Olives: August Produce of the Month

Hi Bulls!

Welcome back to campus! I hope you all are starting off your fall semester healthy and happy. Our produce of the month this month is one that is grown close to home.. Olives! With all the olive farms around the state, there are plenty of places to experience an olive oil tasting! Olives are a member of the Olea genus. This makes them cousins to lilac, forsythia, and jasmine. Olives are a type of drupe fruit. These fruits have a tender outer flesh that surrounds a shell with a seed inside (often called a pit). Other drupes include peaches, plums, cherries, and certain nuts like walnuts, almonds, and pecans! Crete is a Greek island where many olives are grown. Fun fact: One of the oldest olive trees still lives there and is known to be between 2000-3000 years old.

Olives are very high in monounsaturated fat. Research has shown this is the best type of fat for your body. It has been found to help lower cholesterol and decrease risk for heart disease. Eating adequate amounts of fat can also help curb hunger and keep you feeling full longer, which is great for days where you may be in class for a longer period of time (and can help quiet down those hungry stomach whale sounds!). Olives are also an excellent source of Vitamin E. This vitamin is a great antioxidant which helps fight cancer-causing carcinogens. It also helps all of your organs function properly.

Some easy ways to incorporate olives into your diet are making things such as a mixed greens salad with olive-orange vinaigrette, marinated olive and cheese ring as an appetizer, green olive chicken, or simply on their own as an afternoon snack. A tip for buying olives: if in a jar, they should be completely submerged in the brine which means they are still good and tasty. Some easy ways to incorporate olives into your diet are making things such as a mixed greens salad with olive-orange vinaigrette, marinated olive and cheese ring as an appetizer, green olive chicken, or simply on their own as an afternoon snack. A tip for buying olives: if in a jar, they should be completely submerged in the brine which means they are still good and tasty. For more recipes, check out the recipe page on the August Produce of the Month page.

Stay safe, Stay healthy!

-Karina

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