LOS ANGELES, May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- California Olive Ranch, the largest domestic producer of extra virgin olive oil, announced its partnership with "The Plant-Powered Dietitian" Sharon Palmer, in celebration of Mediterranean Diet Month. Sharon developed custom nutrition and cooking tips utilizing California Olive Ranch's extra virgin olive oils for easy use at home.
The month-long international celebration of Mediterranean Diet Month highlights the delicious and healthful attributes of Mediterranean food—but is particularly relevant as California is one of only five Mediterranean climates worldwide. The Mediterranean diet has long been linked to a wide range of evidence-based benefits including the prevention of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer's. California's robust agriculture features many staples of the Mediterranean diet grown locally, including olives.
Extra virgin olive oil is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet food pattern, as well as its flavorful cuisine, and almost all (99 percent) of the olive oil produced within the U.S. is made in California. Recent news profiles have highlighted controversies surrounding the purity of olive oil produced overseas, thus bringing locally-sourced and manufactured olive oil to the forefront.
"I buy local olive oil, and think consumers everywhere can benefit from the transparency of buying extra virgin olive oil from California," said Sharon Palmer, Registered Dietitian, who is based in California. "I recommend the Mediterranean diet—rich in whole plant foods and healthy fats—as a healthful eating pattern, because it's linked with numerous health benefits, such as a lower risk of chronic diseases. The Mediterranean diet works because it's easy to follow, healthy, and the addition of extra virgin olive oil helps make this diet so fun and flavorful."
Sharon Palmer recommends using extra virgin olive oil because it's one of the least refined plant oils, still retaining its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Based on her years of experience, she recommends getting started with the Mediterranean diet by making simple substitutions and swaps.
- Swap out butters and margarine for EVOO more often. One favorite is California Olive Ranch's Mild & Buttery blend for a delicious, buttery flavor in cooking and to serve with bread. The Mediterranean diet calls for more veggies, and the addition of olive oil can make vegetables tastier. Next time, toss your greens in EVOO before serving—studies show the addition of EVOO helps nutrients to be absorbed better. Toss with California Olive Ranch's Miller's Blend olive oil for a peppery finish.
- Don't want foods, such as vegetables and grains to stick to your cooking pan? Buy an olive oil mister and fill with EVOO— a healthier alternative to cooking sprays.
- Boost whole grains in your diet—another key principle of the Mediterranean diet. Simmer farro, bulgur, and whole grain pasta with a drizzle of EVOO and herbs for a flavorful side-dish.
- Beans and lentils—from rustic bean stews to hummus—are a common feature in the Mediterranean diet. Add a bit of EVOO to these simple dishes to let them shine.
- The use of healthy fats—even in baking—is another hallmark tradition in the Mediterranean region, where EVOO is used in breads, crusts, and even desserts.
About California Olive Ranch
Founded in 1998, California Olive Ranch is the largest domestic producer of extra virgin olive oil. The brand's olives are grown by family farmers throughout Northern California and milled within hours of picking to create a fresher product. California Olive Ranch olive oils are regularly used by James Beard Award winning chefs nationwide. All products are certified OU Kosher, Non-GMO, and California Olive Oil Council (COOC) certified extra virgin. For more information, visit www.californiaoliveranch.com.
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SOURCE California Olive Ranch