Stir Them Into Soups, Stews And Sauces
Sun-dried tomatoes, when added in soups, stews and sauces just before serving, add a rich colour to the dish. Apart from this, they also add a nice piquant aroma to any dish they are added in. Pair them with black pepper and you’re done for the day.
Use Them In Place Of Tomatoes
If you are tired of having tomatoes and wish to experiment with something same yet with a different texture, replace it with sun-dried tomatoes. You can have them in sandwiches, pasta, pizzas or any other dish of your choice.
Chop And Add To Salad
Sun-dried tomatoes in the salad are a perfect addition. You can add them in tuna and chicken salad to increase the nutritional value of your meal. Alternatively, slice and serve them in pasta salads.
So, what are you waiting for? Make the best of these tangy delights and add them to your diet more often.
#inolivia #mediterraneanlife #healthyfood
Essentially a part of the Mediterranean cuisine, hummus comes as a healthy alternative to dips and spreads loaded with saturated fats.
Holly hummus! Made from crushed chickpeas blended with lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, garlic, and salt, this spread is an excellent source of vitamins B6 and C, protein and fibre. It promotes weight loss as the fibre content in hummus keeps you full for longer and curbs your calorie intake. According to recent research, dietary fibre may reduce the risk of colorectal cancers as it is rich in folate (a type of vitamin B). Moreover, the olive oil used in hummus provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Essentially a part of the Mediterranean cuisine, hummus comes as a healthy alternative to dips and spreads loaded with saturated fats. It comes with different herbs and flavours. Here is how you can include hummus in your meals to make them more yummy and health-friendly.
To make your soup more healthy and creamy, stir in a few tablespoons of your favourite flavour of hummus.
Alternative For Mayonnaise and Sour Cream
Use hummus as a spread over your sandwich or burger, instead of using mayonnaise or sour cream. It is a more nutritious and tastier substitute. Take a slice of toasted whole-grain rye bread and top it with hummus and veggies your choice.
You can use it with your salads to add a dash of interesting colours. Hummus comes in varied flavours and hues. For example, beet hummus is red while the parsley-based version is green. Even a dollop of flavoured hummus will make your salad more lip-smacking.
Tomato Filling And Topping
Hummus makes a great topping for sliced tomatoes. Take cherry tomatoes, cut off the tops, scoop out the seeds and then fill each one with hummus by using a piping bag. You can also take bigger tomatoes, fill them with hummus to make a scrumptious appetizer.
Hummus could lend a unique taste to your pasta sauce. Combine two parts hummus with one part vegetable stock. Add roasted red peppers, olives, or fresh tomatoes for a fresh Mediterranean twist.
It’s the most significant meal of the the day and thousands of tourists — especially from the U.S., will be trying a traditional Greek breakfast this summer — but how does it measure up against its U.S. counterpart, greekreporter.com notes in the following recent article:
These days we are all much more health conscious, so probably the quintessentially all-American staples of waffles, bacon, hash browns, fries and eggs done one of a dozen ways, is now something of a guilty pleasure.
In Greece, depending on the region, the traditional breakfast still conforms to the healthy Mediterranean diet. Olives and olive oil have their role, as do fresh tomatoes and traditional cheeses and yoghurts. Some regions also have traditional soups for breakfast. And, like its American version, the Greek breakfast often incudes eggs.
Greeks also love fresh bread and in all its main towns and cities, people still purchase fresh bagel-like koulouri from street sellers.
On the sweet side, Greeks will often have local honey or tahini plus fruit. For those on the go there is also Greece’s vast array of pies filled with cheese, spinach and so on.
Added to all of the above, of course, is the ubiquitous Greek coffee, a treat which is said to carry its own health benefits.
While what is on offer in hotels across the mainland and Greek islands is perhaps not what many Greeks eat every morning, it still reflects the cuisine’s Mediterranean roots.
And while frozen yoghurt and honey might be something of a tourist attraction, it still sounds more healthy than waffles with syrup.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to choice — so, which do you prefer?
