Olive Brine Bread

Our most popular post to date has been our 7 Delicious Ways to Use your Olive Brine, so we couldn’t resist sharing this delicious Olive Brine Bread recipe sent to us by Cissy Bowman at Center Valley Organics.

Olive Juice Bread

Don’t throw away that olive brine!!!

Yields 4 loaves. The basic recipe here is a “pumpernickel” style bread but can be made with a number of variations depending on your preferences. It slices well and holds up nicely for sandwiches.

Ingredients

  • 1 quart slightly warm liquid. The liquid should feel a little warm on your wrist. 2 cups can be water or stock and 2 cups should be brine
  • 2 tbsp yeast
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup honey or use molasses for a darker, richer flavor.
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp dill or caraway seeds (optional)
  • 3 cups rye flour
  • 8-9 cups wheat flour—whole or white

Instructions

In a large bowl mix the liquid, salt, oil, sweetener, seeds if desired and yeast. Let sit in a warm place for 20 minutes. This “proofs” the yeast.

Add the rye flour and 3 cups of the wheat flour. Stir well or process with your dough hook until gluten starts to develop. Knead in the rest of the flour, as needed, to make a dough that cleans the sides of the bowl. I do my kneading right in the bowl rather than on a board. Less mess! Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rise for 1 hour.

Shape the loaves however you like. The dough works for rolls, buns, etc., well. Oil the baking pans before placing the dough in them. If you wish you may slash the tops of the loaves. Brush with oil, cover with a damp towel and let rise for 1 hour.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Baking time may take longer depending on the size of the loaves.

Try it out and share your thoughts in the comments, or send us your recipe at info@healthyharvests.com

Pesto Zucchini Noodles

healthy harvest olive oil coloradoEasy. Healthy. Delicious. That’s our philosophy. Eating fresh, nutritious meals doesn’t have to mean a lot of work or spending a lot of money. This light “pasta” is perfect for summer and can easily be made with ingredients fresh from your local farmers’ market. It comes together in under 30 minutes and adds a huge serving of veggies to your day.

Hint: If you have lots of sun where you live, buy a basil plant. Even if you only use it once, it’s oftentimes cheaper than buying the packaged herb. Plus, it will likely produce all season.

Ingredients

  • 4 zucchini, spiralized into noodles
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • extra virgin olive oil

(Grilled chicken breast or shrimp are great additions if you eat meat)

Pesto Ingredients

  • 2/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh basil, packed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 pine nuts (creates exceptionally rich flavor, but expensive and can be omitted)
  • 1/2 c grated parmesan

Make the Pesto: Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Add a tablespoon of EVOO to a pan on medium heat. Saute mushrooms, add tomatoes and stir. Add the “noodles” and cook just until tender. Toss with pesto. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of parm.

 

 

30+ Uses for Olive Oil

healthy harvest olive oil coloradoThe amazing benefits of olive oil don’t just stop in the kitchen. Read below for nearly 30 ways to use olive oil to improve your life.

Kitchen

  • Sautee – Olive oil has a smoke point of 410 degrees and retains all nutrients up to medium-medium high heat
  • Fry – The recommended frying temp is 355, well below EVOO’s smoke point
  • Salad Dressings – drizzle over salads or veggies for good texture and flavor
  • Marinades – mix with olive brines for an easy, delicious marinade
  • Dipping oil for bread – Mix with high quality vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper, parmesan, or red pepper flakes
  • Grilled Cheese – Replace butter with EVOO for an out-of-this-world grilled cheese
  • Smoothies– Add a dash to smoothies to add antioxidants and keep you full longer
  • Make your own pesto Make heart-healthy pesto by grinding basil, or pine nuts, parmesan and garlic together, then incorporating EVOO until the texture is right. Serve over pasta or as a dipping sauce for bread

Medicine Cabinet

  • Aid digestion  Eating olive oil on a daily basis is said to help regulate your digestive tract.
  • Reduce inflammation – take a spoonful in the morning to reduce inflammation in the heart, gut, and throughout the body
  • Protect your heart   Over time, cells oxidize, leading to the common effects of aging. A specific polyphenol in olive oil is especially effective at protecting your red blood cells from oxidation.
  • Curb your appetite Having olive oil in your diet consistently makes you feel full and tends to make you eat less and have fewer sugar cravings.
  • Manage weight – Recent studies show that people eating a mediterranean diet including healthy fats like EVOO lost nearly  3x more weight than those on a low-fat diet.
  • Reduce bad cholesterol levels Olive oil contains polyphenols, which help to keep your levels of LDL cholesterol within healthy ranges.
  • Help fight cancer – Olive oil contains phytochemicals, and a Rutgers study found that they are effecting at killing cancer cells
  • Improve your memory  Some research has shown that olive oil can prevent and possibly even reverse the memory loss that accompanies Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Soothe baby skin Use olive oil instead of baby oil to help soothe and soften baby’s sensitive skin.  Also can be used to help prevent diaper rash.

