantity of olive oil you use. Just a couple of drops are enough.

Olive oil for skin

The best exfoliating face mask with only two ingredients that you have in your kitchen.

Olive oil is known for its ability to penetrate the skin due to the oleic acid.

The sea salt has mild abrasive qualities.

The combination of these can do miracles in removing dead skin sells.

Mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil with sea salt and rub the mixture over your skin.

Wash with tepid water.

Your skin will be renewed and glowing.

Olive oil for strong nails

If your nails break easily and don’t look healthy, maybe they need an olive oil bath!  You only need olive oil and 5 to 10 minutes!

Soak your nails in slightly warm olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes. Among other things, olive oil is a great cuticle softener. After this, your nails will be stronger and shinier! For even better results you can repeat 2-3 times per week.

A perfect DIY lip and body scrub

If your lips are chapped we this the perfect recipe to make them soft and moisturized!

Mix a teaspoon of olive oil with sugar and if you want add a splash of lemon juice for extra flavor and acidic exfoliating properties. Your scrub is ready to use! This mixture has excellent exfoliating and moisturizing properties and you can also use it for your body.

Olive oil as a body lotion

If you are looking for a natural way to make your skin extremely soft and smooth, we have a perfect beauty secret for you! It’s very efficient and natural!

What you have to do is apply olive oil over your body while in the shower. Afterwards, just follow your shower routine, using your shower gel. In the end, wipe gently with a towel. You will love how your skin will look!

Olive oil for cracked heels

After exfoliating your heels with a pumice stone, apply olive oil to them. Put on socks to lock in the moisturizing effect of the olive oil during the night. The next morning your heels will be significantly smoother. Repeat as often as needed.

Olive oil for intense lashes

To help nourish your lashes use some drops of olive oil and dab them before going to bed. Doing this 2-3 times per week you will help condition your lashes and even darken them. You will soon have a naturally intense look!

 

If you want to always have enough olive oil in your cupboard for cooking and for your beauty routine, consider adopting an olive tree! You just need to choose the plan of deliveries that fits your needs and we’ll take care of all the rest. Check out the subscription plans here.

The best Christmas gift idea. Gift an olive tree!

Are you looking for an unusual gift?

Early or last minute, we have the best Christmas gift idea for you. Gift an olive tree in Greece to someone special and they will own a piece of Greece. Plus, they will receive the extra virgin olive oil it produces.

Christmas gifts require a little creativity and preferably they should be thoughtful and personalised.

Moreover, we all know people who love to eat and cook (sometimes for us!) or someone who loves Greece. The perfect Christmas gift idea for all the above mentioned is to gift an olive tree in Greece!

Unique and personal gift

First of all, anyone who likes food (so, everyone) will love it. Because when you gift an olive tree, the recipient gets a high quality olive oil produced in our family grove in Greece. They will be using the olive oil produced by their adopted olive tree throughout the year and thanking you of this gift. Luxury is about how a product makes us feel, imagine the feelings and connection when the giftee will use the olive oil from his own olive tree in Greece.

This gift shows that you took some time looking for a unique gift. It’s personalised, it arrives along with a certificate of adoption, a greeting card with your message and photos of their adopted olive tree.

Although special, it’s hassle free for you. You subscribe easily online and we take care of all the rest. We deliver worldwide, your gift will be delivered to their doorstep just on time for Christmas dinners. All the flavours and aromas of Greece will be there, in their salads and the other dishes.

But even if it’s a last minute gift, you can give them the certificate of adoption now and let them know their olive oil is on the way. In this case, you should just contact us so that we send you a digital copy of the certificate of adoption and the photo of the tree. You can print it to give it right on time. We’ll send the originals as well,  along with the gift box with the olive oil.

Don’t think about it! Gift an olive tree in Greece and impress with your gesture. Check out the gift packages available.

 

THE 2020 OLIVE HARVEST ON OUR GROVE

Our authentic Greek extra virgin olive oil comes out around mid October. Every year is different and the date may vary. It mostly depends on the weather conditions, the rains we had throughout the year, and above all, the condition of the fruit.

The team of My Precious Olive Tree is dedicated to produce high quality extra virgin olive oil. And this is why the harvest period is extremely important to us. Harvest period is what we wait for all year long. It is a blessing for farmers, a joyful celebration but if harvesting isn’t done the right way it can be a curse and destroy the efforts of a whole year.

