When you sprinkle olives in your meals, probiotics and healthy fats can be added.
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Many of us love or hate olives. But when we look at its nutritional value, those of us who are indifferent may consider adding this fruit to our regular diet.
Olives are full of heart-healthy fats, much like the fat in avocados, and they’re a great source of vitamin E. Not to mention, they’re a salty supplement that compliments a variety of different recipes and is pretty easy to find at your local grocery store .
Olives can also be a great source of probiotics that help improve gut health. “Olives are fermented foods that contain lactobacillus, a friendly bacterium,” says Mia Syn, RDN of Nutrition By Mia. “Consuming probiotics can support a healthy gut, and in turn aid digestion, immune health, and more.”
However, be aware that if you plan to cook olives in a recipe, you will lose these probiotic benefits. “Most probiotics are heat sensitive, so cooking them over high heat will likely kill them,” says Syn. If you can, eat them raw or try adding them after cooking.
We asked a registered dietitian for information on healthy recipes that use olives to improve nutritional benefits and we promise you will not be disappointed. Keep scrolling to find six ways you can turn your olive jar into a well-healthy and delicious meal.
This colorful salad is filled with vegetables and can be eaten as a side or main course.
If you think salads are boring, give this recipe a try. “It’s packed with nutrient-rich products like romaine, red onions, peppers, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers,” says Syn. “All of these vegetables are high in fiber, which is important for digestive health. The addition of olive oil and olives helps to provide heart-healthy fats that are sure to keep you full longer.
2. Instant Pot Chicken Hunter
Filled with bold, rich flavors, this chicken dish is a simple recipe for a quick weekday dinner.
This dish proves that loaded taste doesn’t have to mean extra calories. “The use of heart-healthy olives, olive oil, and fresh spices adds great flavor,” says Syn. And since the main ingredients of the dish are protein-rich chicken and fresh produce filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, this dish will have you until your next Keep your meal full.
3. Cuban-inspired bowl of black beans and mangoes
To add even more protein to this Caribbean-inspired bowl, consider adding chicken breast, shrimp, or ground turkey.
Vegetarian dishes don’t have to be boring. That bowl starts with a quinoa and black bean base that helps meet recommended whole grains and fiber intakes for the day, Syn says. “Incorporating green olives adds good fats to this recipe that help out with that Include fat-soluble vitamins A, D, K and E that are found in green peppers and Spanish onions, “she says.
4. Sun Dried Tomatoes and Kalamata Olive Hummus
Olives, basil and sun-dried tomatoes are the stars of this hearty dip.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to hummus. “Chickpeas provide filler fiber and vegetable protein,” says Syn, “and using tahini with olive oil and kalamata olives adds vegetable fat.” To complete this dish, pair it with a vegetable garnish for dipping or use as a spread on a low-calorie sandwich.
5. Moroccan-inspired chicken tagine
This Moroccan dish is like a chicken stew filled with spices, vegetables and garlic.
Don’t let the name intimidate you – this dish isn’t as complicated as it might seem at first glance. It’s full of spices and herbs, which is a great way to add significant flavor for very few calories. And it’s made from a lean source of protein with good fats like olives and olive oil that will keep your tummy happy. To make this a full meal, consider pairing it with a side dish of roasted vegetables or a whole grain like quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat pasta.
6. Middle Eastern-inspired Spiced Brisket
Adding this main course to any dinner is sure to impress your guests.
This braised brisket recipe is one of those slow dump-and-go recipes that makes life a lot easier on a busy weekday. Thanks to all the spices that are used to season the meat, you get a flavourful dish with no extra calories. Not to mention, you are getting 41 grams of protein per serving. To make this dish easier, consider swapping the brisket for chicken, seafood, or even tofu.
7. Smashed garlic pizza with olives, onions and oregano parm
This homemade pizza is so full of flavor that you won’t even notice that it doesn’t contain any cheese.
Sherry Castellano / LIVESTRONG.com
Pizza can get a bad rap for being unhealthy, but there are a few different ways you can whip up a cake that fits your healthy eating goals. This cheeseless tart is packed with the flavor of vegetables like salty olives, savory onions, and toasted creamy garlic. And if you really feel like you’re missing the cheesy taste, a pinch of nutritional yeast will do while you add in protein and B vitamins.
8. The Greco-Brecko Mediterranean toast with hummus and olives
Move over PB&J, this Mediterranean-inspired toast makes toast healthy and filling.
Keith Getter / Getty Images
Serving this toast recipe is super easy, although it feels more elegant than traditional bread and butter. “With whole-grain bread as a base, you get fiber and B vitamins, which are important for energy production,” says Syn. The combination with hummus, olives and rocket provides good fats, vitamins and minerals.