Eisensalze statt Sonnenreife
Schwarze Oliven gelten als reif, aromatisch und mild. Aber Vorsicht: In den meisten Fällen ist die Farbe künstlich. Hier erfahren Sie, wie Sie zuverlässig eingefärbte schwarze Oliven erkennen.
Schwarze Oliven gelten als kulinarische Verkörperung der typischen, mediterranen Ruhe. Denn Oliven bekommen die dunkle Farbe nur, wenn Sie in den warmen Sonnenstrahlen langsam reifen. Erst sind die Steinfrüchte grün, später violett und schließlich, wenn sie vollkommen sonnenverwöhnt sind, schwarz. Denn tatsächlich ist die Farbe der Oliven nur der Indikator des Reifegrades, die Sorte der Pflanze spielt hierbei keine Rolle. Jede schwarze Olive war einst grün – und mit genügend Zeit verdunkelt sich auch jede grüne Olive am Baum. Ein langsames, unhektisches und entspanntes Reifen, das Sie schmecken: Sind die grünen Oliven noch intensiv, leicht bitter und manchmal etwas scharf, schmecken ihre dunkleren Pendants deutlich milder und komplexer. Gleichzeitig haben schwarze Oliven eine zartere Konsistenz. Kein Wunder also, dass schwarze Oliven als qualitativ hochwertiger gelten.
In Agia Paraskevi, the local Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production will be hosting the olive oil cooking event, combining tradition and modern cooking trends. Olive oil, whole olives and olive paste will have a central role in the recipes, while the dishes will be presented in traditional clay utensils. The event will be accompanied by speeches regarding the pottery art of Lesvos.
Upgrade classic deviled eggs with olives, which also give the dish a health boost: they’re loaded with vitamin E and you get a lot of good, healthy fats and great flavor.
12 large eggs | 3 tablespoons crème fraîche, plus more if needed | 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard | 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper | 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil | Juice of 1⁄2 lemon | 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves | Coarse sea salt to taste | Chopped Halkidiki olives (pitted) to taste | Paprika to taste
2. Add the eggs and cook for 8 minutes. Drain the eggs and transfer to the ice water. When cool, peel and cut each egg in half lengthwise. Transfer the yolks to the bowl of a food processor; refrigerate the whites.
3. Add the crème fraîche, mustard, cayenne, olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, and a pinch of salt to the food processor. Process until smooth, scraping the bowl occasionally. The mixture should be soft enough to pipe through a piping bag, but not too loose. If it’s stiff, pulse in another tablespoon of crème fraîche.
4. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag or resealable plastic bag with a hole snipped in one corner.
5. Arrange the egg whites cut-side up in a single layer on a serving platter. Pipe the yolk mixture into the egg white cavities.
6. Top each with chopped Halkidiki olives.
7. Sprinkle with paprika and serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
This appetizer includes all the classic Greek ingredients, and comes together quickly.
- 1 package (6 ounce) feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon black olives, drained and chopped
- In a food processor, place the feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and oregano. Using the pulse setting, blend the mixture until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Blend in the olives by hand or with a spoon.
- Refrigerate until serving.
by THE WEEKEND COOK with Maggie Cooper
OLIVES are very much an acquired taste, one that, thankfully, I learned to enjoy quite a few years ago. We grow terrific olives here in Australia. Our country has so many different climates in so many areas that there are few crops we cannot manage here once good farming practices are applied.
I often wonder how we first discovered olives were edible; the raw fruit is not thanks to a bitter compound called oleuropein. Depending on the age and variety of the fruit it can be leached out by splitting the olives and soaking them in water – changed daily – for a length of time (up to a month). Other varieties need to be cured by one of several methods using salt, brine or lye. So it’s quite a process to convert them to the tasty nibble we enjoy with drinks, on pizzas or as an addition to many Mediterranean recipes. I like to buy a good brand of Aussie olive and then marinate them myself. They are delicious served warmed with pre-dinner drinks. Just about any of your favourite herbs and spices can be used. My personal choices are thyme, rosemary, garlic, nigella (black cumin) seeds and a little dried chilli. Feel free to experiment: oregano, sage, marjoram, regular cumin seeds, mustard seeds, mandarin peel, and peppercorns are alternatives.
