I’ve been having my fair share of delectable olives this week in Crete, so I thought it was only appropriate to share one of my favourite snacking combos: olives and whole-grain crackers.
It’s true that olives are a very fatty fruit – up to 85% of the calories in olives come from fat – but it’s the type of fat that is important. About 3/4 of their fat is in the form of oelic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid, and they also contain a small amount ofalpha-linolenic acid (ALA) an omega-3 fatty acid. They’re also packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients (which vary depending on what kind of olive you’ve got, ripeness / maturation, and post-harvest treatment). On top of all that, olives are good source of iron, dietary fiber, and vitamin E.
With all that good stuff going on, let’s not forget that good fats are still energy dense, so this is a moderation situation, especially as a snack. A good portion size for olives is the same as for nuts – just a handful will do. Pair them with some multigrain crackers or crisp bread and you’ve got one heck of a tasty snack!