The Sacred Blog
By: Song Bird
1) How can you tell if the olive oil you are buying is in fact real and pure?
When trying to decide whether the olive oil you are buying is pure, you must search for 3 things: A crush date, a location it is imported from, and a certification.
Basically, you should be able to see when the olives were physically harvested crushed (and it should be within the last 6 months to a year), what country the olive oil came from, and it should have a certification (such as U.P. or I.O.C.) saying that it has been regulated under certain standards and deemed real, pure extra virgin olive oil. It is highly recommended that you go to olive oil shops as they are guaranteed to carry olive oil of the highest quality, although some grocery stores carry a few brands that can be trusted. Read more about it here:
2) Have you tasted every single oil & vinegar in your store?
Most of us in the store have tasted every oil & vinegar that we carry. A lot of the popular pairings came from us taste testing all the possibilities. We don’t just work here because it is a job, we love the product! That is why we get so excited to share our passion for olive oil & vinegar with every guest that comes in our little Winter Garden tasting shop!
3) Why can’t you sell the oil and vinegar in the same bottle?
We get asked this question almost daily! There are a few reasons that we sell our vinegar and oil separately. First, it is not recommended to store your olive oil & vinegar in the same container. Olive oil decreases in nutrients with natural oxidation, whereas vinegar gets better with age! Second, you may not want to use both on every dish. Although we love putting both oil & vinegar on most dishes, there are times where you may only want to use just oil or just vinegar. It is best to have that option by having two separate bottles.
4) How long does olive oil last?
Olive oil has a shelf life of about 2 years. It is sensitive to light and heat, so it is important to keep your olive oil bottle away from those two enemies! That is why we sell our olive oil in dark bottles, to protect it. Over time, your olive oil will lose some of its antioxidants due to normal oxidation, so it is always recommended to buy fresher olive oil. Fresh is best!
5) How long does vinegar Last?
Vinegar is self-preserving, so it doesn’t go bad! As long as you keep it capped, it has a shelf life of a few years as well as olive oil.
6) Should I refrigerate my olive oil & vinegar?
Although olive oil is sensitive to light and heat, there is no need to refrigerate it. In fact, olive oil will solidify a little when refrigerated, so we recommend keeping it in a cool, dry place such as a cupboard or pantry. We do suggest that you keep it stored far from the stove, and don’t leave it in the car as the Florida heat will diminish the natural polyphenols! Balsamic vinegar does not need to be refrigerated either unless you reduce it, then we would recommend keeping it in the fridge.
7) Is olive oil just used for salad dressings?
There are so many uses for both olive oil and vinegar including salad dressings, marinades, dessert toppings, and even just as condiments. Here are a few examples of oil and vinegar pairings and what you can use them for:
Chipotle Olive Oil & Espresso Balsamic= makes a great steak marinade!
Blood Orange Olive Oil & Dark Chocolate Balsamic= fantastic ice cream topping!
Persian Lime Olive Oil & Coconut Balsamic= Delicious over salmon!
So we encourage you to get creative! You never know what you will discover 🙂
8) What is the smoking point for olive oil? What happens if it reaches that point?
The smoking point is the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke and loses its nutritional value. Basically, you don’t want to heat up an oil past its smoking point because not only will it have lost its nutrition, but it can even become rancid. The smoking point for Extra Virgin Olive Oil is around 320 degrees F to 375 degrees F. It is always best to have olive oil raw to maintain all of its glorious antioxidants, so our recommendation is to use olive oil as a condiment instead of cooking with it, but you can cook with it on low heat.
9) Do I just drink it?
This is our favorite question because it is one that we all asked before we became team members. In our culture, the thought of drinking olive oil and vinegar is peculiar and just flat out gross! That is because our version of olive oil in grocery stores is not real! Most store-bought olive oils contain filler oils such as canola oil, which has a greasy feel to it. The thought of drinking canola oil grosses us out too… but when we tasted our olive oils for the first time and discovered the fresh taste, it all made sense. Real olive oil is not intimidating to drink, in fact most of our team members spend all of our days at The Sacred Olive taking shots of new pairings… that is olive oil and vinegar shots of course!
