If you are a pizza lover or someone who enjoys a glass of martini after a hard working day, you might recognize the shiny, deep purple olives—known as Kalamata olives—garnishing the dishes. The nutty-tasted fruits—yes, olives are fruits—can spoil your desires in the culinary as well as offer you numerous health benefits you might have never thought of before. Find out here!
What are Kalamata Olives?
Kalamata olives got their name from a small town in Peloponnese, Greece—Kalamata—where they were first found thousands of years ago. The residents there have been growing the cherry-sized fruits on the kalamon olive trees.
The fruits are generally cultivated in the Mediterranean territory now. Even though the real color of the fruit is dark purple, people usually mistook Kalamata olives with black olives. Kalamata olives are cured with salt or brine (salt water solution) for over a year before finally being canned or jarred in olive oil.
In spite of being rich in sodium—as the effect of the curing process, Kalamata olives contain hearty monounsaturated fats and important types of antioxidants. If you keep the fruits at room temperature, they will last in unlimited time.
Take the “Treasure” from Kalamata Olives
Like any other types of olives, Kalamata olives are not only rich in flavors, but also in nutrition. That is why the fruits deserve to be called the “treasure” from Mediterranean land. The following are the hearty content of every 100g of Kalamata olives:
- Calories: 239
- Fat: 22.7g
- Protein: 2g
- Carbohydrate: 1g
Speaking of which, the content of calories and carbs in Kalamata olives are relatively moderate. There is also a little bit of protein and fiber (approximately 1g in a serving of 10 olives). Not to mention ample amounts of vitamin A, C, E, K, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Plus, the fruit also contains 3g of healthy fats in every four tablespoons of olives.
Is Your Intake of Kalamata Olives Calories Healthy Enough?
Kalamata olives calories are considered moderate, yes, but you still need to watch the intake—especially, when you are trying to lose some weight. Eating too many Kalamata olives will gain your risks of getting obesity and type 2 diabetes.
If it is rather hard for you to imagine how risky Kalamata olives are to your health, then consider these numbers:
There are 233 calories in 100g of Kalamata olives,
and 115 calories in 100g of the green ones.
So, do you still want to munch on the Greek black olives in an excessive amount at night? Despite its delicious taste, think twice and watch your intake before it is too late.
The Health Benefits of Kalamata Olives
There are a lot of Kalamata olives benefits to your health, such as:
- Preventing chronic diseases like heart attacks, cancers, and stroke
- Relieving inflammation
- Reducing your risks of Alzheimer’s disease
- Improving your heart health
- Stabilizing your blood pressure
The balanced levels of minerals, vitamins and good fats can improve your condition and prevent you from hypertension which will finally save you from coronary heart disease. If you enjoy Kalamata olives in normal portion, you will be helped to prevent type 2 diabetes.
Its phenolic compounds are antioxidants that can reduce stress and inflammation in your body. Nevertheless, due to the fruit’s high Sodium level, you have to watch your intake.
Kalamata Olives vs. Black Olives: Are They Significantly Different?
As mentioned above, Kalamata olives are often mistaken with black olives. The following are why they are different.
- Kalamatas are one of the black olive varieties, but not every black olive exists of Kalamatas.
- In size, Kalamata olives are usually bigger than black olives. Meanwhile, their tastes are richer and saltier.
- When it comes to tastes, as mentioned above, black olives are usually saltier than the Kalamata ones.
- Kalamata olives are deep (dark) purple even though people often mistook between Kalamata and black olives.
- Kalamata olives are higher in sodium, so if you have hypertension, you’d better be careful.
Variety of Foods You Can Use Kalamata Olives On
There is a large variety of foods that involve Kalamata olives. Most people prefer to eat Kalamata olives whole, but you may use them as an element of some tasty salads, garnish/topping on your favorite pizza, or soft tapenade. You can also delicious ingredients like feta cheese in the deep purple olive. Try other meals with Kalamata olives as listed below:
Braised chicken thighs a la Greece
To make this beautiful dish, the ingredients you need are garlic, Kalamata olives, onions, herbs, white wine (optional), spices, and certainly chicken thighs.
Marinated olives and cheese
It might sound odd to some, but in countries within the Mediterranean territory, it is common—and it surprisingly tastes delicious! You only have to cover your favorite cheese and Kalamata olives in a mixed dressing of garlic, rosemary, pepper, and other kinds of herb.
Roasted chicken in mushroom cream and Kalamata olive dressing
Another luxurious, scrumptious chicken recipe that involves ingredients like fresh chicken broth, heavy cream, mushrooms, and garlic.
All about Kalamata Olive Oil
It is not a secret anymore that olive oil is a premium, healthy, and expensive product. That is because the high quality produces it is made of and the rich nutrition that makes it precious. Not to mention that the hearty oil had been a great culinary element for humans since more or less 8,000 years ago.
The taste of Kalamata olive oil tends to last for an extended period if kept in the best condition. To prevent the oil from spoiling, it is best to keep tabs on the oil stock. You might also have to keep the oil in dark-glassed bottles and store it at room temperature.
Regarding flavor, Kalamata oil is significantly different from any other types of olive oil as it tastes nuttier and fruitier. Furthermore, just like wine, the older it gets, the better it tastes. The longer properly kept, it reduces its acidity which will give your taste bud a peppery sensation.
To conclude everything up, Kalamata olives and oil are “treasure” then contribute well in the culinary world—whether you want to use it for marinating, garnishing, cooking, dressing, you name it. Cheers, and enjoy your olives!