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Walla, Walla, WA | 509-529-7537

Fun Ways to Use Flavored Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar

How can you use olive oils and balsamic vinegars in your daily life? As healthy as olive oil and balsamic vinegars can be for you, half of the fun is in finding exciting ways to use them in the kitchen. Because they come in so many different flavor varieties, there’s endless culinary possibilities that you can experiment with.

At D’Olivo, we carry 36 varieties of olive oil and 40 types of balsamic vinegar that allow you to indulge your taste buds and ad fun twists to your favorite dishes. We’re excited to share some of the best ways you can use flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars to spice up meals and create fun snacks that everyone will enjoy. We also encourage you to check out our recipes section on the website for more specific ideas.

1. Make Soup Exciting Again

Whether making soup from a can or concocting your own from various ingredients, soup is a perfect dish to experiment with flavored olive oils. Due to its consistency, oils blend perfectly with soups, allowing the flavor profiles to disperse evenly and add a bold or subtle taste to each spoon full. Consider using our cayenne chili or cilantro & roasted onion olive oils in creamier soups to add more depth. For lighter soups, our Tuscan herb or lemon infused oils can work wonders.

2. Dynamic Pizza & Flatbreads

Looking for a way to spice up your favorite pizza dish? Balsamic vinegar is the perfect partner to nearly any flatbread. The thick consistency and dark color of balsamic vinegar contrasts nicely from lighter cheeses and ingredients often used on pizza and flatbreads, making them even more tantalizing. From a tasting standpoint, the salty nature of pizza entrees make them the ideal candidate for a touch of sweetness. Explore the different flavors we carry and indulge your taste buds with some new flatbread combinations the next time you’re enjoying a slice.

3. The New Way to Roast Vegetables

Roasting is a widely loved method of cooking that produces deliciously crisp and tender vegetables. Whether using a traditional oven or cooking on an open flame, try cooking with flavored oils rather than plain to discover entirely new vegetable dishes. As the vegetables roast in the oil, they will actually absorb some of the flavor and introduce you to exciting new tastes. Depending on the vegetables you’re using and the flavors you enjoy, browse our collection of oils to see which would pair best.

4. Balsamic Popcorn Creations

Are you the kind of foodie that loves to watch a good movie with a big bowl of hot, buttery popcorn in your lap? As great as popcorn is by itself, there are dozens of ways you can transform this tasty snack into something even better. The naturally salty flavor of popcorn makes it perfect for pairing with sweet and tangy balsamic vinegars. We have dozens of vinegars that are made from sweeter ingredients like peaches, chocolate, honey ginger, and plenty more. Pick your favorite flavor (or two) and simply drizzle it over the top of your popcorn to enjoy!

5. Ice Cream With a Funky Twist

This one is going to sound a little weird at first, but once you try it, you’ll never look at balsamic vinegar the same again. While salty sweet combinations are certainly delicious, there’s a lot to be said about sweet on sweet combinations as well! Load up a bowl of your favorite ice cream, chop up some fresh fruit if you’d like, and drizzle on a flavored balsamic vinegar of your choosing like chocolate syrup. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how well the flavors work together and may even start using it as a regular topping when you indulge in a late night treat.

6. Guilt-Free Kale Chips

Kale chips have been all the craze lately, serving as healthier alternatives to their addictive, higher calorie cousin, the potato chip. These light, crisp snacks are a match made in heaven for flavored olive oils, allowing you to experiment with hundreds of different recipes. Simply pick out your favorite flavor (or two if you want to experiment) and lightly toss the kale in oil until it’s coated and ready for the oven. Once cooked to a nice even crisp, you’ll find that the kale has absorbed a lot of the oil’s flavor, adding a welcome twist to your favorite snack food. Be sure to share this one with friends and family!

7. Yogurt for Champions

Yogurt is a wonderful snack food that can oftentimes serve as a blank canvas for experimentation. The tartness of balsamic vinegar and sweeter flavors of most yogurts marry perfectly when blended together. Simply adding a few drops of your favorite flavored balsamic vinegar and stirring it in will yield an incredibly tasty cup of yogurt. Depending on how you’re feeling, you’ll find that most flavored vinegars pair nicely with yogurt. Browse our collection now to begin exploring new ways you can spice up this healthy snack.

8. Never Buy Mayonnaise Again

If you’ve never made your own mayonnaise, it’s actually not all that hard and can be more cost effective than buying it from the store. While mayo already tastes great by itself, adding a little bit of your favorite flavored olive oil will produce an even more addictive condiment. Consider using selections like our California garlic or fernleaf dill oils to take your mayo to the next level and increase its versatility in dishes. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself putting it on everything you make!

Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar

After making a big splash in the culinary scene over the last few decades, balsamic vinegar has become a widely used and loved ingredient all around the world. From chefs using it in complex dishes to people taking it for the many holistic properties, balsamic vinegar is much more than your average kitchen ingredient. In this article, we’re going to first explore how balsamic vinegar is made before reviewing four of the most important health benefits this product offers.

What is Balsamic Vinegar?

Dating back over 1,000 years to Modena, Italy, where balsamic vinegar was originally used as a tonic and given to people importance as a token of honor, it has since become wildly popular around the world because of its distinctively bold flavor profiles and touch of sweetness. Though most often known for its use in salad dressings, balsamic vinegar can be used in everything from marinades to soups.

Classified as a wine vinegar (even though it’s not made from wine), balsamic vinegar is actually produced from sweet grape pressings before they’re given the chance to ferment into wine. After undergoing a transformative journey through the production process, balsamic vinegar becomes the darkly colored, concentrated syrup that we know it as today.

How is Balsamic Vinegar Made?

Similar to wine and other craft-intensive products, balsamic vinegar typically undergoes the same general production process. Where they differ is in the quality of the grapes used, types of aging barrels, and the amount of time aged. In fact, the amount of time aged is one of the biggest contributing factors to both taste and price. It’s for this reason that some traditional balsamic vinegars can go for as much as $250 an ounce, while others can be bought for as little as $5 for a 12-ounce bottle.

Traditional balsamic vinegar is made from Lambrusco or Trebbiano grape pressings which are sweet in flavor. Once the pressings are collected, they’re boiled down into a concentrated syrup and left to ferment naturally for a few weeks. Once the vinegar has fermented, it’s transferred into wooden barrels to begin the rest of the 12-year aging process. While this is the minimum amount of time for traditional balsamic vinegar, others may only be aged for a few months, or for as long as 100 years.

Throughout the aging process, the balsamic vinegar is transferred into barrels crafted from different wood so it can take on unique flavor profiles. Once the aging process is done and most of the liquid has evaporated, the final concentrated product undergoes inspection before being carefully bottled and prepared for enjoyment.

Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar

1. It’s a Healthy Alternative for Diabetics

Because diabetics have to watch the kinds of food they eat due to differing glycemic responses, it can greatly limit the choices they have both at home and at restaurants. Balsamic vinegar is classified as a low glycemic food and has actually been shown to help prevent blood sugar spikes after eating. One study found that insulin-resistant test subjects experienced blood sugar plateaus for as long as five hours after consuming balsamic vinegar with their meal.

This is great for those with diabetes because it adds a lot of flavor and only comes in at around 14 calories per tablespoon and less than 3 grams of carbohydrates. With just one or two servings of balsamic vinegar, you can enhance meals by adding a little diversity and help your body’s blood sugar response stay balanced from meal to meal.

2. It Can Help With Cholesterol Levels

With more and more people suffering from high cholesterol levels each year, a lot of the balsamic vinegar research has been focused on its cholesterol-fighting properties and ability to help people maintain healthy levels. The abundance of antioxidants, polyphenols, in particular, have been shown to inhibit LDL oxidation and prevent toxic cells from raising LDL levels. Though not enough to be a standalone treatment, balsamic vinegar has been recognized as a great addition to any efforts to reduce cholesterol.

Another study also found that balsamic vinegar may help reduce atherosclerosis risk factors when consumed on a regular basis because of its natural cholesterol lowering properties. As one of the leading factors that contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, balsamic vinegar is great for those that are more at risk or wanting to take preventative measures.

3. Digestive and Immune System Health

When you consume food, the job of digestion falls to the stomach acids and bacteria present in the gut. If your digestive system is in bad shape, not only will you have a harder time digesting foods, but you’ll also be depriving your body of all the nutrients due to decreased absorption. One of the main active compounds found in balsamic vinegar is acetic acid, which is known to contain probiotic strains that help keep your body’s digestive system in good health.

Because it can help to create a healthy environment for good bacteria in the gut, your immune system is also going to get a boost, better preparing it to fight off illnesses. Lastly, balsamic vinegar can also influence the activity of pepsin, an enzyme that helps with the breakdown of protein so it can be absorbed by the body easier.

4. Weight Loss Aid

Representing an industry that generates over $60 billion annually in the United States alone, weight loss is a popular topic of discussion. Vinegars have long been known for their weight loss properties, and balsamic vinegar offers its own unique benefits as well. The range of probiotic compounds present in balsamic vinegar can actually help with the feeling of fullness, preventing the urge to overeat at lunch or indulge in a late night snack.

It’s also worth mentioning that balsamic vinegar gives you the freedom to add more flavor to your meals without the use of high-calorie, unhealthy alternatives such as butter, mayonnaise, and animal fats. Experiment with different cuisines and dishes to find exciting ways to incorporate it into your meals and help you reach your weight loss goals.

Shop our variety of balsamic vinegars online today.