THE 2020 OLIVE HARVEST ON OUR GROVE

Our authentic Greek extra virgin olive oil comes out around mid October. Every year is different and the date may vary. It mostly depends on the weather conditions, the rains we had throughout the year, and above all, the condition of the fruit.

The team of My Precious Olive Tree is dedicated to produce high quality extra virgin olive oil. And this is why the harvest period is extremely important to us. Harvest period is what we wait for all year long. It is a blessing for farmers, a joyful celebration but if harvesting isn’t done the right way it can be a curse and destroy the efforts of a whole year.

The are some basic rules that we all follow and there are of course many important details in the whole process on which we stay focused. Unexpected situations may come up and they need to be sorted out quickly and efficiently. Here, we will talk about the basic rules of harvesting, the ones that aren’t negotiable and that we follow no matter what.

 

All the rest, you can find it out if you come and visit us during harvest!

It is very crucial to monitor every step of the procedure, from harvesting the trees to the mill and back and make sure the everything goes as planned.

We start very early in the morning when the temperature is low. Don’t forget that in Greece the weather in October even November can be very warm and this is something that does’t help. We can’t change the weather conditions, but we can choose to work early in the morning.

Our efforts all year long are focused on having a healthy fruit. So what we need to do at this final stage of the cultivating period is to treat the olives with love and care. We are very careful so the they aren’t hit, hurt or damaged. Even when they have fallen an the ground, all of our workers know that they mustn’t step on them.

Temperature plays a very significant role in the whole procedure of extracting the olive oil. This means that after the olives are picked from the trees, they are kept in the shadow to remain cool. Ventilation is needed too, so keeping the olives in plastic bags is a big mistake.

The olives must be taken to the mill within a few hours after they have been collected. To understand the importance of it, imagine any fruit or vegetable. The moment you take it from the tree/ soil etc this is when the aroma and freshness are at their maximum. Exactly the same applies for olives.

The milling method is very vital. We choose the mill very carefully and there are two key parameters that aren’t negotiable. The first one, is that the mill has to be clean and the second one has to do with the temperature. The machines must work in low temperature, below 27C, and this means that the olive il is cold pressed/ cold extracted.

Once the olives arrive at the mill, they are washed and separated from the leaves. Then, we have the malaxation, where the olives are crushed into a pulp. The duration of the malaxation varies, but for sure it shouldn’t last more than 20 minutes.

Right after this, the olive oil is separated from the pulp through a centrifuge. The water is drained away and the liquid gold comes out fresh and flavourful!

The first taste of the year’s crop is full of emotions. The most dominant emotion for the 2020 crop was deep satisfaction for the final result.

Until next year’s harvest enjoy the fresh extra virgin olive oil!

WHICH IS THE BEST COOKING OIL AFTER ALL?

Just to clear things from the beginning, the best cooking oil is olive oil. Even better if the olive oil is extra virgin, which is the healthiest oil of all. Cooking with olive oil isn’t simply a matter of healthy eating, it’s also a matter of deliciousness.

 In our country, Greece, the annual consumption of olive oil per person is 16kg, when in Europe and USA the average annual consumption is 0,7 to 1kg per person. Greece is a Mediterranean country producing excellent olive oil. We cannot imagine cooking without olive oil. Actually, we believe that olive oil is the only fat we need to have in our kitchen, we use it literally everywhere. One of the main reasons is the mediterranean diet which calls for olive oil since it’s the perfect match for salads, grilled vegetables and legumes.

Cooking with olive oil is healthy.

Olive oil is low in saturated fat and rich in antioxidants. And unlike other oils like vegetable or canola, olive oil has a unique flavor that can enhance a recipe. We recommend choosing extra-virgin over regular or light olive oils because it is the highest quality olive oil, with more antioxidants and natural olive flavor.

You can use olive oil for frying, sautéing and baking. There are many myths around the smoke point of olive oil and its tolerance to high temperatures. The truth is that olive oil is ideal for frying. Researches have shown that not only is extra virgin olive oil safe when cooked to extremely high temperatures, it is more chemically stable at those heats than other common cooking oils. So, it’s healthier to fry with extra virgin olive oil, not to mention that the taste of the fried food doesn’t alter at all.

Extra virgin olive oil has three key qualities that make it an excellent cooking oil: it contains predominantly stable monounsaturated fatty acids, it has a low level of free fatty acids and it has a high level of protective antioxidants.

Cooking with olive oil gives deliciousness to your meals

Moreover, food pairing can do miracles when you cook. A high quality extra virgin olive oil can elevate the taste of your meals. There are many different profiles of extra virgin olive oil, from elegant, robust, peppery, bitter, fruity etc. Choose an olive oil that fits best with what you cook most. My Precious Olive Tree extra virgin olive oil pairs perfectly with green vegetables, salads and white fish. You can also use it with a fiorentina steak and a full body red wine.

