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Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Mediterranean wonders

Olive can do wonders to your diet!
Mediterranean wonders (Getty Images)

Whether you prefer them green or black, olives are a healthy fruit to add to your meals. For the Greeks, they represent nobility and peace but more than that they know the wonders it does for your health.

Olive oil helps keep cholesterol levels in check and controls the blood sugar. It is one of the easiest to digest as it is monounsaturated. Drizzle some on top of a vegetable salad or dip a slice of whole-grain bread in some and eat as a snack.

Olive oil can also be added to spicy dishes and acidic food items. Try adding them when making sauces and dressings. Make a mix of olive oil with onions, herbs (oregano, thyme etc) and garlic for pasta sauces. Use olive oil to marinate your meat dishes as this allows better penetration ofthe flavour into the food. For sauteing or frying, it's best to use a combination of extra virgin and regular olive oil. Add flavour to olive oil by infusing the oil with sprigs of dried herbs. It's best stored in a dark cool spot and in a tightly covered container. Keeping olive oil in the refrigerator, can make it turn thick.

Table olives can eaten in the pickled form or stuffed with pimentos or even just plain. While they can be used in anything from baked dishes to martinis, they also make a healthy snack eaten on their own.

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