Let Olive Flavor your Healthy Diet

You may think of warm breezes blowing in off the Mediterranean, a sparkling cocktail party or a fresh pizza. Whatever Olive brings to mind for you, she wants it to be delicious!

Healthy Food

Also known as: Olea europaea

Likes: Brine, pimento, garlic

Dislikes: Being relegated to the salad bar

Hobbies: Basking in the leisurely cocktail hour atmosphere as part of the hors d’oeuvres

Find her: Cozied up to fruit, cheese and perhaps a glass of wine on a cheese plate, sliced over salads and sandwiches, flavoring fish and pasta

She may bring to mind warm breezes blowing in off the Mediterranean and rustling the leaves of the sleepy trees.  Perhaps she makes you think of a sparkling cocktail party enjoyed laughing with friends.  Maybe it’s the steamy, fresh pizza shared around the kitchen table with family.  Whatever Olive brings to mind for you, she wants it to be delicious!

This long cultivated fruit is primarily grown in the Mediterranean (her “home town” of sorts) and California.  She may be most recognizable as her classic, round and black self, but she can also be found sporting green and going by Manzanilla or in her sleek brownish-purple attire. and going by Kalamata.  Often it just depends on when she was picked from her tree in the grove.  Straight off the tree, she’s not the most pleasant food to be around, but give her some time and a big cup of brine, and she’s the perfect addition to your healthy diet… in moderation.

What Olive really wants you to know about her is that she likes her space.  She is ripe with monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol; however, too much of a good thing like Olive can mean plenty of extra fat and calories.  In addition, just a few of her can go a long way in the sodium department, thanks to the curing process, which often includes a brine bath.  She’s happy to be sprinkled over salads and sandwiches, added as a flavorful garnish to fish or included with the fresh fruit, vegetables and pungent cheese on the hors d’oeuvres sidebar, but she has no interest in being over-enjoyed to the point of hurting your health or exhausting your taste buds.

Here are just a few places we’ve spotted Olive at participating Healthy Dining restaurants: