As a health-conscious mom of two picky eaters, I sometimes resort to sneaky tricks to “get some nutrition” into my kids. I put chia seeds in their oatmeal, a single romaine leaf in their smoothies (they can always taste kale if I try that!), and pureed veggies in their pizza sauce. I wish they would just take down a big pile of steamed squash on their own, but until that day comes, I do what I gotta do!organic
My newest trick is to drizzle their food with organic Olea Blue, a super-premium, high-phenol organic olive oil. I like it because it’s wholesome, delicious, and so easy to sneak into things. My husband, a foodie and scientist, likes Olea Blue because it’s what organic olive oil should be—super flavorful and healthful. (Order a free sample of Olea Blue and see for yourself.)
I recently sat down with Olea Blue’s founder, Faye Logothetis, to pick her brain on olive oils in general, and what makes organic Olea Blue so special.
The olive oil section at the grocery store is so huge—I never know what to buy, but I usually go for something that’s organic, extra virgin, and not too expensive. Am I on the right track? Where does Olea Blue fit into all of this?
Thanks to the “Mediterranean Diet,” which was popularized in the 1990’s, we think of olive oil as a health food. That’s why you see so many olive oil products on the market. Eating olive oil is incredibly beneficial to our health, but not all olive oils are created equal. In fact, most of them are of weak flavor and questionable quality.
Olive oils are usually a mixture of low-potency oils sourced from large producers in Spain, Italy, and Greece. This is even true of a lot of “extra-virgin olive oil,” which is supposed to be the gold standard for quality and health benefits. Our branding is around the concept of “going beyond extra virgin” to help consumers look at EVOO in a new way.
What makes organic Olea Blue different is its potency in antioxidants (also called phenols) and the purity of our oil. It comes from the early harvest of specific varieties of organic olives grown on small, carefully selected, family-owned farms in Greece. We look for farms with mature olive trees and optimal soil conditions. We then have a third party perform nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) testing to ensure that our oils are pure and have very high levels of beneficial compounds.
Is that what gives Olea Blue its great flavor?
Yes. Thanks to all of these factors, organic Olea Blue is very flavorful—people who have had the pleasure of tasting a high-quality olive oil know that unique, pleasant peppery flavor. It also has high levels of certain phenols, the compounds that are responsible for many of the health benefits associated with olive oil. This year’s crop of Olea Blue contains up to ten times more phenolic compounds than the average extra virgin olive oil and we label our bottles with the amount of phenol content. I can’t say this about a vast majority of other olive oil on the market. That’s why we’re doing what we do!
I thought that olive oil is healthy because it’s a “good fat.” What are these phenols you’re talking about?
When trying to explain the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet in general, and olive oil in particular, many experts have given the credit to the monounsaturated fats in olive oil. But there’s so much more going on!
Olive oil has many active compounds, including a phenolic compound called oleocanthal. Based on scientific studies, oleocanthal has anti-inflammatory properties that could help protect against premature aging, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and even some cancers.
That’s why I’m drizzling this stuff on my kids’ food, and Daylon and I enjoy it on our salads. Do you have any more tips for how to get more Olea Blue into kids’ diets?
In our house, we use organic Olea Blue to make salad dressing, and we often add a teaspoon per serving to smoothie recipes. When we have guests over, we serve it in little bowls alongside fresh, crusty bread. Adults and older kids can also take a teaspoon straight from the bottle. However you do it, eat organic Olea Blue raw, because higher temperatures reduce the potency of the active compounds.
How do I know which strength level to order?
The phenolic potency is responsible for the pleasant peppery after taste or “kick” as well as the health benefits associated with EVOO. The higher the strength the higher it is in health protective compounds. It really comes down to a balance between maximizing the health benefits and pleasing your taste buds.
Fair trade is a core part of our mission. We believe that the Greek farmers and communities responsible for the best olive oil deserve to be well compensated for their work. We pay farmers premium prices for their premium oil. By creating a market here in the U.S. and forming long-term relationships with farmers, we are building a business that they can count on and proudly expand their product.