By now, we have all heard about the many health benefits of olive oil. This healthy fat has a high percentage of monounsaturated fat, which is great for our hearts. Using this regularly to saute foods and in salad dressing can have some fantastic, as well as delicious, health benefits. Yesterday I visited a store in Frederick, Maryland, that takes this culinary gem to a whole new level.
Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium is a beautiful store that has over 40 varieties of oils and vinegars. While they have many different types of plain olive oil from different areas of the world, each with their own distinctive flavors, much like wines, what I really enjoyed were the flavored oils. The Wild Mushroom & Sage infused oil tastes just like stuffing when bread is dipped into it. It also makes a fantastic vinaigrette when mixed with some balsamic vinegar. I also enjoyed the Herbes de Provence infused oil. The Eureka Lemon oil would be fantastic drizzled on fish or shellfish.
My favorite oil, both for taste and versatility is the Butter oil. While this olive oil tastes just like melted butter, it is made from crushed black olives, has no added flavors and is 100% natural. This oil is so versatile and can be used in place of butter for dipping bread, on top of popcorn, in mashed potatoes or on rice – anywhere you can use butter. We even used it on waffles this morning and the whole family agreed that it was delicious and buttery. But so much more healthy!
L.O.V.E. also offers a wide assortment of balsamic vinegars. I purchased a Fig Balsamic Vinegar and I am excited to try this in vinaigrette and over vanilla Greek Yogurt. Flavored vinegars are a great way to add lots of flavor with minimal effort and zero fat.
Flavored oil can be used on steamed or roasted veggies for a different flavor. It is healthier than using butter or margarine and makes it so much easier to cook and season foods, since you simply add just a splash of the oil to the food – no extra sauces or seasoning blends to fix.
If you can’t get out to Frederick, they do sell their products online. I absolutely love these oils and vinegars to add healthy flavor to all sorts of foods!