Extra virgin olive oil is healthy and delicious

For all this mentioned above, we strongly suggest to cook, bake, fry and finish with olive oil!

It’s never late to start using olive oil instead of butter for example. The ratio by volume is 3:4. If the recipe calls for 1 cup of butter, you will replace it with 3/4 cups of olive oil.

Extra virgin olive oil is a protective, beneficial food in a healthy diet. It is extremely versatile and can be used cold in dressings and for drizzling, as well as in all cooking applications. In this regard it is not only safe but also beneficial to our health, not to mention delivering exceptional flavour! So do as the Mediterranean countries have traditionally done for hundreds of years and enjoy cooking with extra virgin olive oil.

Our experience with our clients abroad has shown that people are willing to adopt healthier eating habits, but don’t know how. Our guideline is as simple as that: Use your extra virgin olive oil in all the cooking processes. You will be impressed to discover how simple it is and at the same time you will take advantage of the numerous health benefits this miracle ingredient has to offer.

Beef stew in tomato sauce with pasta. A typical Greek recipe

This is the most common lunch for Greeks on Sundays !

A delicious, healthy recipe everyone will love!

In this recipe, the beef is cooked in low temperature for longer time and this is why it’s so tender. If you boil it, it won’t be tender. Plus, by simmering it, the beef gets the wonderful aromas of the cinnamon, the garlic and the tomatoes. It’s so delicious! And don’t forget that all the recipes we give you are healthy since we use our extra virgin olive oil at the end of the cooking.

Ingredients for the beef

1 kg of beef, cut in small portions

2 chopped red onions

1 clove of garlic

4-5 ripe tomatoes grated

1 tablespoon tomato paste

a pinch of sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash the beef and dry it with a kitchen paper.
  2. Heat a large casserole (preferably a non stick one). Once it’s heated add the chopped onions and the pieces of the beef, until they are brown from one side, then turn them around to brown the other side, too.
  3. Add in the casserole the grated tomatoes, the tomato paste and the sugar. Add water to cover the meet.
  4. Add the cinnamon, the garlic, salt and pepper.
  5. When the sauce starts to boil. lower the heat to medium (the sauce should still make bubbles) and cover with the lid. Let it simmer for approximately 2 hours. You will be able to tell it’s ready when the beef will be tender enough to be cut with a fork and the sauce will be thick.
  6. At the end, add the extra virgin olive oil and stir well.

EXTRA TIPS:

  • It is important to choose the correct part of the beef to have a fork tender result. We would suggest to choose from either the front shoulder or the rear end of beef.
  • This recipe could be more complicated, but we choose to cook healthy. Little changes in recipes can bring big results for our health. This is a very nutritive dish. Pasta for energy, beef for protein and raw extra virgin olive oil to keep all the health benefits high!
  • No need to use butter for the pasta. Once the pasta is boiled, strain it, put it back in the pot, and just add extra virgin olive oil. The pasta will shine and slip and smell wonderfully. We use the healthiest fats in our recipes.
  • When the food is served, sprinkle on every dish some salty grated cheese

 

Bon apetite!

Fluffy homemade buns

The very best recipe for soft, fluffy buns. What you will love most is the smell of the freshly baked bread. No one can eat only one!

Ingredients

500g flour for bread

15g fresh yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

300ml lukewarm milk

a few drops of olive oil

1/4 glass of semolina

Instructions

  1. Sieve the flour and the salt into a bowl.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the milk and add the sugar. Mingle well.
  3. Make a hole in the centre of the flour and pour in the milk. Put some flour on your hands and start kneading. After kneading for a while, the dough should be smooth and soft. If it’s sticky, add some more flour and knead again.
  4. Coat the dough with some drops of olive oil, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it sit in a warm place for at least 20 minutes. Its size will almost double and this helps the bread to become fluffy.
  5. Once the dough is ready, knead a little bit with your hands.
  6. Use a rolling pin (but first put some flour on the surface you will use so that it won’t stick). The dough should be about 1 cm thick.
  7. Use a glass to cut/form the round buns.
  8. Sprinkle the buns with the semolina, cover them with a kitchen towel and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  9. Heat a non stick pan to medium heat without adding anything and fry the buns for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until coloured. The buns will double their size with the heat.

Extra tips:

  1. This quantity makes about 12-14 buns (depending on the size of the glass you use to cut them). If you don’t want to make them all, you can put some of them in the refrigeration. You only need to take them out 30 minutes before frying them next time.