The are some basic rules that we all follow and there are of course many important details in the whole process on which we stay focused. Unexpected situations may come up and they need to be sorted out quickly and efficiently. Here, we will talk about the basic rules of harvesting, the ones that aren’t negotiable and that we follow no matter what.

 

All the rest, you can find it out if you come and visit us during harvest!

It is very crucial to monitor every step of the procedure, from harvesting the trees to the mill and back and make sure the everything goes as planned.

We start very early in the morning when the temperature is low. Don’t forget that in Greece the weather in October even November can be very warm and this is something that does’t help. We can’t change the weather conditions, but we can choose to work early in the morning.

Our efforts all year long are focused on having a healthy fruit. So what we need to do at this final stage of the cultivating period is to treat the olives with love and care. We are very careful so the they aren’t hit, hurt or damaged. Even when they have fallen an the ground, all of our workers know that they mustn’t step on them.

Temperature plays a very significant role in the whole procedure of extracting the olive oil. This means that after the olives are picked from the trees, they are kept in the shadow to remain cool. Ventilation is needed too, so keeping the olives in plastic bags is a big mistake.

The olives must be taken to the mill within a few hours after they have been collected. To understand the importance of it, imagine any fruit or vegetable. The moment you take it from the tree/ soil etc this is when the aroma and freshness are at their maximum. Exactly the same applies for olives.

The milling method is very vital. We choose the mill very carefully and there are two key parameters that aren’t negotiable. The first one, is that the mill has to be clean and the second one has to do with the temperature. The machines must work in low temperature, below 27C, and this means that the olive il is cold pressed/ cold extracted.

Once the olives arrive at the mill, they are washed and separated from the leaves. Then, we have the malaxation, where the olives are crushed into a pulp. The duration of the malaxation varies, but for sure it shouldn’t last more than 20 minutes.

Right after this, the olive oil is separated from the pulp through a centrifuge. The water is drained away and the liquid gold comes out fresh and flavourful!

The first taste of the year’s crop is full of emotions. The most dominant emotion for the 2020 crop was deep satisfaction for the final result.

Until next year’s harvest enjoy the fresh extra virgin olive oil!

WHICH IS THE BEST COOKING OIL AFTER ALL?

Just to clear things from the beginning, the best cooking oil is olive oil. Even better if the olive oil is extra virgin, which is the healthiest oil of all. Cooking with olive oil isn’t simply a matter of healthy eating, it’s also a matter of deliciousness.

 In our country, Greece, the annual consumption of olive oil per person is 16kg, when in Europe and USA the average annual consumption is 0,7 to 1kg per person. Greece is a Mediterranean country producing excellent olive oil. We cannot imagine cooking without olive oil. Actually, we believe that olive oil is the only fat we need to have in our kitchen, we use it literally everywhere. One of the main reasons is the mediterranean diet which calls for olive oil since it’s the perfect match for salads, grilled vegetables and legumes.

Cooking with olive oil is healthy.

Olive oil is low in saturated fat and rich in antioxidants. And unlike other oils like vegetable or canola, olive oil has a unique flavor that can enhance a recipe. We recommend choosing extra-virgin over regular or light olive oils because it is the highest quality olive oil, with more antioxidants and natural olive flavor.

You can use olive oil for frying, sautéing and baking. There are many myths around the smoke point of olive oil and its tolerance to high temperatures. The truth is that olive oil is ideal for frying. Researches have shown that not only is extra virgin olive oil safe when cooked to extremely high temperatures, it is more chemically stable at those heats than other common cooking oils. So, it’s healthier to fry with extra virgin olive oil, not to mention that the taste of the fried food doesn’t alter at all.

Extra virgin olive oil has three key qualities that make it an excellent cooking oil: it contains predominantly stable monounsaturated fatty acids, it has a low level of free fatty acids and it has a high level of protective antioxidants.

Cooking with olive oil gives deliciousness to your meals

Moreover, food pairing can do miracles when you cook. A high quality extra virgin olive oil can elevate the taste of your meals. There are many different profiles of extra virgin olive oil, from elegant, robust, peppery, bitter, fruity etc. Choose an olive oil that fits best with what you cook most. My Precious Olive Tree extra virgin olive oil pairs perfectly with green vegetables, salads and white fish. You can also use it with a fiorentina steak and a full body red wine.

