Healthful choices to reduce saturated fats and processed sugars

By Dave Ferraresi
When it comes to making healthy choices about our diet and nutrition, the challenge is making the right choices without giving up your favorite flavors or recipes. Whether it’s reducing our saturated fat intake, cutting down on processed sugar or whatever it may be, avoiding your favorite foods or snacks can make it even harder to maintain a healthy lifestyle. As baby boomers age, nutrition and healthy eating become more important with each passing day. A healthy lifestyle will be more enjoyable if you can still treat yourself to the occasional sweet delight or savory snack now and again.
Substituting extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar in place of other fats and sugar is a smarter way to make some of your favorite meals healthier while enjoying great flavor. Premium oils and vinegars are viable ingredients in many dishes to eliminate saturated fats or processed sweeteners. They can be used as a direct substitute for vegetable oil or shortening in baking, and in place of sugary drink mixes in your favorite cocktail. From a nutritional standpoint, substituting a balsamic vinegar like our 18-Year Traditional balsamic vinegar, which is used in Sweet Daisies Cinnamon Banana Butter can reduce up to 50 percent of the typical sugar content in jams/jellies. These flavorful balsamic vinegars (and olive oils) add a depth of flavor beyond simple cane or table sugar in baked goods such as cookies and banana breads.
Our Gustare Test Kitchen is developing new recipes featuring new whole fruit balsamic vinegars satisfying almost any diet. Made with whole fruit, rather than natural essences like our traditional line of infused balsamic vinegars, our whole fruit line has true-to-taste fruit flavor. Using whole fruits adds another dimension of flavor especially well-suited for cocktail applications.
To sample our newest selections, discuss recipe ideas and substitution applications, visit Gustare Chatham on Tasty Sundays, hosted by Catherine Ferraresi with Kelly Wright from Sweet Daisies throughout the fall.
With the holiday season fast approaching, now is the perfect time to consider adding a flavorful twist to your favorite holiday recipes. Gustare has created new popular pairings and customizable gourmet gift boxes to help you start making healthful substitutions in your favorite recipes. Visit our website to find flavorful recipes, nutritional information and suggestions for healthful food alternatives.
Dave Ferraresi is Founder and Co-Owner, with his wife Catherine, of Gustare Oils & Vinegars, with locations in Chatham and Mashpee Commons. Learn more at
Nana’s Banana Bread
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 60-65 minutes
Serves: 8-10
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. Gustare
Roasted French Walnut Oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 1/4 cup overripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Tap out excess flour.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, blend oil, vanilla and brown sugar until well combined.
Stir in eggs, one at a time, then bananas until well mixed. Stir in dry mixture and nuts until just moistened.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!