Gelato – one of many gifts that the Italians have given the world! With a multitude of flavors and ingredients available for this dessert, you might wonder, “why to use Texas olive oil!?” The answer is simple. The creamy and delicately sweet treat is the perfect marriage between the savory and sweet world. The only trick is to use the best ingredients, such as EVOO from Texas Hill Country Olive Company.
Many people are turning to healthier alternatives of their ultimate favorites – for example, switching to plant-based options or sugar-free alternatives while also making sure to include superfoods where possible! EVOO is not only a treat but also pretty functional. Researchers have found that this creamy delight offers a nutritional power punch too! Let’s take a look.
But First… What Is A Functional Food?
Functional foods, also recognized as nutraceuticals, are high in nutrients and have been linked to various potential health benefits. They may, for example, prevent disease, inhibit nutritional deficiencies, and encourage proper development and growth.
So… how can EVOO-based gelato be considered a functional food? As you may have noticed, healthy and nutritious foods often have a distinct flavor – when asked to describe it, children frequently say it has a “green taste.” A distinctive taste of health that no one desires…
Conversely, gelato is widely regarded as a treat; it is creamy, rich, decadent, and the polar opposite of what is considered healthy. That is until Italian researchers discovered that a simple addition of EVOO could transform it into a functional treat with a plethora of health benefits.
Researchers have found that gelato – a dessert that is traditionally high in fat – can be made healthier by replacing the fat with a high-quality EVOO.
“EVOO can be used as a fat replacement in gelato since it does not significantly change the original flavor, lowering the ratio between saturated and unsaturated fats, improving the number of polyphenols, and increasing the antioxidant activity.” – Raffaele Sacchi, University of Naples Federico II.
The Magical Creaminess of Texas Olive Oil
What distinguishes gelato? It’s the ideal balance of cream, sweetness, and decadence. It has a full-fat, unctuous mouthfeel that delivers every time. Authentic gelato does not freeze icy and crystallize, as it must provide a creamy and velvety bite. When fats are replaced with lower-fat alternatives, your gelato may become icy, and the ice crystals interrupt the experience – it goes from tasting like an expensive treat to a cheaper option with less satisfaction.
The research has discovered that EVOO is the perfect replacement for fats.
The Benefits Of EVOO
Why is this a ground break discovery? Truth be told, EVOO’s many health properties have put it on the gastronomical map – with its powerhouse of benefits, unparalleled flavor, and versatility, it remains one of the most impressive kitchen staples that have stood the test of time!
This golden fat offers a plethora of health benefits that make it a desirable ingredient to use. Its use in gelato as the primary source of fat combines well with dairy and other components – offering you a dish with many of the benefits of being bioavailable and more easily digested.
- Anti-oxidants – As oxidation causes illness and age-related damage, foods high in anti-oxidants are a vital part of daily life. Texas olive oil is rich in this essential compound!
- Dense in mono-saturated fats – The primary fatty acid in EVOO is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that accounts for 73% of the total content. This compound makes it the perfect oil for high-heat cooking!
- Anti-inflammatory properties – As one of the most significant contributors to disease, inflammation is a part of life that needs to be kept in check! EVOO has a wealth of anti-inflammatory properties that can help you combat inflammation.
Hitting The Flavor Spot!
Many people might turn their noses up at the idea of a Texas olive oil-flavored bowl of creamy gelato. It is, however, noted that when combined with dairy, the two ingredients worked well together to mask any of the most prominent EVOO flavors to create an undistinguishable gelato that doesn’t have any savory notes that overpower its sweetness.
Both flavors in the experiment – chocolate and vanilla – held up well against the backdrop of even the most robust variety of EVOO. It is the perfect fat replacement as it does not detract from its chosen flavors while delivering an anti-oxidant-rich punch!
Pairing Your Texas Olive Oil Ice Cream With Classics
Now that you are hungry and craving a bowl of this creamy goodness, you can pair it with various flavors for a bowl that will leave a lasting impression.
Ice cream lovers will agree it is never too cold for a few scoops of their favorite flavor. If you are a fan of gelato in the winter, you can add a little winter warmer to each serving with freshly grilled peaches. Grilling your peaches in a griddle pan with a robust EVOO is the perfect way to create a subtle yet soothing flavor with your dessert – the natural sweetness of the peaches is highlighted in the caramelization process!
A Dashing Drizzle
It is well known within the foodie communities that sometimes a drizzle of Texas olive oil is all that a dish needs. The raw EVOO offers you added digestion benefits! Try dressing your favorite ice cream with a sprinkle of light buttery EVOO and fresh mint leaves for a healthy and hearty after-dinner treat!
Pushing The Boundaries
If you are a kitchen dare-devil and want to go all out and impress your dinner guests – going for a full Texas olive oil-flavored gelato will definitely pack a punch. Use a light and buttery variety with a dash of sea salt, served with candied bread and strawberries macerated in balsamic vinegar for the ultimate taste explosion.
Alternatively, if you are out of strawberries, fresh mango with black sesame seeds, basil leaves, and a heart glug of sweet and tart balsamic vinegar works just as well at impressing even the fussiest of guests!