Olive Oil, Granola, and Good Friends

Another Saturday summer adventure led us to my own personal Disneyland, Amphora Nueva, one of the happiest places in the world.  They’re a local business who deals in some of the highest quality oils and vinegars. They’re very reasonably priced and they love zero waste. They encourage you to refill your bottles. The store is clean, with large windows, flawless wood paneling, and lined with beautiful stainless tankards waiting to refill their fetching art nouveau inspired bottles. I was first introduced to this amazing product by my dear friend, Ali. She’s an incredibly talented, spunky red head who brought new life to my kitchen. I never knew how perfect cooking could be until I found these infused olive oils. 

I have a problem.

I have a problem.

Refilling stations

Refilling stations

Ali graciously filling up my infused garlic bottle. 

Ali graciously filling up my infused garlic bottle. 

She’s also taken the time to debunk several olive oil myths for us.

                1. Most olive oils on the supermarket shelves have expired and are spoiled.

                2. Olive oil can definitely be used for baking. I have a stellar vegan banana bread recipe coming to you soon using one of their extra virgins.

                3. Olive oil has a high smoke point when it has a lower free fatty acid (FFA) content. You get a lower FFA when you pick the olives from the tree and immediately press them. Most oil is required to have a .8 reading to be qualified as extra virgin. Amphora’s free fatty acid count is .18. The smoke point is above 450. I’ve cut it with some vegetable and used it for frying.  

(Do not try this with a regular olive oil from the super market)

Ali and I met doing Midsummer with Shakespeare in the Park last year. This year we’re doing McBeth which happens to be opening this weekend. It’s hot, it’s long, it’s exhausting – it’s tech week. Every actor knows you need some fuel to keep you going. This is a bright summery granola bar with 10 grams of protein. It’s perfect for a boost when you’re on the run. I used Amphora Nueva’s Lemon infused olive oil. It really brings a nice brightness and acidity to this crunchy snack. 

Lemon, Cranberry Granola Bites

            1/3 Cup of Peanut Butter

            1 Tablespoon of Lemon Olive Oil

            1 Teaspoon of Salt

            1/3 Cup of Agave Syrup or Honey 

            1 1/4 Cup of Granola 

            2/3 Cup of Dried Cranberries

             1 Cup of Oats

             1/3 Cup of Peanuts

             Zest of 1 Lemon

             1/3 Cup of Chocolate Chips

Microwave the peanut butter, olive oil, salt, and agave or honey for one minute. Stir it in with the dry ingredients. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Let it cool completely and cut into 6-8 rectangles. I also crumbled some into bight size pieces and crammed it in a jar for ultimate snacking between scenes.

Amphora is located in the bay area, but I encourage you to look around your town. You may have a gem just like this.