What are Olīves?
Olīves is a drupe-like fruit that grows on olive trees (Oleaeuropaea) is an important part of the Mediterranean diet. It contains healthy fats and antioxidants. This fruit consists of a hard seed on the inside. Other drupes include cherries, peaches, plums, and mangoes.
Most green olives are cured and fermented to remove a bitter phenolic compound, oleuropein, that makes them unpalatable.
Olives are versatile food that can be eaten raw or cooked. They are an excellent source of Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation and boost immunity. They are also a good source of polyphenols, powerful anti-inflammatory agents.
Let’s learn about the amazing benefits of Olīves.
They’re a heart-healthy snack.
The American Heart Association recommends incorporating olives into your diet because they contain monounsaturated fats (the good kind) that may help lower cholesterol levels and keep blood pressure in check.
They’re also packed with polyphenols, a group of antioxidants that can reduce oxidative stress and prevent chronic inflammation in the body. These nutrients may also have other effects, such as reducing the risk of cancer and bone loss.
They’re a great source of iron.
Our bodies need iron to build red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. It’s recommended that adults eat at least eight milligrams of iron per day to stay healthy and strong.
They’re high in dietary fiber.
Snacking on a handful of olives can provide you with 15% of the daily dietary fiber your body needs. This nutrient can also help you feel full and maintain a healthy weight.
They’re a great source of calcium.
A study from the University of California, Berkeley found that eating one or more servings of olives a week can help you absorb more calcium into your bones and teeth. This can help you prevent osteoporosis, which occurs when your bones become brittle or weak from a lack of calcium.
They’re a great source of copper.
Americans don’t consume enough copper in their diets, which is linked to a higher risk for heart disease and other health conditions.
They’re a source of calcium and iron.
If you’re concerned about your dietary intake, incorporating some extra olives into your diet is a great way to boost those minerals. You’ll get 3 milligrams of iron from a single serving and 4.4 milligrams of calcium.
They’re a great source of protein.
If you’re looking for a heart-healthy snack, an olive is a delicious option that will give you the nutrients your body needs without adding extra calories to your diet. The fiber and fatty acids in olives can also help you feel fuller longer.
They’re a source of omega-3s
It’s an excellent source of EPA and DHA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids that your body needs to be healthy.
Explore the different types of Olīves & Their Unique Flavors
One of the most famous varieties of olives, the French-made Nicoise is a firm black olive with dark purple skin with a fresh, licoriceflavor. Typically brine-cured and pitted, the Nicoise is a great addition to salads, pasta dishes, and seafoodsauces.
These Sicilian olives are known for their buttery, meaty flesh, and mild flavor. They are a favorite to use as a topping over meat, in pasta, or served with wine or cheese.
Another Italian olive similar to Kalamata, these extra-large green-skinned olives are cured in brine or red wine vinegar and can be eaten whole or pitted. They’re delicious with feta or roasted vegetables and make a great substitute for Kalamata according to Fine Cooking.
For a slightly less intense flavor than the Nicoise, leucine olives are a great choice. They’re usually stuffed with red pimentos, says Fine Cooking, and can be found in many grocery stores. They’re versatile that can be eaten just as they are but also mix well with herbs and olive oil for a salad dressing or a marinade.
These are a bit rarer than the Nicoise, but if you’re looking for a unique flavor, look no further than these Moroccan dry-cured olives.
Nyon is a small, jet-black snacking olive more commonly found in France than in Italy. It’s dry-cured and then brine-cured to produce a savory, sweet flavor that pairs well with herbs or olive oil.
Unlike most green olives, Manzanilla olives are a reddish-brown color caused by soaking them in a sea salt brine for several weeks.
How to Preserve Olīves for Long-Term Storage?
Depending on the method, It can be stored in a jar for up to 6 months in a cool place or the refrigerator for up to 1 year. If the olives are cured and brined, they can be stored for up to 2 years.
Lye Solution: If you want to preserve it for longer, try adding them to a lye solution. For every gallon of water, mix two ounces of lye into it. This will cause an explosive reaction, so use exact measurements.
Slow Brine: Another way to keep it for longer is to slowly brine them with 60 grams of salt per liter of water. This can take a year or so to cure and brine your olives fully, but it is a great method for long-term storage if you have an excess of them.
Delicious Olīves Recipes to Try at Home
If you love olives, you know they are an essential ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes. And they are not only delicious, but they are also incredibly healthy! They have no trans fats or cholesterol and are high in fiber. They also have a low-calorie content, which is why they make a great addition to a healthy diet.
Whether you’re looking for an appetizer to serve at a party or a delicious snack that keeps you going on a busy day, these are the perfect recipes to try!
Marinated Olives with Garlic, Thyme, and Rosemary
These marinated olives are the perfect easy appetizer to keep on hand for your next party or even to bring to a potluck. They make a delicious dipping sauce for crackers, charcuterie, or cheese board!
Muffaletta Sandwich with Green Olives and Cheese
If your family is a fan of Italian food, this Muffaletta sandwich with olives and cheese is the perfect recipe to add to your rotation. It is a delicious appetizer that can be eaten for lunch or dinner!
Baked Fish with Olives and Tomatoes
This Greek baked fish recipe is a fantastic option for a light, healthy dinner. It is packed with flavors from tomatoes, olives, and herbs. It is easy to make and takes less than an hour from start to finish!
Spanish Pizza with Olives and Peppers
If you love pizza taste but are looking for a healthier version, this Spanish pizza recipe is perfect. This recipe is super easy to make and need to use only a few ingredients, making it an excellent choice for a quick and easy meal!
Hot Pepper Olive Stuffed Chicken Thighs
If your kids are picky eaters, this hot pepper stuffed chicken thighs recipe is the perfect solution.
Cheddar Green Olive Dip
If you’re a big cheese lover, this cheddar green olive dip is sure to please. It’s simple to make, and you can serve it with tortilla chips or any other favorite snack!
Fougasse with Herbs and Olives
If bread is your go-to dipping option, this fougasse with herbs and olives is the recipe for you! This bread has a nice crust that can absorb plenty of oil and an airy interior that makes it easy to eat.