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Healthy Eats and Repeat

Highlighting Food, Recipes, and Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle
Frogs on a Log - SNAP
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As I write this post today, the sun finally shines after days of gray skies. It is nice to let the light in for as long as it lasts.

I am excited that Healthy Eats and Repeat is still going and highlights information about foods and shares recipes for you to try. While I cannot tell you the last time I ate one, let's talk olives this month.


The color of olives depends on its variety, ripeness, and preparation method. Green olives are unripe, while naturally black olives are fully ripened. Black olives and slight color variations are often prepared so they oxidize, or turn dark. Green olives may be put through some type of cure (oil-cure, water-cure, brine- or salt-cure, dry-cure, or lye-treatment) and may or may not be fermented as well. These curing treatments produce the different varieties of olives, like Kalamata- or Spanish-style olives.

With dark olives, they are exposed occasionally to air for a set amount of time during curing to gain a dark color. Green olives are also cured, but not exposed to air, to retain their green color. Curing works to remove the compound, oleuropin, present in olive skin, which gives fresh olives a very sharp or bitter flavor.


While olives are fruits botanically, most people do not eat olives in large quantities the way Americans might eat an apple or a bunch of grapes. Olives are usually accents to salads, pizza, appetizers, or casseroles, etc., and are eaten just a few at a time.

With that in mind, 2 tablespoons of sliced black olives contains around 25 calories, 3g fat, 1g carbohydrates, and contains small amounts of some vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and some B vitamins. As most olives are prepared with salt, they contain sodium. Olives contain no notable protein or fiber for those couple of tablespoons.

  • Buy: Olives are available in cans and jars most often, with a variety of green and black olive styles and flavors. Look for what your recipe recommends, but certainly feel free to substitute for what is at your store and in your budget. Just know the flavor profiles are different for each.

  • Price: Brands will vary in price, as will different varieties of olives. If you do not need a fancy olive, go for something more basic and less expensive.
  • Store: Store cans and jars in a dark, dry place until ready to use. Once open, store in the refrigerator in the jar or canning liquid. If you notice off smells or mold, toss out the olives.
  • Prepare: Jars and cans of sliced and pitted olives typically can be opened, drained, and used straight in a recipe. If your olives still have pits, be sure to take those out first. See some tips below for pitting olives.

Pitting Olives

  • With soft olives, you can try pinching one end and pushing the pit out the other end.
  • Try pushing with the flat end of a knife to move the olive.
  • Cut the olive in half around the pit and carefully pop out the pit.
  • Eat: Enjoy olives in a number of different salads, pasta dishes, pizzas, appetizers, casseroles, and more. I have a Mediterranean-inspired lentil salad with olives that is tasty!


The recipes below are thanks to our EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program) staff.

Black Olive Tapenade (Serves 8)

Try this quick appetizer to fill up on veggies and not calories. With both olives and capers, note this recipe is high in sodium.

1 10-oz can black olives, drained (or combination of smaller cans)
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp drained capers
2-3 fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium cucumber
1 small tomato, such as Roma

1. Place all ingredients – except cucumber and tomato – in a food processor, pulse and stop and scrape down sides as needed. Blend for about 1-2 minutes until combined.
2. Wash cucumber and tomato. Cut cucumber into 1/4-inch slices. Roughly chop tomato into small pieces.
3. Top cucumber slices with tapenade, and garnish with a piece of tomato.
Nutrition analysis per serving: 80 calories, 7g fat, 310mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g protein

Frogs on a Log (Serves 4)

Remember "ants on a log" with celery and raisins? Try "frogs on a log" for a fun, new twist with celery.

4 stalks of celery
4 Tbsp low-fat plain cream cheese
1/2 cup sliced green olives (pimento-stuffed)

1. Wash celery sticks and trim off ends. Fill each stalk with cream cheese. Top with sliced green, pimento-stuffed olives, and serve.

Nutrition analysis per serving: 40 calories, 3g fat, 105mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g protein

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