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Heart Healthy Olive Oil Infusions

We love olive oil, as a starter in our dishes and as a finisher on our salads. Extra virgin olive oil has long been a staple in our Latin pantry for many reason: it's rich, fruity, and pepper taste and because of it's heart-helping healthy factors. 

Oolive oil contains a wide range of antioxidants and is composed of mainly unsaturated fat. Extra-virgin, the highest grade and most beneficial type of olive oil, is cold-pressed, a method where pressure is applied to the olives to extract the oil. This fresh method means the oil retains more of its health benefits. 

If you're out to stock your pantry, remember to buy a bottle with a recent havest date and use it within 4 months of opening. After that, chuck it and start with a fresh bottle. If you want to add even more flavor to your oil, try infusing it with your favorite flavors. Infusing can be done in two ways. You can fill a washed, cleaned, and dried bottle with extra-virgin olive oil and herbs, cap tightly and store in a dark place for up to two weeks to allow the flavors to meld and the oil to infuse over time. Or, alternatively, you can warm oil in a sauce-pan on low heat, add your herbs and warm for 20-30 minutes, until the oil is fragrant. Then bottle and store.

Infused olive oil should be stored in the refrigerator and will keep fresh for up to one month. Try your hand at Lemon Pepper and Parsley, Cayenne and Garlic or Rose Pepper and Saffron. Infused olive oil is a simple and elegant way to dress up any dish and makes a great gift idea!

Next, three delicious olive oil infusions...

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