Get your olive oil benefits ‘as quick as boiled asparagus!’
Updated June 15th 2023
Why Include Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Cooking
Unhealthy habits and poor nutrition have become major issues worldwide. However, incorporating extra virgin olive oil into your daily diet can help promote healthier living and reduce the risk of many diseases. According to studies, extra virgin olive oil is the best type of olive oil for its high polyphenol content, which plays an important role in reducing inflammation and protecting against chronic diseases. These benefits have made olive oil a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, where it is often used as the primary source of fat. By including quality olive oil in your diet, you can enjoy the nutritional benefits of this superfood and make significant strides towards achieving a healthier lifestyle.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) A Cornerstone In The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet has long been praised for its health benefits, with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) often recognised as one of the best olive oils for its abundance of polyphenols. These compounds are known for their powerful antioxidant properties that protect the body against free radicals, which can contribute to disease and aging.
Research has shown that the consumption of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as a part of a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it has been linked to improved brain function, decreased inflammation, and a lower risk of certain cancers. If you’re looking to improve your health and incorporate a healthy fat into your diet, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a delicious and nutritious choice.
Yummy Asparagus Recipe
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 250g green asparagus (about 14 spears, trimmed weight), tips cut about 2cm long, stems cut on the diagonal into 1 cm long segments
- Sea Salt
- 300g block firm fresh tofu, drained, left whole and wrapped in paper towel
- 1 spring onion, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- Freshly ground black pepper
For Miso Sauce
- 2 tablespoons white miso
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil and the asparagus with a pinch of salt. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes, until bright green and charred in places. Remove the asparagus to a plate and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat, lowering it to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Take the tofu and break it into rough, crumbly pieces with your hands into the pan, leaving it quite chunky. Add a pinch of salt. The idea now is to cook the water out of the tofu and crisp it up a bit. Stir it occasionally and turn it gently without breaking it down too finely – it should resemble the curds of scrambled eggs.
- Adjust the heat so that the tofu is gently browning but not in danger of burning. Cook for about 10 minutes. The tofu should have released most of its water and start looking golden and crisp in places.
- While the tofu is cooking, mix together all the miso sauce ingredients until smooth.
- When the tofu is cooked, add half of the miso sauce to the pan. Stir for about 2 minutes until it is absorbed. Now add the asparagus and cook until completely heated through.
- To serve your asparagus and miso tofu scramble, transfer to a serving platter or individual plates of bowls. Drizzle over the remaining sauce and finish with a few spring onion slices and black pepper
Olive Oil Benefits
Extra virgin olive oil is heart healthy because it is high in monounsaturated fats, which can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, olive oil contains antioxidants that can help to protect the heart from damage. Asparagus is also good for heart health because it is rich in fibre, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E. All of these nutrients work together to keep the heart functioning properly.
When you combine extra virgin olive oil with asparagus, you get a heart-healthy dish that is full of flavour. The asparagus enhances the flavour of the olive oil without overpowering it, and the two ingredients complement each other perfectly. Whether you’re looking for a healthy way to start your day or a delicious way to boost your heart health, this dish is a great option.
Why Include Asparagus In Your Diet For Heart Health?
The name for asparagus, a member of the lily family, comes from the Greek word meaning “shoot” or “sprout.” Now widely cultivated throughout the world, this regal vegetable is believed to have originated 2,000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean region, where it was prized for its unique texture and alleged medicinal and aphrodisiacal qualities.
Asparagus spears grow from a crown planted in sandy soils and, under ideal conditions, can grow 10 inches in a 24-hour period. The most common types are green, but you might see two others in supermarkets and restaurants: white, which is more delicate and difficult to harvest, and purple, which is smaller and fruitier.
This giant veggie is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables, high in folic acid and a good source of potassium, fiber, thiamin, and vitamins A, B6, and C. A 5-ounce serving provides 60% of the recommended daily intake for folic acid and is low in calories.
Asparagus is a nutrient-rich vegetable that has many potential health benefits. One of these is heart health. Asparagus contains folic acid, which helps to reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that has been linked to heart disease. Additionally, asparagus is a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to keep blood pressure in check.
Extra virgin olive oil is also beneficial for heart health. It is rich in monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Additionally, olive oil contains antioxidants that help to protect against cell damage.
Together, asparagus and extra virgin olive oil make a heart-healthy combination. The nutrients in asparagus can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, while the healthy fats in olive oil can help to lower cholesterol levels and keep the heart functioning optimally. So, choose this combo the next time you’re looking for a heart-healthy meal option.
You can enjoy this veggie raw or with minimal preparation, which the Romans seemed to appreciate. They had a saying, “As quick as boiled asparagus,” for something done rapidly.