Household/Cleaning

  • Shine household surfaces  Appliances, faucets, stainless steel and laminate surfaces all benefit from a light coating of olive oil and a gentle buffing.
  • Condition cutting boards  Rub a small amount of olive oil into wood cutting boards to condition them.
  • Waterproof leather  Buff a small amount of olive oil into leather shoes, baseball gloves, etc. to protect them from water.
  •  Polish wood furniture Wipe wood furniture with a teaspoon of olive oil and a soft rag.  You can add a little bit of vinegar or citrus juice to up the cleaning power!
  • Fix a squeaky door Use a rag or cotton swab to apply olive oil to the top of squeaky hinges to help lubricate and stop squeaking.
  • Fix a stuck zipper  Apply olive oil on a cotton swab and rub on the teeth of the stuck zipper to help pull the zipper tab.
  • Condition cast iron 
  • Mix with essential oil – most essential oils should not be applied directly to skin. Pure, extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest mixing oil you can use

Beauty

  • Treat sunburns – the antioxidants, Vitamin E, and moisturizing quality soothe sunburnt skin
  • Face/Body moisturizer – or use our Olive Essentials Facial Oils 
  • Condition hair -Rub on dry hair and soak desired amount of time. Rinse for soft, smooth tresses.
  • Darker,thicker eyelashes – Massage a few drops on eyelashes
  • Exfoliate skin –  Mix together 1/4 cup olive and 1 teaspoon of sugar or salt.  Mix together and rub on skin to remove dead or dry skin.
  • Remove makeup – Apply olive oil to a cotton ball and wipe off makeup.
  • Replace shaving cream  Rub olive oil on your legs or area to be shaved and shave as usual.
  • Improve nail beds.  Use a bit of olive oil to moisturize cuticles, or mix oil and water and soak your hands for a few minutes before a manicure.
  • Massage oil – EVOO is a luscious chemical-free massage oil that will leave you silky soft (or try our Organic Comfrey oil to relieve muscle and joint pain!)

Apartment Gardening

We don’t just talk the talk. At Healthy Harvest, the four of us grow our own food. What could taste better than vibrant greens picked fresh and drizzled with olive oil?

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Microgreens used for ground cover

Even with a small apartment, we are growing a variety of greens along our building or on the balcony. It doesn’t take much space or money, just a little love and care to start growing your own food.

organic kale, rainbow chard, gardening, colorado
Kale and Chard grow along our apartment building

You can use seeds or starter plants, but we used starter plants that cost a couple dollars each, some organic soil, organic compost (buy or make your own), and some eggshells and coffee grounds we saved. Plants love the nutrients in these leftovers!

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Organic Kale can be eaten fresh or dried to save for winter

If you’re ever interested in starting up a food garden of your own, be sure to talk to Karl at a farmers’ market. He used to be an organic farmer, growing the most delicious, nutritious food right in his own backyard.

colorado organic food gardening
Lettuce

We now have not only enough greens for our family throughout the summer, but our abundance is so great, we are already starting to freeze and dry some to save for the winter. Many local food pantries also have programs for you to donate extra produce.

Gardening is a wonderful way to spend time in nature, save money on groceries, and support sustainability by limiting the transportation of food.

Share tips and stories from your garden in the comments!

Why Healthy Fats Don’t Make You Fat, Part 2

We’ve been told for years that fat is our enemy, but researchers of the ketogenic diet are proving otherwise.

After reading lots of sources, Authority Nutrition has the most thorough, yet simple explanation. Visit here for the full article or read the recap below.

What is the Ketogenic diet? It’s a low-carb, high-fat diet that over 20 studies have linked to weight loss and improved health. When mostly eliminating carbs, your body enters a state of ketosis, making you efficient at burning fat for energy. Plus, the high-fat diet keeps you full, making counting calories unnecessary.

“One study found that people on a ketogenic diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet.”

This also drastically reduces blood sugar and insulin levels, a major problem currently plaguing our country. Even normal weight people are suffering from fatty liver disease and diabetes or prediabetes.

The low-carb, high-fat diet is also linked to a reduction in:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease symptoms
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Brain injuries 
  • Acne

So what should you eat to gain these benefits?

  • Meat (organic, not processed)
  • Fatty fish
  • Eggs: Look for pastured or omega-3 whole eggs.
  • Grass-fed Butter and cream
  • Unprocessed Cheese
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • Healthy oils: Primarily extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
  • Avocados
  • Low-carb veggies: Most green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • Condiments: You can use salt, pepper and various healthy herbs and spices.

Read the full article here: https://authoritynutrition.com/ketogenic-diet-101/