Eating well and living well are essential parts of our life. My husband and I take the foods we put into our bodies seriously. Even more so for me now, understanding that I have a gluten intolerance. (Read more about this on my blog Viome, and My Personal Journey to Optimize Wellness.)
 
“Balsamic vinegar and olive oil both contain antioxidants that may lower your risk of cardiovascular disease; otherwise, they have different nutritional strengths. Olive oil is a good source of vitamins K and E, as well as healthy unsaturated fats. Balsamic vinegar is low in calories and may help lower your blood sugar,” according to the European Journal of Clinics Nutrition. 
 
Using good quality olive oil and vinegar makes the foods you are preparing taste so much better. There are many different types and flavors of both olive oils and vinegars. I recommend going to a store that allows you to taste different oils and vinegars to find ones that you like. Some are more subtle than others, and some have added herbs or fruits. My husband and I prefer a more pungent and bold olive oil and an aged balsamic vinegar. 
 
We have a couple of places in our town that we can try different oils and vinegars. When we travel, we often look for tasting shops to experience some different flavors. The last place we stopped was at The Olive Press in Sonoma, California. The Olive Press was established in 1996, and they farm naturally and sustainably. They follow old-world milling methods that allow them to bring out the best in their olives. The Olive Press is the most highly awarded olive oil producer in the nation. We recommend visiting them when you are in the Napa Valley area. You can visit their website at theolivepress.com. 
 
Quality oils and vinegar sare essential pieces in your pantry and can bring the best out of the ingredients in your recipe. In my pantry, I usually have on hand four different types of olive oil, plus avocado oil and coconut oil. I also have red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, three varieties of balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and a plain white distilled vinegar. 
 
You may be asking yourself, "why so many?" Well, one reason is that I cook all the time, so I like having different flavors at my fingertips. The other purpose is I really enjoy finishing off a lot of my foods with a little drizzle of quality oil and vinegar. Of course, I use average olive oil for sautéing and the like, but for finishing off dishes and dressing salads, I always use interesting flavors and high-quality oils and vinegars. 
 
Expand your pantry and your palette by purchasing a few new oils and vinegars. I guarantee you will taste an enjoyable difference in the foods you make just by doing so. 
 
Just Salt it, and enjoy!