If we can't trust Olive Oil to be pure you need to try Argan Oil instead

The Good Life Letter 

7th June 2015


Just how do you make a salad the centrepiece of a family gathering?

Such was the conundrum my letter last week left me in.

Having read the piece I wrote about the joy and benefit of having fresh greens from the garden my beloved brother decided to call my bluff.

In anticipation of the promised ‘heatwave’ this weekend he and his tribe are descending upon us to enjoy ‘the best I can do’ with a green collation.

Well he is in for a surprise I can tell you.

As well as the finest and freshest of salad leaves grown by my own fair hand, he is also getting a selection of stored root vegetables, a veritable delight of fresh herbs and some of my perfect home baked sour dough croutons.

That’ll shut him up...

...but the absolute ‘pièce de résistance’ that will set all of this off is the finest of salad dressings, and I definitely won't be using Olive Oil.

It is my secret weapon and I’m going to share it with you – but first I want to tell you about the reason you should be taking this seriously.

For a man who is passionate about using local produce it might surprise you to find out that the two principle ingredients come from many thousands of miles away.

That’s me, contrary Collins!

Discover the base oil for the perfect salad dressing and so much more

All that your heart desires lies in Morocco

Like most things in life food isn’t a simple story.

I have, and will continue to, rail against the profit driven antics of food companies who destroy local markets and exploit under developed economies.

Moving poor quality fruit and vegetables half way around the world just to satisfy their shareholders isn’t ethical or needed, but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore unique and specialised foods when they are needed.

From the early days of travel our shores have enjoyed spices, oils and condiments from around the globe – all used to enhance the abundance of local produce.

So today I want to implore you to think carefully about how you can make your summer salads not only the tastiest you’ve ever eaten but also fully health turbo-charged.

For those who also care about the greater good and equality there is great value too.

At the base of my special salad dressing is an ingredient which I have loved since I first came across it, something which not only tastes great, has a fantastic story to it and is packed with powerful health benefits – but one which supports a major world heritage project.

Given that build up you might be expecting a food that the whole world would be clammering for, but that isn’t the case and there is a very good reason why.

You see no-one is making a fortune from it.

The producers are local women’s co-operatives who use the money they raise to school their children, develop local support networks and provide healthcare projects – whilst at the same time helping preserve a way of life and a landscape that benefits everyone.

No huge corporations, no celebrity endorsements, no major tv campaign and perhaps most importantly no big supply agreement with any European food warehouse... sorry mean supermarket.

I want you to buy, use and really enjoy...

...Argan Oil.

Find out more about this fantastic natural oil that packs in flavour and health benefits

Why this is worth the earth to you

I’ll admit that I’ve talked about Argan Oil before when we have been loking at alternatives to statins and ways to help boost immunity and weight management programmes.

One of the products which has always been a favourite amongst Good Life Letter readers has been the capsule version of the oil.

But now I want you to embrace a culinary version of the same oil.

I think this one ingredient alone will make everything you prepare this summer really sing, and also impress anyone who you share your meals with.

Much more than just being a good stock item for your kitchen cupboard though this oil could also be a valuable addition to your medicine chest too – just look at the benefits a daily dose of Argan Oil has been shown to give:

  • Cardiovascular health; the oil is reported to help control cholesterol, lower blood pressure and promote the dilation of blood vessels leading to better circulation.
  • Gastro-intestinal health; being rich in linoleic, palmitic and oleic oils as well as a rich source of vitamin E, carotenes and good fatty acids means that it helps with the digestive process – and is even better for you than olive oil.
  • Skin, hair & nails; for many years the West were only interested in the way Argan was able to improve the looks of the body,  helping smooth skin, strengthen brittle nails and add a lustre to hair.
  • Bones, joints, nervous system & boosting the immune system; there really are few of the body's major functions which aren’t enhanced by this wonderful natural oil.


There is one other really good reason to consider Argan Oil this year and that is purity.

Because of the unique way that it is sourced, produced and bottled it is guaranteed to be absolutely 100% pure.

The last few years has seen a huge increase in fake oil as mercenary producers and even criminal gangs seek to make even more money from virgin olive oil, sesame oil and soybean oil by mixing it with all manner of dodgy chemicals including the mineral oils you would normally put into your car.

The oil I’m offering you though is absolutely just oil – here’s how it gets to the bottle as told by the women who produce it:

In late summer the Argan fruit ripens and falls to the ground where it is gathered. It is then laid out to dry. To make the oil, the dried outer fruit is first removed, then, using our traditional artisanal techniques involving stones, the seeds are extracted from the hard inner shell.

Up to this point everything is done by hand, furthermore it is only our women involved and this employment provides not only a good source of income in a poor region but an opportunity for us to gain independence.

The seeds are then cold pressed to extract the oil. Nothing is wasted in the process, the fruit pulp is fed to cattle and the leftover seed pulp is used as fuel. The Berber Women’s Co-Operative have strict controls at every stage of production and can trace every bottle back to the tree!
Here’s how to get your share of this pure, ethical and delicious oil

The secret revealed

Ok, so just how am I going to blow my sibling's socks off this weekend?

Here’s the perfect salad dressing recipe:
3 tablespoons Organic 100% pure Argan Oil
1 tablespoon Organic Beechwood Honey*
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Juice of half lemon
1 teaspoon chopped sage/thyme/parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

The secret to this dressing is to add the Argan Oil last in small amounts and rapidly whisk in until you get a beautifully creamy emulsion.

This will then be drizzled over fresh, young leaves from my greenhouse, some early tomatoes and spring onions from the farm shop and a finely sliced red onion & fennel bulb from my own stored produce...

...and then I’m serving it with (hopefully) barbequed fresh mackerel.

Tell me that you’re mouth isn’t watering at that prospect... I know mine is!

Yours, as always


Ray

*This is the sweetest, toffee flavoured of all the New Zealand honeys... and yes I know it’s an import too, but like I said sometimes I give in when there is a product this good! If you prefer please use a good local honey but make sure it is sweet and robust enough to stand up to the bullying the mustard and herbs will give it.

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