We’ve been in to visit Maureen Kenny, owner of Nutmeg Olive Oil (located right next door to Robertson Jewelers on the New Milford Green) a couple of times now – we’re hooked on her ultra and extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Maureen carries so many great flavored oils and vinegars and can recommend combinations that will make an iceberg lettuce salad taste fancy.
We were keen to do a feature on Maureen’s store because she’s always such a wealth of knowledge and tells us tons of interesting facts about the oils, like which hemisphere they come from and how an oil becomes an Ultra Olive Oil. Now we can all watch it on video and learn a thing or two; and Lora and I can refer back to it when we want to remember what she said!
Maureen came up with 10 easy facts about oils and vinegars for us to remember and drop into conversation at our next dinner party. “Oh, talking of olive oil, did you know….” And then pick one! We’ve got your back 😉
1. Olive oil, unlike wine and women, does not get better with age.
2. Olive oil is good both for you and your dog!
3. Olive oil is an anti-inflammatory and helps with joint lubrication.
4. Olive oil lessens the effects of asthma.
5. Olive oil is high in polyphenols, which fight cancer and heart diseases.
6. Olive oil helps you lose weight, the monounsaturated fats encourage pound melting and helps rid belly fat.
And then “Oh, did you just mention Balsamic Vinegar? Did you know….”
7. Balsamics lower the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol.
8. It’s also low in sodium and can help reduce high blood pressure.
9. Balsamic vinegar is low on the glycemic index; it will keep you feeling satisfied for longer.
10. The grapes contain a bioflavonoid called quercetin which has antioxidant properties. Along with Vitamin C, this antioxidant strengthens the immune system to fight cancer and other infectious diseases and inflammations.
Besides the above, we learned about shrubs. Shrubs are the latest “new thing” in mixology circles but actually date back to colonial times when fruit vinegars were mixed with spirits to aid digestion and add flavor. You can even use fruit flavored vinegars to add some pizazz to your water or seltzer water – a much more enjoyable way to take in your recommended 2-3 liters/day!
Maureen’s sister, Kathy McCleary, had prepared a couple of Neapolitan Herb Balsamic Bloody Mary’s for us to sample (recipe below) AND brownies, both were out of this world. We’re going to give away one of Maureen’s secrets now, (she’s got loads of great recipes and ideas she’ll share with you if you stop in) she simply took a box mix of brownies and replaced the requested olive oil with blood orange olive oil! That easy! We’ll be adding that to our ever expanding cooking/baking repertoire.
Neapolitan Herb Balsamic Bloody Mary
Ground pepper to taste
½ ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
¾ ounce Neapolitan Herb Balsamic Vinegar
1-1/2 t. horseradish
¼ t. kosher salt
½ ounce Worcestershire sauce
12 ounces tomato juice
6 oz. vodka
4 celery stalks with leaves attached
Add ice to 4 glasses. Mix vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, Neapolitan Herb Balsamic, and horseradish, and pour into glass. Garnish with a celery stalk. Serves 4.
Visit Nutmeg Olive Oil at 25 Main Street, New Milford.
Great place to get “can’t-go-wrong” gifts and they ship!