You are browsing the archive for olives Archives - Food from East.

Polenta Pizza

Categories: Liver & Gall Bladder Damp Heat, Lung Phlegm Heat, Vegetables, Vegetarian

polenta_pizza

Polenta Pizza
Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 75 mins
Serves 6

Ingredients:
3 cups cornmeal
5 cups water
2 tsp salt

6 tomatoes
2 large onions
1 small green pepper
4 cloves garlic
6 ounces olives
6 artichoke hearts, quartered
2 handfuls fresh basil

2-3 cups grated cheese
Black pepper

Method:
To make the polenta, put 2 cups of the cornmeal in a heavy bottomed pot and slowly add the water. Stir carefully to avoid lumps. Add the salt and cook on a medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Stir often, especially towards the end. When the polenta stiffens and pulls away from the side of the pan, it is cooked. Now stir in the other cup of cornmeal or as much as s needed to make a very stiff mixture. Press the polenta firmly in to a large greased baking tray (~14 inch diameter). The polenta should be about a half inch thick. Bake in a very hot over (450°F) for about 20 minutes or until the surface feels crusty. Meanwhile roughly chop the onions, pepper and tomatoes. Fry the onions gently until they start to soften, then add the other ingredients and cook for 3-4 minutes adding the basil at the last minute. Take the polenta base out of the oven, spoon the topping evenly over the surface and cover with grated cheese. Return to the oven at 375°F and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve with a green salad and sprinkle with fresh black pepper.

Energetic:
Cornmeal — neutral sweet, Tonifies qi, strengthens stomach and spleen, benefits heart, diuretic, stimulates the flow of bile
Salt – cold, salty, slightly sweet, harmonize and promotes digestion, strengthens kidney, fortifies bones, tendons, and teeth, brightens eyes, detoxifies, used as a natural preservative
Tomatoes – slightly cool, sweet and sour, promote body fluids, quench thirst, strengthen stomach, aids digestion, cool blood, clears heat, detoxifies, calms liver, removes stagnant food
Onions — Warm, pungent, promotes sweating, resolves phlegm, diuretic
Green pepper– hot, pungent, warms the internal region, increases appetite, promotes digestion, and affects the heart and spleen
Garlic — hot, pungent, antiviral, antifungal, detoxifies meat and seafood, kills worms, removes stagnant food and blood, reduces abscess
Olives — neutral, sweet, sour, astringent, clears heat, detoxifies, promotes production of body fluids, quenches thirst, clears lungs, benefits the throat
Artichoke hearts — sweet, bitter, cooling, regulates liver qi, clears liver heat, promotes digestions, benefits liver and gallbladder, dried dampness
Fresh basil — warm, pungent, induces sweating, harmonizes stomach
Black pepper – hot, pungent, pushes downward, warms the internal regions, affects the stomach and large intestines

This is a well balanced and broadly nourishing meal. It acts on qi and blood. Corn is nourishing to the kidney, stomach, and heart and is also mildly diuretic. It provides a good counterbalance to the moistening action of the tomatoes. The cheese has a rich nourishment element and is balanced by the decongesting action of the onion, pepper and garlic.

olives, olive oil, and carotenoids

Categories: Articles, Nutritional Information

What can you tell me about olives, olive oil, and carotenoids?

Among their many nutrition benefits, olives contain important amounts of carotenoids. Carotenoids are naturally occurring, fat-soluble pigments that give many whole, natural foods their distinct yellow and orange colors. The best-studied and most famous of the carotenoids is beta-carotene, but hundreds of carotenoids have been identified by scientists and many are also important to our health. Some of the other well-researched carotenoids include alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, and canthaxanthin.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are especially plentiful in olives with 3.5 ounces of canned ripe olives containing over 500 micrograms of these carotenoids. Beta-carotene is also plentiful in olives, with this same amount containing between 225-250 micrograms.

