Olives are among the most popular ingredients of the Mediterranean cuisine. You can often find them on vegetarian pizza, in a healthy Greek salad or in delicious tapas. Also to fish dishes and Geschmortem they fit perfectly. They are up to four centimeters long, oblong or round, black or green - and from the Mediterranean kitchen indispensable. In addition, they are one of the oldest foods in the world.
Green and black olives
Green and black olives do not differ by their variety or origin, but by theirs Maturity. Green olives are harvested earlier, but the black fruits are fully mature.
Green olives have a fruity, sour-spicy taste. Besides, they are stronger than their black sisters. These taste savory and slightly bitter. However, raw olives are not to be enjoyed because of their bitter substances and are therefore usually consumed in oil or brine.
Incidentally, the question of whether the tasty products of the olive tree to fruits or vegetables, can be answered very easily. Since olives grow on long-lived trees, they are considered as Fruit.
Olives are healthy nutrient packages
Olives are real nutrient bombs. They contain a lot of vitamins, minerals and valuable phytonutrients. The fruits are rich in:
- the minerals and trace elements phosphorus, calcium, sodium, iron, magnesium, zinc
- vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, folic acid and provitamin A (beta-carotene)
- phytochemicals such as polyphenols and sterols
Nutritional value of olives
The green, immature picked drupes have less calories and a lower content of important nutrients than black olives. For both maturity stages, however, they are very little carbohydrates namely, only about 3 grams per 100 grams for green olives and 4.9 grams for black.
Black olives have up to 45 grams fat per 100 grams and are thus more rich than the green fruits, which have only about 13.5 grams of fat. Nevertheless, their occasional consumption is recommended because the fatty acids of olives are among the monounsaturated fatty acids considered to be healthy.
By inserting the olives in oil you too calorie on. Depending on how the olives are pickled, green olives produce about 130 kilocalories (kcal), blacks even 350 kilocalories or more.
Healthy effect of olives
Due to their valuable ingredients olives are said to have numerous beneficial effects on their health. So it is said, olives:
- act preventively against arteriosclerosis
- lower high blood pressure
- reduce LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL levels
- lower the heart attack risk
- stimulate the metabolism
- act against constipation
- are anti-inflammatory
- lower the risk of breast cancer
- stimulate the bile flow and relieve gallstones
- reduce wrinkles
- provide dry skin with moisture
Tips for eating olives
If you want to take full advantage of the many positive qualities of the healthy fruits of the Mediterranean, it is best to eat an average of seven olives a day - at least in Spain it is recommended by the "Society for Basic and Applied Nutrition Science".
To have as much of the valuable ingredients as possible, consider using olives or olive oil however do not overheat: When the smoke point is reached, the antioxidants (vitamin E and phenols) are destroyed.
In pregnancy, it is better not to eat olives. Since, as a buyer, the hygienic standards of the grower can not be scrutinized by himself, there is a risk of getting a listeriosis infection during pregnancy contracting. This is especially dangerous for unborn children.
Olives - a delight in every preparation
Commercially available olives are either in brine, olive oil or vinegar inserted. This makes them last longer and also do not taste as bitter as freshly harvested fruits. To insert olives you also use citric acid and sea salt. In olive oil or vinegar pickled olives are often spiced with spicy herbs such as chili and garlic. In Spain, the green stoned olives are traditionally stuffed with red pepper pulp.
olive paste is also a popular food. Called Tapenade in French Provence, it is made from pitted black olives. Other ingredients include anchovies, capers, garlic, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. This is how the healthy olives can be spread on the bread.
olive oil It is obtained by pressing or centrifuging the pitted fruit and is the most popular edible fat, especially in Mediterranean countries. The healthiest is the cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil, in which the valuable phytochemicals of the olives are still preserved. This can even be used to some extent for frying, as virgin olive oil has a fairly high smoke point (180 degrees). It is optimally suited for Spanish and Italian recipes.
Olive oil for the skin and hair
Olive oil and salt give off an excellent facial peel. Olive cream donates drier skin a lot of moisture and reduces wrinkling.
Even to hair care you can use the versatile edible oil: just massage a few teaspoons of it into your hair and scalp and leave it working for about two hours. Then wash it thoroughly.
The hair treatment eliminates split ends and frees the scalp of unpleasant dandruff. The olive oil covers every single hair like a protective film, keeps it from drying out and makes your hair shine. In addition, hair treatments with olive oil help to stop hair loss.
Buy and store olives
If you want to buy the hearty stone fruits, you will find them in vegetable shops as well as at the delicatessen counter in the supermarket. The black and green olives are available throughout the year in this country. They are mostly inserted. There are also canned olives.
Fans of black fruits, but should look carefully when buying. Because not all black olives are actually harvested ripe. Sometimes, too black colored green olives sold. It is therefore advisable to look at the label first: there are then E585 (ferrous lactate) or E579 (ferrous gluconate) listed or the words "blackened" appropriate.
In order to obtain as pure a product as possible, no preservatives and flavor enhancers should be included. These are completely superfluous with airtight packed olives, since they are long-lasting anyway. Unopened olive preserves last for years. Also open glasses or packs remain in the fridge for months fresh.
By the way: If you have olives stone need, the following trick is recommended. Place the fruits on a wooden board and press a second board vigorously from above onto the olives. These break up and can then be freed from the stone with little effort.
Worth knowing about olive and olive tree
The fact that olives are not only healthy, but also a suitable beauty remedy, already knew the ancient Egyptians and the people of Greek and Roman antiquity. As archaeological finds from Apulia (Italy) prove, they were even in the Neolithic era a popular food. The Bible mentions the olive tree and its precious oil used in religious ceremonies. His solid wood was considered good timber.
Around the Mediterranean, more than 1,000 different varieties of olive trees thrive. With a lifetime of several hundred years, the Mediterranean tree is considered one of the most enduring plants on earth. The gnarled olive tree can grow up to 20 meters and is extremely undemanding. It flowers in the period from April to June. However, its fruits can only be harvested from the seventh year after planting. But he carries then annually from November to February at least 20 kilograms of fruit. Most of them are processed immediately to olive oil.
The olive tree fruits are still harvested manually in many places. To do this, spread nets under the trees and then carefully beat the black or green olives off the branches. Even more gentle is the collection of the olives by hand. Wherever possible, vibrating machines are also used for harvesting. Four hours later, the fruits are processed. This keeps the healthy ingredients of the olives as well as possible.