Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Heart-Healthy Misters

By Alison

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We have all heard of the benefits of olive oil. It’s widely used in a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Rachel Ray drizzles EVOO over her most scrumptious recipes.  Not to mention, the versatility of olive oil is far-reaching:  from cooking to salad dressings to a bread basket accompaniment.  In dietitian-speak, olive oil is a monounsaturated fat that can help reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol.

Last night I used a new product, Gourmè Mist, and I must share the details!  Gourmè Mist is a new, non-aerosol alternative to olive oil sprays. Touted by its creators as “eco-friendly”, users manually pump the spray bottle vs. using an aerosol can mechanized by chemical propellants.

I tried Gourmè Mist’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mister to coat a baking dish for chicken, and the Barrel Aged Balsamic Vinegar Mister to zest up my broccoli.  I pumped the bottles a few times, then sprayed. They sprayed easily and evenly. Ever pour olive oil and, OOPS, way too much comes out?  Hands-down, the pump-spray method provides more control over the amount of oil and vinegar used vs. pouring from a bottle. When compared to aerosol spray oils, such as PAM, Gourmè Mist offers slightly more control.  

Why use a spray? When a spray is used correctly, a little can go a long way.  Despite the health benefits of olive oil, remember that less is more and drenching is not a good idea.  From a weight management perspective, keep in mind that one tablespoon of olive oil is 120 calories and 14 grams of fat.  Healthy veggies can soak up olive oil like a sponge!  Olive oil sprays are designed to lightly coat your foods.

Just be sure you are mindful of how long your finger is pressing on the spray button!  Spray oils lure consumers in with labels reading 1-5 calories per spray.  But this usually means a spray lasting one second in duration.  Longer sprays = more calories. Simple.

So what’s the deal with aerosol sprays and keeping ‘green’?  Debatable.   I am NOT an environmental expert.  There is some speculation if aerosol spray oils are eco-friendly or not.  Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), an ozone-depleting propellant once used in aerosols, were banned.  Aerosols now use hydrocarbons as a propellant, which are said to be more earth-friendly according to aerosol-proponents.  Others say hydrocarbons may contribute to global warming. 

To be even more environmentally-conscious, there are misters on the market made from stainless steel or aluminum, therefore they are completely reusable. Plus you can use the olive oil brand of your choice. 

If you don’t want to be bothered with cleaning and refilling a reusable mister, Gourmè Mist bottles are recyclable, so they’re the next best thing.  In addition, the bottles don’t require refrigeration, making them convenient for travel, or to stash one in your office to use on salads.

More on Gourmè Mist:

Gourmè Mist oil misters come in USDA organic olive and canola oil, and natural extra virgin olive oil.  Their vinegar sprays include barrel aged balsamic vinegar, balsamic vinegar and pomegranate, and balsamic vinegar and raspberry.  All are available in a 6.5 fluid ounce container or a convenient 3.5 fluid ounce travel size for on-the-go misting.

If you don’t see these misters in your local supermarket, it may not have made it to your neck of the woods yet. Check out their website to find a list of stores carrying the misters or purchase directly from the website: Gourmè Mist.

Here’s to healthy misting!

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