 

  1. Once they are ready, you can cut them in the middle, add on top tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil and put it in the oven. You will have mini pizzas ready in five minutes!

 

And of course, don’t hesitate to add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and enjoy it warm!

HEALTHIEST SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

THE HEALTHIEST SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE RECIPE WITH EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

“In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of perfection.”

When talking about comfort food and recipes that everyone loves, it always comes to spaghetti bolognese. Although we all love eating this dish, sometimes we avoid eating it because we believe it’s not that healthy and/or because we gain many calories.

Follow our tips found below and you’ll never feel guilty again when you eat spaghetti bo-lognese.

You don’t need butter in any of the steps of the recipe. The only fat you need in your kitchen is a high quality extra virgin olive oil and it’s olive oil that we will use in our spa-ghetti bolognese recipe.

To make the meat sauce you will need:

500 gr. beef mince
2 onions finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fresh or dried mint or basil
1 tin plum tomatoes
salt and pepper

1. Put a large anti-stick saucepan on a medium heat, without olive oil. Add the beef mince and turn it around with a ladle until the liquids coming out of the meat are gone and the colour changes from red to brown.
2. Add the onions and mix them together.
3. Add the salt and pepper, the mint and the oregano and stir well.
4. Add the tin of plum tomatoes (and a bit of sugar to take away the bitterness) and some water. Cover with a lid and let it be cooked.

When the bolognese cause is ready add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and stir well until it’s fully absorbed.

HEALTH TIP 1: We didn’t use olive oil at the beginning of our cooking but in the end. This means that the mince wasn’t cooked with any fat and we only added olive oil in the end, which makes our meat sauce super healthy. The extra virgin olive oil won’t be heat-ed and it will keep all of its health benefits.

HEALTH TIP 2: There is no need of using butter for the spaghetti either. When the pasta is boiled, strain it with a colander and put it back in the pot. Add some olive oil and stir well. The spaghetti shines and has an amazing taste and aroma. And it’s healthy!

Change your cooking habits!
Eat healthy!
Use extra virgin oil!

how olive oil is made

HOW EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL IS MADE

Everyone knows what extra virgin olive oil is. You can find olive oil in every supermarket and grocery store all around the world. But how many of you know how a top quality olive oil is made? Here are the answers to all the questions you may have.

The first thing everyone needs to know is that extra virgin olive oil is a juice that comes from crushed olives. Only mechanical means are used to produce olive oil which may vary depending on the technology of the machinery used but the procedure is the same.

But which is the time that olives should be collected from the olive trees?

The time of the harvest has to be chosen carefully.

Harvest doesn’t always start in the same period. It depends mostly on the weather conditions during summer and autumn. Among other factors, it’s the temperature and the rain that have a significant role to deciding when the harvest begins. The best time to start the harvest is when the olives on the trees start to change colour from light green to dark green or black.

 

The method we use to harvest the olives is called assisted hand picked. The olives must be treated with love and care, the machinery we use doesn’t hurt the olives. The members of our harvest team are also very careful not to step on the olives that have fallen on the ground. The olives are kept in the shadow till the time they are transferred to the mill.

In order to have a top quality olive oil the olives need to be crushed the same day they are harvested. So every day, we take the olives we have collected to the mill. What is important as far as the mill is concerned, is to keep the temperature low in all stages of the milling and not using water. Using water during milling diminishes the amount of polyphenols in the olive oil, a substance that gives plenty of health benefits to our body.

Once the olives arrive at the mill, they are washed to be perfectly clean. The first step is called malaxation. During malaxation the olives are crashed and mixed and turn into an olive pulp which allows the olive oil to be released. Next comes the separation, the extraction of the juice. The oil is separated from the pulp through a centrifuge and…. ta  ta tam!!! The extra virgin olive oil comes out!

The moment we see the olive oil flowing out is the moment we wait for all year long. We can’t wait to taste it, to make sure that our efforts throughout the year and during harvest gave us the result we wished for. Which is no other than an excellent extra virgin olive oil.

IS OLIVE OIL GOOD FOR HEART HEALTH

IS OLIVE OIL GOOD FOR HEART HEALTH?

Oils can be healthy or harmful to your health so you need to be very careful what oil you choose to use in your cooking and dressings.

All oils, no matter where they come from are fats, and will have some composition of saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and monounsaturated fats. Also, when you consume one tablespoon of any oil it will provide about 120 calories. But the thing is that the quality of these calories is not equal. And why not choose the best quality of oil which helps promote your health?

There is no healthier oil than the extra virgin olive oil. One of the health benefits of olive oil is that it promotes heart health and helps prevent from strokes, heart attacks and heart disease.

