Of all the cooking oils out there, olive oil, in particular, is a favorite among doctors and dietitians. The golden pantry staple is full of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are linked to benefitting brain and heart health. It’s also the oil of choice in the Mediterranean diet, primarily because olive trees grow abundantly in this region of the world, but also because of its rich flavor, which pairs well with everything—even ice cream as it turns out.
Yep, you read that right. Your favorite pantry staple is now the star of a new plant-based ice cream line, Wildgood, which is currently sold at Wegman’s, and will be available to buy online starting next month. Olive oil was a part of everyday life for Wildgood founder Sotiris Tsichlopoulos. Groves of these fruit trees grew right outside his family’s house in Greece, and the oil was used in practically every meal he ate—except for dessert.
So it’s sort of surprising that it wound up being the star in his plant-based ice cream. “When I first set out to make a dairy-free ice cream, my two goals were that it had to be as creamy as premium dairy-based ice cream and deliver the same satisfaction without compromising on the taste,” Tsichlopoulos says. “Olive oil proved to be the perfect ingredient to accomplish both those goals. “This allows us to deliver the creamy texture without using any alternative milks.” (In a sweet nod to his childhood, the olive oil Tsichlopoulos uses to make his ice cream is hand-pressed at his family’s home in Greece.)
But perfecting his recipe for olive-oil ice cream took some trial and error since water and oil don’t mix. Ultimately, Tsichlopoulos says it took eight years to get the eight flavors in the line exactly right—they include mint chocolate chip, chocolate hazelnut, coffee, and mango, all made from natural ingredients like chicory root fiber, cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, pea protein, cocoa butter, and vanilla extract. And the olive oil doesn’t just add to the taste and texture, either. One serving has about 1.5 grams of unsaturated fat (depending on the flavor), which is eight perfect of what’s recommended for the day. Sure, it’s not a ton of omega-3s, but it’s certainly more than the average ice cream out there has.
Watch the video below to learn more about the health benefits of olive oil:
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