For decades now, we've been trying to combat the false concept that fats are making us fat. Since the 1980s, companies and individuals have been vilanizing fat as the culprit behind disease and weight gain. As a result, we've been avoiding some really nutritious foods that are staples in some of the healthiest diets in the world...like nuts AND OLIVES!
About 74% of the fat in olives is oleic acid, which is linked to decreased inflammation and a reduced risk of heart disease and most of the carbs in olives consist of fiber, which we all know is the most important food group for our gut! These are just a few of the reasons they're a common food in the Mediterranean diet and several of the Blue Zone regions.
Personally, olives have been one of my favorite foods since I was a kid at my grandma's holiday dinner table carefully placing black olives on every finger with my cousins before eating them one by one.
Nic on the other hand thought he hated olives..until about 2 months ago when he decided to give them a try again and discovered that his taste buds had changed. He's now a fan, which means he can benefits from the high vitamin E and antioxidant levels, as well as the iron, we get from adding these little flavor and healthy fat bombs to our meals.
With that in mind, Nic and I teamed up with our favorite olive company, Sicilian Village, to bring you 3 amazing and healthy new recipes that feature this unique fruit.
If you're still worried about the fat in olives, remember two things: 1. You get considerably less fat if you eat whole olives vs olive oil and 2. Sicilian Village offers the most perfect portion size packets of their Sicilian-marinated olives that are naturally cured in salt brine and marinated in a family recipe. They're literally bursting with complex and delicious flavors that taste SO much better than most store bought olives that are cured using chemicals to rush the process. While I could eat their large bags in one sitting if I let myself, I save those for cooking up recipes like the ones we're sharing below and I carry the little bags with me for road trips, camping, and on the go snacks that keep me full thanks to fiber and healthy fats.
Here are 3 recipes to get you started introducing olives in your meals.
Note: While you can duplicate these recipes with other olive brands, the flavor won't be quite the same because of the unique marinade flavor Sicilian Village olives bring to these dishes. Nic and I carefully selected our ingredients to compliment the amazing flavors already in our olives of choice.
Sicilian Village Rigatoni
This pasta dish is seriously restaurant quality that you can whip up in your home kitchen in less than 20 minutes. We both rate it a 10 out of 10 and we are our harshest critics. This recipe serves 2.
3 cups of rigatoni (or pasta noodles of your choice)
3 TBSPs of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1.7 oz bag of Sicilian Village Marinated Sicilian Green and Black Olives, sliced
1 TBSP capers
1 TBSP Sun-dried Tomatoes
small handful of arugula
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp of oregano
Pink Himalayan sea salt and black pepper to taste
In a large sauce pan, cook rigatoni to package instructions.