Because carotenoids are fat-soluble, they are able to be carried along in olive oils when those oils are being extracted from the olives. However, methods of extraction, temperatures used during extraction, and sequence of extraction can all make significant differences in the final carotenoid content of the oil. It can be difficult to predict the exact amount of carotenoids in olive oil due to these processing differences. However, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is better able to maintain the original carotenoid content of the olives than other extractions since EVOO is derived from the very first pressing of the olives. This carotenonid benefit is one of the reasons we recommend extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) as your olive oil of choice.

In addition to providing you with its own carotenoids, olive oil may be able to help you absorb carotenoids from other foods. Researchers at Iowa State University looked at carotenoid absorption from salads dressed with fat-free dressings and compared it to carotenoid absorption from the same salads dressed instead with full-fat dressings. Salads are not only popular in a wide range of diets but are also high up on our recommended list at the World’s Healthiest Foods. Many of the World’s Healthiest Foods-including tomatoes, carrots, romaine lettuce, and baby spinach-make great salad components and are also great sources of beta-carotene.

In their research, the Iowa State scientists used canola oil in their full-fat dressing, and they discovered that beta-carotene from the salad ingredients listed above was better absorbed when a full-fat (versus non-fat) salad dressing was included. While we are not opposed to the use of canola oil in salad dressings or other recipes, we think it makes more sense to use extra virgin olive oil in this situation. That extra virgin olive oil will give you the same enhanced beta-carotene absorption since it will provide the additional fat needed to boost absorption. But at the same time, it will provide you with carotenoids of its own! In addition, it will give you several other key phytonutrients (like phenolic antioxidants) and, of course, a great-tasting dressing!

WHFoods Recommendations

Inclusion in a salad dressing is a perfect use for extra virgin olive oil. By avoiding heating of the oil, you are helping to protect its full spectrum of nutrients, and by including it along with a host of carotenoid-rich vegetables, you are increasing the bioavailability of those carotenoids at the same time.

http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=newtip&dbid=37&utm_source=rss_reader&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss_feed

References

* Artajo LS, Romero MP, Morello JR, et al. Enrichment of refined olive oil with phenolic compounds: evaluation of their antioxidant activity and their effect on the bitter index. J Agric Food Chem 2006 Aug 9;54(16):6079-88. 2006.
* Bogani P, Galli C, Villa M, et al. Postprandial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of extra virgin olive oil. 2007 Jan;190(1):181-6. 2007.
* Fielding JM, Sinclair AJ, DiGregorio G, et al. Relationship between colour and aroma of olive oil and nutritional content. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2003;12 Suppl:S36. 2003.
* Galvano F, La Fauci L, Graziani G, et al. Phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of italian extra virgin olive oil monti iblei. J Med Food 2007 Dec;10(4):650-6. 2007.
* Luaces P, Sanz C, Perez AG. Thermal stability of lipoxygenase and hydroperoxide lyase from olive fruit and repercussion on olive oil aroma biosynthesis. J Agric Food Chem 2007 Jul 25;55(15):6309-13. 2007.
* Samaniego Sanchez C, Troncoso Gonzalez AM, Garcia-Parrilla MC, et al. Different radical scavenging tests in virgin olive oil and their relation to the total phenol content. Anal Chim Acta 2007 Jun 12;593(1):103-7. 2007.
* Sanz C, Luaces P, Perez AG. Processing of Olive Fruit for Enhancement of Carotenoid Level in Virgin Olive Oil. 2007. SHS Acta Horticulturae 744: 377-380. International Symposium on Human Health Effects of Fruits and Vegetables. 2007.
* Schaffer S, Podstawa M, Visioli F, et al. Hydroxytyrosol-rich olive mill wastewater extract protects brain cells in vitro and ex vivo. J Agric Food Chem 2007 Jun 27;55(13):5043-9. 2007.
* Vissers MN, Zock PL, Katan MB. Bioavailability and antioxidant effects of olive oil phenols in humans: a review. Eur J Clin Nutr 2004 Jun;58(6):955-65. 2004.