When you consume olive oil you give to your body plenty of antioxidants that can protect red blood cells from damage – otherwise that damage could lead to heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

There are numerous scientific studies that show that olive oil helps prevent and treat heart disease. Studies have shown that olive oil offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. No other naturally produced oil has as high as a percentage of mono-unsaturated fat as olive oil. It appears that people who consumed 23ml – about 2 tablespoons – of extra virgin olive oil daily showed less oxidation of LDL cholesterol and higher levels of anti-oxidant compounds, particularly phenols, in the blood. But while all types of olive oil are sources of mono-unsaturated fat, extra virgin olive oil (and especially the higher quality ones) contains higher levels of anti-oxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed.

Now that you know the benefits of olive oil to health, consider the food that you use – and how you are preparing it. Don’t forget that some types of fats may increase our risk for heart disease, while others may provide a protective benefit.

Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking and dressing your food, you can even drink a tablespoon of olive oil in the morning to start your day. As we usually say, a spoon of olive oil per day keeps the doctor away!

beauty tips2

BEAUTY TIPS

Olive oil against wrinkles! A natural treatment.

Protect your skin from premature ageing, using extra virgin olive oil.

Our grandmother (who by the way had a wonderful skin despite the hard farmer’s work) used to say: ‘Never put on your skin something that you can’t eat!’.

Also, it turns out that many celebrities like Emma Stone and Kylie Jenner have discovered the benefits of olive oil for skin and use olive oil on their faces.

So, let’s talk about olive oil in our daily beauty routine!

There are many reasons for which olive oil is widely used in cosmetic industry.

Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, it prevents skin ageing, the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines; it also nourishes, rejuvenates and protects the skin. Rich in vitamin E and A, olive oil helps prolong youth, hydrates the skin and maintains its elasticity.

The list of olive oil benefits is long.

Extra virgin olive oil is composed of more than 80% oleic acid. This substance easily penetrates the skin and allows the oil to reduce wrinkles and improve texture.

The purest and most effective anti wrinkle treatment is to apply olive oil topically on the first lines and wrinkles before going to bed and keep it all night. Rinse off well in the morning. To maximise the benefits of this treatment you can use a scrub on your face before applying the olive oil. The dead cells of your skin will be removed and it will be easier for the oleic acid to penetrate in the deeper layers of your skin.

You can repeat this treatment as often as needed, depending on your skin type and its needs.

This is only one of the multiple uses of extra virgin olive oil in our beauty routine. Stay tuned to learn more beauty tips soon!

UNIQUE WEDDING GIFT

LOOKING FOR A UNIQUE WEDDING GIFT? READ THIS!

Summer is the most popular season for weddings and as this period of the year is here, let’s talk about wedding gifts.

Once invited to a wedding, you start thinking about the gift to the couple. We all want to offer a unique gift, something special and meaningful and something they don’t already have.

Gift your favourite couple something they’ll never expect and never forget.

Adopt an olive tree for them!

  • Gift them a small piece of Greece, a symbol of eternity.
  • A gift that keeps on giving for a whole year. Because apart from owning a tree, they will receive the olive oil it produces.
  • They will be happy to know that the olive oil they use in their meals comes from the tree you offered to them
  • Your gift, will be a subject of discussion amongst friends invited for dinner
  • Eventually, they will feel proud of their own olive oil. A perfectly balanced, award winning olive oil produced exclusively for them.
  • They can plan a trip to Greece and visit their olive tree.

This is one of those unique wedding gift ideas that the newlyweds will love to get and will definitely use very often.

Adopt an olive tree as a gift today!

 

 

Greek Dakos

Traditional Cretan Dakos

One of the salads we love is the traditional cretan salad called dakos. It’s made with rusk, tomatoes feta cheese and the miracle ingredient – extra virgin olive oil. It’s a salad full of taste and flavours, it’s very refreshing and it’s a wonderful idea for lunch or dinner. Don’t forget that mediterranean diet is the healthiest diet in the world plus, it’s delicious! Start eating mediterranean today by trying this salad! Bon appetite! 

Ingredients

1 large round barley rusk

2 large mature tomatoes

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

100 g feta cheese

1 tbsp capers

oregano

salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Moisten the rusks , with a little bit of water each, and drizzle with the olive oil.
  2. Use a grater to grate the tomatoes, and leave for 5 minutes into a colander to drain.
  3. Crumble the feta cheese with a fork
  4. Spread the grated tomato on the rusks and add the crumbled cheese. Top with the olive oil and capers. Sprinkle with the oregano and drizzle with some extra olive oil.

Enjoy!