The great diversity and richness of our gastronomy makes us brave when facing new flavours and experimenting with cuisine. Nowadays, there is an abundance of new additions that catch our eye and our curiosity. However, many salads can be spoiled if they are seasoned with sugary or adulterated dressings. Despite so many well-deserved attempts, the traditional oil and vinegar continues to outshine all others. It is a delicious blend par excellence, and a real treat for the senses if we know how to choose a quality oil and a well-fermented vinegar. Why?
Olive trees and vineyards are a legacy of our Mediterranean origins. Thousands of years ago, the Babylonian, Greek and Roman civilisations already knew and used the combination of oil and vinegar as a dressing for their salads because of its exquisite taste. Today, we know that it is not just a delicious mixture. Both products have excellent properties that are very beneficial to our health. In combination, they are in perfect harmony, complementing each other’s qualities and enhancing the qualities they share.
How to choose a good olive oil?
The best oil for dressing a salad is, without a doubt, extra virgin olive oil.
Spain is a country with an olive-growing identity, a fact that is much more palpable and noteworthy in the south. Knowing how to identify a good oil is a very complicated task for some, as there are many factors that can affect its quality: the quality of the soil and air in the olive grove, the handling of the fruit, the care taken in the extraction and preservation process, etc.
When we talk about extra virgin olive oil, we are referring to the fact that no chemicals have been introduced to extract the substance, but rather the process has been natural.
In addition, it is advisable that the first pressing be cold, as high temperatures considerably damage the properties of the oil. This means that the oil has been extracted from the olive using only pressure, and therefore retains all its properties intact. It is very important to take these considerations into account and to pay close attention to the labelling of the products we buy.
The benefits of olive oil are well known today, such as its antioxidant and cholesterol-regulating properties, but here we bring you some qualities that you probably didn’t know about:
- It promotes the absorption of important vitamins such as vitamin A, which supports the immune system, and vitamin D, which is always so lacking in women.
- It helps protect our neurons and cells, and reduces inflammation associated with cancer.
- It is a satiating.
How to choose a good vinegar?
This sour-tasting condiment was known to be a good preservative and disinfectant for food, and has traditionally been combined with oil, often being despised for its excellent properties or unknown to many.
There are many types of vinegar: wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegars, rice vinegars, fruit vinegars. …. As you can see, there are many options for dressing your dishes and preparing your vinaigrettes. To select a good vinegar, we only need to take into account that it has not undergone pasteurisation, to protect its qualities, and the concentration of acetic acid.
Wine vinegar stands out for its digestive and depurative qualities, and is ideal for marinating food and preparing sauces. It stands out for its intense aroma and just the right amount of acidity. In addition, this option has the lowest calorie content, making it one of the lightest. Among its most notable properties, it is a natural antioxidant, digestive and bactericidal, contains no cholesterol and even helps to reduce the presence of “bad” cholesterol, and is a good diuretic.
But it also has a number of qualities that make it a great ally of cardiovascular health, and which are closely related to healthy weight loss:
- Did you know that vinegar helps control blood glucose levels?
- It speeds up metabolism and promotes muscle recovery, making it a great ally against hypertension.
- It is remarkable as a beauty product, as it reduces age spots, has incredible benefits for hair and nail polish, and is good against acne.
You have all the information; now, shall we make a salad?