INGREDIENTS: 2 cups cured mixed olives
1/4 cup cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
zest of a small lemon
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tsp fennel or nigella (black cumin) seeds (optional)
1 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
METHOD: Drain brine from olives and discard.
In a small saucepan, combine oil, lemon zest, garlic and herbs, reserving one sprig of rosemary for garnish.
Add fennel or nigella seeds and chilli flakes if using.
Heat oil over a medium heat until garlic just starts to colour; don’t allow it to brown as it will become bitter.
Remove from heat and stir in the olives.
Cover and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes, preferably overnight.
Reheat gently before serving.
Contact Maggie at email@example.com
Promoting diversity and variety of goods in the markets!
Discount markets is something but not everything….
European Table Olives: Showcasing Superior Quality And Taste
The campaign is a three-year promotional programme co-funded by the European Union, which aims to increase the awareness and demand for European table olives of both professionals and consumers as well as to develop exports in the target markets of USA and Canada.
The ‘OLIVE YOU, European Table Olives’ campaign was launched at the Summer Fancy Food Show, the largest food and beverage trade show in North America, held this year in New York on June 25-27, with more than 40,500 registered participants.
Under the umbrella of the Olive You campaign, PEMETE and seven of its member companies participated in this important international food show, highlighting the superior quality and high standards of European table olives.
Over 2,000 distributors and HoReCa sectors visited the ‘OLIVE YOU, European Table Olives’ booths and were presented with European Table Olives varieties and informed about their superior quality and flavours. They also had the opportunity to taste this healthy product.
Following the event, the three-year ‘OLIVE YOU, European Table Olives’ campaign in the US and Canada will approach journalists, chefs, foodies, retailers and consumers of all ages, through promotional activities, events, sampling, and publicity, in order to familiarise the public with this natural and delicious food product.
PEMETE is a professional association, founded in 1970, that promotes the interests of table olive exporters. The 46 member-companies of PEMETE represent more than 90% of Greece’s exports of table olives to more than 100 countries.
The European Union has teamed up with Spanish Inter-Professional Table Olive Organization, INTERACEITUNA, and Michelin-starred chef José Andrés to launch an olives campaign directed at U.S. consumers. The goal of the campaign—“A tasty message from Europe. Have an Olive Day”—is to raise awareness of the versatility, flavor, nutrition, and rich history of olive production in Europe, especially in Spain, the world leader in production and exports of table olives.
The campaign will run through 2019 and will seek to educate U.S. consumers on the different variations of European olives and their culinary uses. It will focus on U.S. regions with high olive consumption, including New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia.
Pioppi, Italy is known as the world’s healthiest village because many of its residents live past the age of 100. What are the factors responsible for their remarkable longevity? A leading doctor in Britain revealed their secrets.
The villagers have a diet of whole natural foods comprised of things that are in season and available according to the local climate.
Imagine living in a community where the average man lives to be 89 and many reach the 100-year mark. Picture what it would be like to enjoy one’s golden years without dementia or type 2 diabetes, maladies that are an integral part of aging in the rest of the world. After hearing about Pioppi, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra became fascinated with discovering what diet kept the residents so healthy and what lessons could be learned from them.
After studying the village, Malhotra developed a formula for optimal health. For starters, the Pioppians have a very low sugar intake, eating it only once per week. It is this dietary practice that the doctor considers essential for their good health. He contends that western society’s fear of fat is to blame for the high consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Malhotra attributes these foods as the cause of the widespread incidence of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Pioppi has received notoriety because it’s known as the home of the Mediterranean diet. As the villagers have no supermarket, their diet consists largely of vegetables, olive oil and fish. They also eat cheese, but other dairy products aren’t available. Pasta and bread are consumed in small quantities. In addition to sugar, their diet is low in meat and refined carbohydrates.
