As a California native (a state touted for its no-nonsense health nuts) author Cal Orey, M.A., is an accomplished author and journalist. She grew up in the post-hippie era. In her teens she rebelled against processed canned and frozen foods and meat. That is when she began to have an interest in health and natural living...
Enter the Mediterranean Diet—rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs, some dairy, wine, water, and exercise. You’ll find easy and sophisticated recipes for satisfying foods like Pizza Baguettes with Garlic Oil, Fudgy Coconut Oil Brownies, and Macadamia Nut Oil Cookies. Also, included: home cures that beat colds and reduce pain, beauty and household secrets, and pet care tips that really work!
Q: Sugar or Fat? Which one does a writer need more?
Fat. I used to be a sugar junkie. These days, when I incorporate real butter (no fake stuff for me) and oil(s) with superfoods, I’m satisfied and keep lean and fit. Sugar on occasion in natural ice cream and a homemade cookie or brownie finds its way to my life, but only in moderation.
Q: Your writing resumes are impressive. Two degrees in writing, three decades of articles and book experience. How did you end up as the Healing Powers Series author?
A: Before finishing grad school at San Francisco State University, I was a published magazine writer. I used to write articles for well-known men’s mags. I spun both fiction and non-fiction. Then, I moved over to women’s mags and wrote about every romance and relationship topic imaginable. Fast forward to 1999. I got my first real book deal from Kensington, a New York publisher. (I penned dozens of diet-related mini mags found in grocery stores.)
Many moons later, I’m known as the Healing Powers author. I’ve written eight books on superfoods: vinegar, olive oil, chocolate, honey, coffee, tea, superfoods, and essential oils. (Most of these books have been embraced by major book clubs including, One Spirit, Literary Guild, Quality Paperback, and Good Cook.)
Q: Your Healing Power series has also been translated in 20 languages; Congratulations! Tell us a little about the past and new updated and revised olive oil book.
A: When I started the vinegar book, red wine vinegar was supposed to be the new twist. During my research, however, I discovered while it does contain some good for you compounds like resveratrol (found in red wine), I needed more information to honestly tout vinegar’s health benefits. I fell into the wide world of the Mediterranean Diet and lifestyle because it includes not only red wine but healthful olive oil—and that superfood led to the first and second edition—The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, A Complete Guide to Nature’s Liquid Gold, Revised and Updated. The first edition is my second best-selling book and now the second edition has been released--three formats. Vinegar has sold more than 1/4 million copies.
Q: Did you discover any real surprises while researching your books?
A: I found out that other oils, including coconut and canola, have healing perks. Combining olive oil with other oils can help fight fatigue, infections, and insomnia, and help you to fight fat and shape up! Tea? I'm still in love with chamomile (it keeps you young) and adore white tea! Superfoods? Ah, pizza, cheese, potatoes, ice cream? You betcha. The right kind in moderation, though.
Q: What's an interesting fact about olive oil that most people don't know?
A:Discovering the you can combine a variety of oils is becoming more commonplace in the kitchen; even seen on Food Network with its creative celeb chefs as well as every day folks are teaming these oils in entrees to desserts as well as home cures and beauty recipes.
Q: Did you learn something new that will shock readers?
A: Bring on the butter—especially the right kind and right amount. When paired with oils, this twentieth-century “forbidden” saturated fat is a new twenty-first-century health food. I’ve learned that while I was sneaking butter into my recipes and diet that I was doing the right thing. Lose the margarine!
Q. Do you have a personal favorite dish that you use two oils instead of just olive oil?
A: Chocolate! I simply adore chocolate semi-homemade brownies. It makes my kitchen smell like I’ve soared to Chocolate Heaven and the taste and crunch with nuts and chewy coconut takes me away to a happy place. Q. Bonus Question. What's new in your book collection? A. The Healing Powers of Vinegar, gift size 3rd edition, The Healing Powers of Superfoods, and the new book in progress! The Healing Powers of Essential Oils.
Chocolate muffins with coconut oil can work, too... Check out The Healing Powers of Chocolate book!
Fudgy Coconut Oil Brownies
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Welcome to fudgy brownies with both olive oil and coconut oil. Also, dark chocolate and nuts are part of this bar—heart healthy foods—perfect for February is American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day. This is a classic recipe but with my own healing oils spin of semi-homemade (the brownie mix nutrition label reads no trans fats).But note, these bars are good so if you want to stave off a “muffin top” as noted in Eat Pray Love, savor one not a whole batch like I did.
¼ cup and 2 teaspoons cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup water 2 organic brown eggs
1 package store-bought premium dark chocolate ¼ cup cake flour
brownie mix (with no trans fats) (at high altitude)
½ cup dark chocolate chips ½ cup almonds or walnuts, sliced
1 cup sweetened coconut, shredded butter for greasing dish
In a large bowl, combine oil, beaten eggs, and water. Add brownie mix and flour, stir till smooth. Fold in chips and nuts. Lightly grease (with extra virgin olive oil or butter) an 8-inch-by8-inch glass square dish, pour and spread brownie mixture. (Or pour batter into a cupcake paper lined muffin pan.) Bake at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes. Don't over bake. While warm from the oven, sprinkle top with coconut. Makes about 12 brownies. Serve with coffee or tea. More amazing healing oils shared in dozens of new recipes. The Healing Powers Series at all online bookstore! All formats!