The olive (fruit) tree is native to the Mediterranean region and Western Asia and spread to nearby countries from there. It is estimated the cultivation of olive trees began more than 7,000 years ago. The ancient Greeks used to smear olive oil on their bodies and hair as a method of grooming and good health. There are many types of olives, depending on the region they were grown in and how they were cured.
When growing up, I can still remember my father taking my sister and me to an Italian Deli shopping on Saturdays. The aroma from all those different cheeses, salamis, and freshly baked breads was mesmerizing. One item he always bought–black salt cured olives. Our family served them as a side dish or added to salads and in pasta sauces. Cured bitter black olives are also delicious with warm French bread.
Here’s his recipe:
├é┬╖ 1 Pint black cured olives
├é┬╖ 1/2 tsp. crushed garlic
├é┬╖ 1/2 tsp. crushed red Chile (optional)
├é┬╖ 1/2 tsp. dry oregano
├é┬╖ 3-4 tbs. olive oil
├é┬╖ 1 qt. empty plastic container
├é┬╖ Place black olives in quart container –filling with water to top
├é┬╖ Let olives sit for a few hours to remove excess salt
├é┬╖ Drain water from quart container
├é┬╖ Add rest of ingredients; place top on and shake.
├é┬╖ Let sit at room temperature for a few hours before refrigerating
Just a few of the many health and nutrient benefits of black olives are:
├é┬╖ Hair and Skin Health: Black olives are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin E, fatty acids and that nourish, hydrate and protect your skin.
├é┬╖ Colon Cancer Reduction: Frequent consumption of both vitamin E and the monounsaturated fats in black olives is associated with lower rates of colon cancer
├é┬╖ Iron for Blood Cells: Black olives are very high in iron—-which facilitates the ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
├é┬╖ Eye Health: One cup of black olives contains ten percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin A which, when converted into the retinal form, is crucial for healthy eyes.
├é┬╖ Heart Healthy: When free radicals oxidize cholesterol, blood vessels are damaged and fat builds up in arteries—-possibly leading to a heart attack. The antioxidant nutrients in black olives slow down this oxidation of cholesterol, thereby helping to prevent heart disease.
├é┬╖ Cancer Prevention: Black olives are a great source of vitamin E has the brilliant ability to neutralize free radicals in body fat.
Lisa DeFazio├óΓé¼Γäós a leading nutrition expert and a Master├óΓé¼Γäós degree level Registered Dietitian, so be sure to check out her website and follow her on Twitter for more tips and videos — and if U wanna know more about olives OR anything else, U can always email us at [email protected]!!