A Happier, Healthier You this Fall at Rafter Eleven

By Brooke Wasowicz

The grape leaves surrounding Rafter Eleven’s patio have begun to turn, the days are getting a little shorter, and cooler temperatures are here to stay: autumn has arrived. Gone are the days of bikini-clad girls going to the pool and lathering up in sunscreen from head-to-toe, and here to stay through these cooler months is the importance of wellbeing and self-care. Pool season may be over, but health is forever and Rafter Eleven has all the necessities for you to be the happiest and healthiest version of yourself this fall.

If you’ve popped into Rafter Eleven, you know it is a menagerie of delights; from pure olive oil and vinegar, European-style coffee drinks, freshly baked warm scones, and flowing wine from various appellations. Of course, the biggest draw is the friendly team, led by Dawn, who without a doubt will welcome you in with open arms. Baked goods and wine might not sound like the ticket to health, but there are so many health benefits to the products and services that Rafter Eleven provides.

Olive oil, or as the Rafter gals like to call it, “liquid gold,” is a 100 percent natural monosaturated fat (the good kind of fat) that has a laundry list of health benefits. Pure, cold-pressed olive oil is bursting with antioxidants, can lower the risk of heart disease, and is not a contributing factor to weight gain, just to name a few of its perks.

Olive oil truly is liquid gold when it comes to cooking, too. It can enhance any dish, particularly when using Rafter’s naturally infused Garlic Olive Oil; or, if you like a bit of spice, try the Baklouti Green Chili Olive Oil (it’s a slow burn, so be careful!). Your taste buds will thank you for the burst of flavor from using olive oil, and your body will thank you for this healthy substitute for butter and margarine. A personal favorite breakfast idea is to simply cook your eggs in Basil-infused olive oil for a subtle-but-delightful flavor.

Rafter’s Ultra Premium Olive Oil has the most antioxidants and is high in polyphenols. It has a more earthy taste and packs in the most health benefits! Patrons come in specifically for this Ultra Premium Olive Oil and consume it by the spoonful as part of their daily self-care regime.

Now you can’t have good olive oil without vinegar (well, you can, but trust us, you don’t want to!). Olive oil by itself is great, but olive oil with balsamic vinegar imported from Modena, Italy is amazing! Balsamic vinegar contains antimicrobial compounds, acetic acids, and antioxidants, making it the ideal combination for improving skin health when ingested. This type of vinegar can also reduce blood sugar and hypertension, and lower cholesterol.

Combine two parts olive oil with one part balsamic vinegar to create a salad dressing or marinade that will make you feel and look great from the inside out! A current favorite flavor combination for the fall is Wild Rosemary Olive Oil and Fig Balsamic Vinegar. Rosemary Olive Oil is great as a standalone on roasted vegetables or add Fig Balsamic Vinegar to make a dressing for a hearty harvest salad. If dressings aren’t your thing, but you still want the health benefits of balsamic vinegar, just put a splash of vinegar in a tall glass of ice-cold water. Using Sicilian Lemon infused balsamic vinegar or Cranberry-Pear are at the top of my list for making healthy flavored water without all the added sugar and junk that the big beverage companies put on the shelves.

Of all the tasty and healthy treats Rafter has to offer, the indulgence I most enjoy is the expansive wine selection from around the world. On any given day you can find wine from the shores of Portugal, the lush expanse of Marlborough, New Zealand, and even a bottle or two from local Arizona wineries. Red wine (when consumed in moderation) has been known to have heart health benefits and both red and white wine have antioxidant properties due to the flavonoids they contain. Looks like you can have your wine and drink it too! I know I always feel better after a good glass of Cabernet. Health and beauty start from within, so indulge in some delicious self-care at Rafter Eleven this season.

Rafter Eleven is at 2985 N. Centre Court, in Prescott Valley. For more information call 928.227.2050 or visit www.raftereleven.com.