Written by: Hazel & Rosie Locks
Our goal for 2015 (and beyond!) is to live a healthy lifestyle. The biggest obstacle we’ve found on this journey thus far? Sugar is our kryptonite. We often feel like we need a little… or not so little… sweet something, or else! Most of us will admit that at some point we tried to cut out sweets cold turkey, but failed. We also tried to monitor consumption of sweets, and still evaded success. So how can we maintain a healthy lifestyle without giving into temptation?
What if, we can have a sweet treat without indulging in all of the sugar? This easy recipe will charm your taste buds right into cleaner eating…and you are going to love every bit of it. So find that dreaded sweet tooth, because this indulgent dessert is sure to satisfy.
It is great with Rebekah’s chocolate avocado cookies (under the recipes tab), strawberries, or anything else you love with chocolate frosting! We may or may not have just eaten it all with a spoon… That’s always an option, right?
Coffee-Chocolate Ganache & an Espresso Balsamic Reduction
Adapted for The Sacred Olive from The Minimalist Baker
1/4 cup (59 ml) almond milk
1 cup (~175 g) dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped
2 Tbsp The Sacred Olive Butter Olive Oil
1/4 – 1/2 cup organic powdered sugar*
1/4 tsp The Sacred Olive Fine Himalayan Pink Salt
¼ tsp ground coffee
*If your goal is to cut out sugar completely, there are powdered sugar substitutes that utilize sweeteners like xylitol combined with thickeners such as cornstarch! We only needed ¼ cup powdered sugar.
Heat almond milk in a small saucepan until just simmering, then transfer to mixing bowl.
Immediately add chocolate to warm milk and loosely cover. Let it sit for 2 minutes so it can melt. If chocolate is not melted to your satisfaction, add another ¼ cup of heated almond milk.
Add salt and stir gently with a wooden spoon to incorporate, then add butter olive oil and use a whisk to mix. Set in fridge for 10 minutes to thicken.
Remove from fridge and add powdered sugar a little at a time to thicken. Whisk again to combine. If it’s still too thin, add another few tablespoons powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Espresso Balsamic Reduction:
Pour espresso balsamic into a small saucepan.
Place on medium heat and bring balsamic to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally so it does not burn.
Simmer for 10 minutes until syrupy consistency is reached.
Remove from heat and let the reduction continue to thicken.
When cool enough, drizzle over ganache. (Great addition if you use the ganache to frost brownies or cookies!)
Written By: Rosie Locks, Hazel, & Song Bird
As each of us became team members at The Sacred Olive, we were immersed in a new and intriguing world- one that delves deep into the intricacies of olive oil. Read on as we share a few valuable details!
1. What is the infusion/fusion process?
Fused means that the whole fruit is simultaneously crushed with the olives. This is known as the agrumato method. This method allows for a full-bodied flavoring of the fruit within the olive oil. The fused olive oils we carry in our store are citrus based, such as Persian Lime, Lemon, Blood Orange and Grapefruit.
Infused means that the extract of the herb or fruit is infused with pure, extra virgin olive oil. This process allows us to produce delicious flavored olive oils such as Basil, Garlic, Tuscan Herb, Herbes de Provence, Rosemary and Wild Mushroom & Sage.
Both our fused and infused olive oils come from privately owned small regional mills in Tunisia. This allows us to ensure quality, as we can monitor and trace our oils right to the groves from which they came. Our Tunisian mill, built in 1998, is conveniently located approximately 60 nautical miles from Sicily, allowing us to produce fresh fused and infused olive oil days after harvest.
2. Why do the extra virgin oils switch hemispheres?
As seasons change, so does the olive harvest. The ideal time to harvest olives is in the fall. So, in order to ensure quality, our oils only come from where the olive harvest is fresh.
During the northern hemisphere autumn, our extra virgin olive oils are sourced from Spain, Italy, Greece and California. During the southern hemisphere autumn (northern hemisphere spring), the oils come from Chile, Peru, and Australia.
3. What are Polyphenols?
Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that can be found in extra virgin olive oil. Some EVOO has a higher polyphenol count, bringing a strong peppery taste or a tingling sensation at the back of the throat. These sensations are those antioxidants in action!