Extra virgin olive oil is healthy and delicious

For all this mentioned above, we strongly suggest to cook, bake, fry and finish with olive oil!

It’s never late to start using olive oil instead of butter for example. The ratio by volume is 3:4. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, you will replace it with 3/4 cups of olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil is a protective, beneficial food in a healthy diet. It is extremely versatile and can be used cold in dressings and for drizzling, as well as in all cooking applications. In this regard it is not only safe but also beneficial to our health, not to mention delivering exceptional flavour! So do as the Mediterranean countries have traditionally done for hundreds of years and enjoy cooking with extra virgin olive oil.

Our experience with our clients abroad has shown that people are willing to adopt healthier eating habits, but don’t know how. Our guideline is as simple as that: Use your extra virgin olive oil in all the cooking processes. You will be impressed to discover how simple it is and at the same time you will take advantage of the numerous health benefits this miracle ingredient has to offer.

Beef stew in tomato sauce with pasta. A typical Greek recipe

This is the most common lunch for Greeks on Sundays !

A delicious, healthy recipe everyone will love!

In this recipe, the beef is cooked in low temperature for longer time and this is why it’s so tender. If you boil it, it won’t be tender. Plus, by simmering it, the beef gets the wonderful aromas of the cinnamon, the garlic and the tomatoes. It’s so delicious! And don’t forget that all the recipes we give you are healthy since we use our extra virgin olive oil at the end of the cooking.

Ingredients for the beef

1 kg of beef, cut in small portions

2 chopped red onions

1 clove of garlic

4-5 ripe tomatoes grated

1 tablespoon tomato paste

a pinch of sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash the beef and dry it with a kitchen paper.
  2. Heat a large casserole (preferably a non stick one). Once it’s heated add the chopped onions and the pieces of the beef, until they are brown from one side, then turn them around to brown the other side, too.
  3. Add in the casserole the grated tomatoes, the tomato paste and the sugar. Add water to cover the meet.
  4. Add the cinnamon, the garlic, salt and pepper.
  5. When the sauce starts to boil. lower the heat to medium (the sauce should still make bubbles) and cover with the lid. Let it simmer for approximately 2 hours. You will be able to tell it’s ready when the beef will be tender enough to be cut with a fork and the sauce will be thick.
  6. At the end, add the extra virgin olive oil and stir well.

EXTRA TIPS:

  • It is important to choose the correct part of the beef to have a fork tender result. We would suggest to choose from either the front shoulder or the rear end of beef.
  • This recipe could be more complicated, but we choose to cook healthy. Little changes in recipes can bring big results for our health. This is a very nutritive dish. Pasta for energy, beef for protein and raw extra virgin olive oil to keep all the health benefits high!
  • No need to use butter for the pasta. Once the pasta is boiled, strain it, put it back in the pot, and just add extra virgin olive oil. The pasta will shine and slip and smell wonderfully. We use the healthiest fats in our recipes.
  • When the food is served, sprinkle on every dish some salty grated cheese

 

Bon apetite!

Fluffy homemade buns

The very best recipe for soft, fluffy buns. What you will love most is the smell of the freshly baked bread. No one can eat only one!

Ingredients

500g flour for bread

15g fresh yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

300ml lukewarm milk

a few drops of olive oil

1/4 glass of semolina

Instructions

  1. Sieve the flour and the salt into a bowl.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the milk and add the sugar. Mingle well.
  3. Make a hole in the centre of the flour and pour in the milk. Put some flour on your hands and start kneading. After kneading for a while, the dough should be smooth and soft. If it’s sticky, add some more flour and knead again.
  4. Coat the dough with some drops of olive oil, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it sit in a warm place for at least 20 minutes. Its size will almost double and this helps the bread to become fluffy.
  5. Once the dough is ready, knead a little bit with your hands.
  6. Use a rolling pin (but first put some flour on the surface you will use so that it won’t stick). The dough should be about 1 cm thick.
  7. Use a glass to cut/form the round buns.
  8. Sprinkle the buns with the semolina, cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Heat a non stick pan to medium heat without adding anything and fry the buns for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until coloured. The buns will double their size with the heat.