Other lifestyle practices aside from a healthful diet play a role. The villagers get seven hours of sleep per night and experience freedom from much stress. Although it isn’t intentional, intermittent fasting is a natural part of their lives. They don’t engage in exercise per se, but they’re very active.
Malhotra is the coauthor of a new book, The Pioppi Diet: A 21-Day Lifestyle Plan. Below are his top recommendations for vibrant health and longevity based on the Pioppians:
• Don’t fear fat; sugar and refined carbs are the enemies.
• Keep moving. Exercise for health, not weight loss (and walking is best).
• Extra virgin olive oil is medicine, as is a small handful of nuts – eat both, every day.
• Get seven hours of sleep a night.
• Stop counting calories because not all are created equal.
• Eat 10 eggs a week. They’re satiating and full of protein.
• Have two portions of vegetables in at least two meals a day.
• Fast once a week for 24 hours. Have dinner, then don’t have breakfast or lunch the next day.
While Malhotra is an allopathic doctor, his advisories are in line with tenets of naturopathic medicine. Olive Oil Times sought out the perspective of Kathy Gruver, natural health author, speaker and practitioner. “I think there are several points to this that we can all adopt. The villagers have a diet of whole natural foods comprised of things that are in season and available according to the local climate,” she said.
“This is unlike the western diet that involves a huge amount of processed and packaged foods. It’s not only laden with sugar but also contains fake and unhealthful components such as high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial sweeteners, additives, preservatives and fast food. Our bodies weren’t made to process all this fake stuff. It doesn’t know what to do with it,” Gruver added.
“Furthermore, he mentions though they don’t ‘exercise,’ they are very active. We put so much emphasis on workouts, which can be a big turn-off to people. They think it means that they have to go to the gym or run on a treadmill. But it’s about moving your body in a way that works for you.”
“I laud the doctor’s suggestions on sleep, stress and intermittent fasting as well. All of these things, clearly, are combining to promote optimal health and a longer life.”
VILLAGERS IN NORTHERN CRETE HAVE LOW RATES OF HEART DISEASE DESPITE FATTY DIET
People living in isolated Greek mountains villages live long and healthy lives thanks to a unique gene that protects them against heart disease, recent research has found.
Scientists studied the villagers in an area of northern Crete because they had low cases of heart disease despite eating lots of animal fats.
The study, for the first time made a genetic portrait of the population of of Zoniana and Anogia by sequencing the entire genome of 250 individuals.
They found a new genetic variant, common among villagers, which appears to protect the heart by lowering levels of ‘bad’ fats and cholesterol.
Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute found that the variant is 40 times more common in this small Greek population than in other European populations.
Lead author Professor Eleftheria Zeggini said: ‘Genetic studies like this can help us begin to understand why this is.’
Cooking with this adored Mediterranean fruit
It’s difficult to describe the tastes and flavors of foods. Olives are an especially hard case. Nothing tastes remotely like them, so it’s impossible to compare them to any other food.
Novelist Lawrence Durrell did the best job of evoking them when he wrote, “The whole Mediterranean, the sculpture, the palms, the gold beads, the bearded heroes . . . all of it seems to rise in the sour, pungent smell of these black olives between the teeth. A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water.”
Cultivation of the olive is certainly ancient. The gnarly trees, their green-and-silver leaves trembling in any breeze, are native to the Mediterranean. In Israel, there’s evidence of olive oil production in 6000 BC, and on the Greek island of Naxos, archeologists have discovered remains of olive oil in a jug dating to 4,000 BC.
Indeed, the olive tree was so vital to the Greeks that they embedded it in their myth of Athena. When she struck the Acropolis with her spear, the first olive tree sprang forth. This magic underwhelmed the witnesses, who grumbled that the sea-god Poseidon would have given them a better gift. But after Athena taught them how to cultivate the tree and process its products for food, light and timber, they realized its many virtues and named their city Athens in her honor.
Greece remains a major grower, producing 11 percent of the world’s olives and consuming 23 liters of olive oil per person per year. (Americans consume about one liter.)