Food writer Jim Dixon, writ­ing on the health ben­e­fits of olive oil, com­mented “we put it on almost every­thing on our table, beside the break­fast cereal. And I don’t eat break­fast cereal.”

A recent media photo grabbed people’s atten­tion. It showed actor and direc­tor Felipe Mattei, pour­ing olive oil on his break­fast cereal. He made the point that olive oil is a much tastier and health­ier sub­sti­tute for unhealthy ani­mal fats such as cream or milk.

Olive oil has an impor­tant place in the thinking-person’s diet espe­cially added to veg­eta­bles and sal­ads, but over cereal? (We hap­pened to find a 2004 print adver­tise­ment which used olive oil on cereal as an anal­ogy for the effec­tive­ness of its insect repel­lent.)

Yet research shows that Mattei is not alone in his prac­tice of adding olive oil to his cereal. Well-known chef and restau­ra­teur Bruno Loubet at the Zetter hotel in London reg­u­larly break­fasts on por­ridge to which he adds olive oil, honey and a layer of chopped gar­lic.

He says: “When I was in Australia I came up with it, because all the ingre­di­ents are good for you. It keeps me young and healthy. My chefs are used to it now, but in the begin­ning it shocked them all.”

New York Times colum­nist Mark Bittman has been rec­om­mend­ing savory oat­meal prepa­ra­tions for years. One of his sug­ges­tions is steel cut oat­meal, driz­zled with a fruity EVOO and 1 – 2 table­spoons of black or green olive tape­nade on the side of the bowl.

At Oat Meals, a novel restau­rant in Greenwich Village New York City, one of their pop­u­lar dishes is oats topped with EVOO, sea salt and cracked black pep­per and then fin­ished with a layer of fluffy parme­san cheese. It goes well with bacon and has the con­sis­tency of a cheesy risotto.

A 2004 ad for “Off” insect repel­lent.

Another oats and oil combo is the “hippy break­fast” named such as it was com­mon in the 70s but is wor­thy of a come back. This is a deli­cious com­bi­na­tion of raw oats moist­ened with oil, and these days that could be EVOO, and sweet­ened with honey.

The demise of such a healthy and sim­ple break­fast prob­a­bly had much to do with the low-fat rev­o­lu­tion that scared every­one off fats and oils for the last few decades.

Although increas­ingly this is being brought into ques­tion espe­cially in the case of olive oil that has so many life-enhanc­ing prop­er­ties.

Granola, for exam­ple received a bad rap because of its high sugar and fat con­tent but made at home it can be an incred­i­bly healthy start to one’ s day.

The basic recipe is three cups of rolled oats, mixed with a ¼ cup of good qual­ity EVOO. This adds a fruity and rich flavour to the oats as well as opti­miz­ing the health ben­e­fits.

Then accord­ing to one’s taste buds one could add ingre­di­ents such as: shred­ded coconut, raw cacao, a sprin­kling of cin­na­mon or car­damom, a drop of vanilla essence, flax seeds (for fur­ther omega 3’s) dried and chopped raisins, cher­ries or apri­cots, pump­kin seeds, nuts such as pis­ta­chios and sea salt.

There is no need to load it with sugar as more nat­ural sweet­en­ers can be used such as honey or pure maple syrup.

It is then a sim­ple mat­ter of mix­ing the dry ingre­di­ents and then adding liq­uids includ­ing the EVOO. When thor­oughly coated spread onto a large bak­ing sheet and bake for about 10 min­utes at 300 °F — shuf­fle — and then bake for another 10 min­utes until the gra­nola has turned a golden color.

Great as a break­fast or as an ener­giz­ing snack dur­ing the day.

With such great healthy options avail­able you might want to recon­sider your break­fast regime to include the day’s dose of healthy olive oil.

Especially given that many stud­ies show that suc­cess­ful and healthy peo­ple tend to pri­or­i­tize the things that are good for them and their career and do these things first in the morn­ing. This might include exer­cise, plan­ning ahead, med­i­tat­ing or mak­ing head­way on their hard­est tasks for the day.

A mere 3.5 table­spoons of EVOO is the best dose for any­one at risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

It also helps reduce inflam­ma­tion and is there­fore help­ful for those with arthri­tis as well as hav­ing a host of other health ben­e­fits.

So per­haps the habit of adding that healthy dose of olive oil to one’s cereal bowl might not seem so strange after all.



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