About Olives

How To Enjoy

Tips for Preparing Olives:
To pit olives, press them with the flat side of a broad bladed knife. This will help break the flesh so that you can easily remove the pit with your fingers or the knife. The brine in which olives are packed can be used as a replacement for salted water in recipes.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
Olive tapenade is a delicious and easy-to-make spread that you can use as a dip, sandwich spread, or topping for fish and poultry. To make it, put pitted olives in a food processor with olive oil, garlic, and your favorite seasonings.

Toss pasta with chopped olives, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs of your choice.
Marinate olives in olive oil, lemon zest, coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
Add chopped olives to your favorite tuna or chicken salad recipe.

Set out a small plate of olives on the dinner table along with some vegetable crudités for your family to enjoy with the meal.

Olive Health

Health Benefits

Olives are a very good source of monounsaturated fat and a good source of iron, vitamin E, copper, and dietary fiber.

Olives are concentrated in monounsaturated fats and a good source of vitamin E. Because monounsaturated fats are less easily damaged than polyunsaturated fats, it’s good to have some in our cells’ outer membranes and other cell structures that contain fats, such as the membranes that surround the cell’s DNA and each of its energy-producing mitochondria. The stability of monounsaturated fats translates into a protective effect on the cell that, especially when combined with the antioxidant protection offered by vitamin E, can lower the risk of damage and inflammation. In addition to vitamin E, olives contain a variety of beneficial active phytonutrient compounds including polyphenols and flavonoids, which also appear to have significant anti-inflammatory properties.

Cellular Protection Against Free Radicals
Protection From Heart Disease
Support Gastrointestinal Health
Beneficial Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Description
Olives are fruits of the tree known as Olea europaea. “Olea” is the Latin word for “oil,” reflecting the olives very high fat content, of which 75% is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. “Europaea” reminds us that olives are native to the Mediterranean region of Europe.

Olives cannot be eaten right off of the tree; they require special processing to reduce their intrinsic bitterness, caused by the glycoside oleuropein, which is concentrated in their skin. These processing methods vary with the olive variety, cultivation region, and the desired taste, texture and color to be created.

Some olives are picked green and unripe, while others are allowed to fully ripen on the tree to a black color. Yet, not all of the black olives available begin with a black color.
Some of the many available delicious varieties of olives include Kalamata, Moroccan oil-cured, Nicoise, Picholine and Manzanilla. In addition to varying in size and appearance, the flavor of olives spans the range from sour to smoky to bitter to acidic. In addition to whole olives, you can often find them pitted.

Olive oil is available in a variety of grades that reflects the degree to which it has been processed. Extra-virgin is the initial unrefined oil from the first pressing. Virgin olive oil is also derived from the first pressing but has a higher acidity level than extra virgin olive oil (as well as less phytonutrients and a less delicate taste). Chemically, the difference bewtween an extra virgin oil and a virgin oil involves the amount of free oleic acid, which is a marker for overall acidity. According to the standards adopted by the International Olive Oil Council, “virgin” can contain up to 2% free oleic acid, while “extra virgin” can contain up to 0.8% of free oleic acid. Pure olive oil usually means a lower-quality oil produced from subsequent pressings.

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