Monday, August 3, 2009

Just A Bit O Information

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.
I love olives, and eat many of them, so when I found this out I had to share with you.
Did you know that the monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and polyphenols found in olives help provide anti-inflammatory protection and reduce the severity of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and osteoarthritis? Olive oil's monounsaturated fats have also been found to lower blood pressure and help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, while its antioxidants and polyphenols help balance cholesterol levels, boost the immune system and protect against some cancers. Vitamin E is the body's primary fat-soluble antioxidant that helps protect cells from the ravages of free radical activity. The one caution with eating olives is that they are usually high in salt content. If salt is problematic for you, rinse them off under cold running water to remove some of the salt before enjoying them.
Recipe Olive Tapenade
Tapenade is a rich olive spread popular in the Mediterranean. It's quite easy to make at home. Prep Time: 10 minutes
Ingredients: 20 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped 1 Tbsp rinsed, drained, and chopped capers 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 2 tsp olive oil 1/2 tsp anchovy paste (optional) Fresh cracked black pepper Preparation:Combine Kalamata olives, capers, lemon juice, olive oil, anchovy paste, and pepper.
Mix well. Refrigerate and use within two weeks. Use as a spread for sandwiches like panini and muffaletta or as a condiment. Very Good on Fish Dishes too.
Yield: about 1 cup

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