Extra tips:

  1. This quantity makes about 12-14 buns (depending on the size of the glass you use to cut them). If you don’t want to make them all, you can put some of them in the refrigeration. You only need to take them out 30 minutes before frying them next time.

 

  1. Once they are ready, you can cut them in the middle, add on top tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil and put it in the oven. You will have mini pizzas ready in five minutes!

 

And of course, don’t hesitate to add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and enjoy it warm!

HEALTHIEST SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

THE HEALTHIEST SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE RECIPE WITH EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

“In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.”

When talking about comfort food and recipes that everyone loves, it always comes to spaghetti bolognese. Although we all love eating this dish, sometimes we avoid eating it because we believe it’s not that healthy and/or because we gain many calories.

Follow our tips found below and you’ll never feel guilty again when you eat spaghetti bo-lognese.

You don’t need butter in any of the steps of the recipe. The only fat you need in your kitchen is a high quality extra virgin olive oil and it’s olive oil that we will use in our spa-ghetti bolognese recipe.

To make the meat sauce you will need:

500 gr. beef mince
2 onions finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fresh or dried mint or basil
1 tin plum tomatoes
salt and pepper

1. Put a large anti-stick saucepan on a medium heat, without olive oil. Add the beef mince and turn it around with a ladle until the liquids coming out of the meat are gone and the colour changes from red to brown.
2. Add the onions and mix them together.
3. Add the salt and pepper, the mint and the oregano and stir well.
4. Add the tin of plum tomatoes (and a bit of sugar to take away the bitterness) and some water. Cover with a lid and let it be cooked.

When the bolognese cause is ready add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and stir well until it’s fully absorbed.

HEALTH TIP 1: We didn’t use olive oil at the beginning of our cooking but in the end. This means that the mince wasn’t cooked with any fat and we only added olive oil in the end, which makes our meat sauce super healthy. The extra virgin olive oil won’t be heat-ed and it will keep all of its health benefits.

HEALTH TIP 2: There is no need of using butter for the spaghetti either. When the pasta is boiled, strain it with a colander and put it back in the pot. Add some olive oil and stir well. The spaghetti shines and has an amazing taste and aroma. And it’s healthy!

Change your cooking habits!
Eat healthy!
Use extra virgin oil!

how olive oil is made

HOW EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL IS MADE

Everyone knows what extra virgin olive oil is. You can find olive oil in every supermarket and grocery store all around the world. But how many of you know how a top quality olive oil is made? Here are the answers to all the questions you may have.

The first thing everyone needs to know is that extra virgin olive oil is a juice that comes from crushed olives. Only mechanical means are used to produce olive oil which may vary depending on the technology of the machinery used but the procedure is the same.

But which is the time that olives should be collected from the olive trees?

The time of the harvest has to be chosen carefully.

Harvest doesn’t always start in the same period. It depends mostly on the weather conditions during summer and autumn. Among other factors, it’s the temperature and the rain that have a significant role to deciding when the harvest begins. The best time to start the harvest is when the olives on the trees start to change colour from light green to dark green or black.

 

The method we use to harvest the olives is called assisted hand picked. The olives must be treated with love and care, the machinery we use doesn’t hurt the olives. The members of our harvest team are also very careful not to step on the olives that have fallen on the ground. The olives are kept in the shadow till the time they are transferred to the mill.

In order to have a top quality olive oil the olives need to be crushed the same day they are harvested. So every day, we take the olives we have collected to the mill. What is important as far as the mill is concerned, is to keep the temperature low in all stages of the milling and not using water. Using water during milling diminishes the amount of polyphenols in the olive oil, a substance that gives plenty of health benefits to our body.

Once the olives arrive at the mill, they are washed to be perfectly clean. The first step is called malaxation. During malaxation the olives are crashed and mixed and turn into an olive pulp which allows the olive oil to be released. Next comes the separation, the extraction of the juice. The oil is separated from the pulp through a centrifuge and…. ta  ta tam!!! The extra virgin olive oil comes out!

The moment we see the olive oil flowing out is the moment we wait for all year long. We can’t wait to taste it, to make sure that our efforts throughout the year and during harvest gave us the result we wished for. Which is no other than an excellent extra virgin olive oil.