I have the fondest memories of eating dried black olives at my nonna's house. She actually cures them herself and they are incredibly delicious. If you grew up in an Italian household you might be familiar with these olives too. In honour of my love for olives and happy food memories, I am sharing 5 facts about olives that you may not know.
5 Fun Facts about Olives:
1. Olives are technically classified as a fruit.
They belong to a group of fruit known as drupes, which include other fruits like cherries, peaches, apricots, and plums.
2. They are a source of healthy fats
Olives are made up of monounsaturated fats (the good stuff). A diet rich in monounsaturated fats has been linked to reduced inflammation and improved heart health.
3. They are rich in iron and calcium
Olives are a great source of plant based iron and calcium. Iron plays an important role in maintaining our energy levels and calcium plays a critical role in the health of our bones, muscles, and nerves.
4. Olives are a fermented food
We often forget that olives are cured and fermented meaning they are a good source of gut friendly bacteria.
We just need to be careful about how many we eat, as the cured nature also makes them quite salty.
What is an appropriate serving of olives?
About 10-12 olives
5. They are rich in antioxidants
Olives are a great source of antioxidants, which work to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Antioxidants have been linked to preventing risk of chronic disease, like heart disease and cancers. Olives contain several powerful antioxidants (e.g., oleuropein, oleonalic acid, quercetin, etc.).
Bottom line: olives can be a great source of healthy fats in your diet, they are also a good source of plant based iron and calcium. But don't overdue it, most olives are cured and can contain a lot of salt.
If you have been obsessing over avocado as your source of healthy fats, why not give this olive spread a try and change things up!
Olive Spread Recipe
Makes ~ 1.5 cups
2 cups Kalamata olives, de pitted
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic
Black pepper to taste
In a food processor blend garlic, olives, and vinegar, slowly add in olive oil. Blend until a smooth consistency is reached (this doesn’t take long).
Add black pepper and anything other seasoning you might like (e.g., oregano, thyme, etc.)
Enjoy on rice crackers, fresh bread, pasta, chicken, or as a dip for veggies!
Cheers to happy and healthy eating. :)
Until next time,
Eat Right Feel Right - Angela XO