The benefits of polyphenols include, but are not limited to the following:
They help fight against heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol
They can help prevent a stroke
Boost the body’s ability to defend against negative effects of aging, such as declining mental state
Research has shown their ability to prevent free radicals
***It takes at least two tablespoons a day for the benefits to really take effect in the body.
Next time you use your olive oil, you’ll have a new understanding of why this pantry staple is so appreciated!
Whether you’re single, married or in a new relationship, we have ideas that you’re sure to love!
Singles, It’s Time to Thrive Instead of Just Survive!
Written by: Amanda
Valentine’s day is known to be a romantic celebration for couples. The streets become filled with handholding and heart-shaped everything. Being a single woman, I have a tendency to shy away from V-day. I will work the entire day, then come home to my zebra snuggie and a container of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I refuse to do that this year. V-day is a day for love. Love for family and friends. It is no longer a holiday that requires a significant other. This year I am celebrating Galentine’s day with some single gals(Thank You Leslie Knope). Men, you are challenged to have a Palentine’s day with your single pals. This day will be filled with storytelling, laughter and most importantly sweet treats. Here are a couple of yummy recipes that will give you the sweetness you crave without any of the guilt.
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Cacao Powder (can use cocoa powder)
2 TBLSP Honey or Agave
2 TBLSP Butter Olive Oil
*You may adjust any of these ingredients to taste
Melt all the above in a saucepan on low heat, stirring constantly.
Once everything is mixed, pour into chocolate molds
(or you can pour into a small brownie pan and cut into pieces once it has hardened).
Put in fridge to cool. Keep refrigerated. Enjoy!
Avocado Cookie Recipe
– 1 Avocado
– 1/2 Cup Pure Cane Sugar
– 1 Egg
– 2 TBLSP The Sacred Olive Butter Infused Olive Oil
– 1/2 Cup Cacao Powder
– 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
– 1/2 Cup Semi- Sweet Chocolate Chips (Optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix avocado and sugar in a mixer on high until creamy. Mix in egg and butter olive oil. Add cacao and baking soda. Mix in chocolate chips if desired. Form into 2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper. Bake approx. 12-15 minutes. Let cool (cookies may come out a little raw, they will continue to bake as they cool). Enjoy!
Just Bitten by the Love Bug?
Written by: Amanda & Kylee
Being in a new relationship is fun and exciting! However, if this is your first Valentine’s Day, the pressure is probably on to create the perfect date. So take a deep breath and keep reading, we’ve got you covered.
A picnic is simple, affordable and romantic. Every woman appreciates a man who will take the time to pack a basket and plan a day to spend together. Take your date out into the beautiful Florida sun, have lunch and get to know each other just a little bit more. Here is a delicious salad recipe to pack for the picnic!
Fruit Salad with a Twist
-Persian Lime Olive Oil
*bowl for mixing and bowl for final product*
Rinse strawberries, grapes, and blueberries. Quarter strawberries,
dice kiwi, add both to a mixing bowl. Take blueberries, raspberries, grapes and add to bowl. Add shredded coconut to rest of fruit. Drizzle liberal amount of Persian Lime Olive Oil and Coconut Balsamic and toss! Finally, transfer fruit salad to your desired picnic container.
Here are a few simple and cute ideas to add a special touch to your picnic: Roll plasticware/silverware in a napkin, tie with twine and add a little flower. You can also take your Sacred Olive bottles, wash them out, and use them as a vase for flowers!
Once My Valentine, Always My Valentine
Written by: Carolyn & Donna
Valentine’s Day and Marriage…Hmmm can Valentine’s Day still be magical after being married for many years? The holiday that we once looked forward to as single women can become a distant memory in the humdrum monotony of everyday life of house cleaning, preparing meals, taking care of kids and oh yes… the never ending laundry! Well ladies, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be boring or ordinary. Stop resorting to getting a sitter just to fight the crowds at your favorite restaurant leaving you frustrated and not in the “mood”. Instead, think outside the heart-shaped chocolate box, because being married to your valentine for many years is an advantage giving you insight to what he really likes. Surprise him with packed bags, whisking him away to an overnight stay at a nice hotel or perhaps recreate your first date or even make it as simple as watching a moving under the stars on the bed of his pickup truck. Whatever you decide, the sheer excitement of making this Valentine’s Day different and fun will help you create an adventurous memory which someday will be a precious treasure!