After having lived in Tuscany for a few months, I could not get over the mediterranean style of using olive oil as a dressing… on everything! Olive oil has a good reputation for being a healthy fat, and it is in deed, besides from the fact that it has an approximate ratio of omega 6:omega 3 of 13:1. What does this mean?
Diets today contain a high level of omega 6, and very little omega 3, many imbalances and health issues are attributed to this imbalance, from autoimmune, cardiovascular illness, inflammation, to even cancer. There is medical evidence of many therapeutic benefits when fixing the ratio of omega 3 – 6 (E.g. a ratio of 4/1 was associated with a 70% decrease in total mortality). Here is a list of the ratios from different sources of omega fatty acids. Mixing 5 tablespoons of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil will result in an approximate of 1:1 ratio (Olive oil possibly protects flaxseed oil and prevents the need to refrigerate it). One of the main effects of this oil is that it prevents the excess of Omega 6 from promoting inflammation.
Some diets suggest cutting fats to loose weight, but a better option is to choose healthy fats before cutting the fats, to repair arteries from plaque built up. Here is the exact study about how a diet high in omega 3 fatty acids was able to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides.
So… what to do? Here is a recipe for a delicious dressing with medical benefits.
Simply mix on a blender:
1 lt. olive oil
1 box of New Orleans spices
2 tablespoons of sea salt.
Process for 2-3 minutes, making 5-10 second breaks each 30-45 seconds. Then use a funnel and a strainer to put it back into the olive oil bottle. Fill an oil container such as the one on the picture with 5 parts olive oil and 1 part of flaxseed oil.
*If you can’t find this prepackaged spices you can possibly find some of the ingredients: two tablespoons of mustard seeds, 5 tablespoons of dried peppercorns, 1 tablespoon bay leaves, 1 tablespoon dill seed, 1 tablespoon coriander seed, 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper.
You can experiment with different dried peppers and spices. You can add it to your soups, salads, chips, bread, or any favorite dish (add it at the end, as extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil are both low smoke point and are not meant to be cooked)
The most important factor for medical benefits is the balanced ratio of omegas, but it results in a delicious mix that acts as medicine while you enjoy the zesty end of your food.