This Celery Olive Salad is the salad that’ll make you love celery and olives.
As if you need another reason to enjoy celery, one of the crunchiest and most hydrating vegetables. If you didn’t catch on to the sarcasm, I’ll call it out here.
So many of us don’t enjoy celery plain, most people find it a bit of a boring vegetable, sometimes bitter, sometimes slathered in peanut butter with raisins or cream cheese (ants on a log anyone?). But rarely are people celebrating this crunchy vegetable on its own!
Like cucumbers, celery is made up mostly of water and fiber and has a mild flavor and crunchy texture.
The Side Salad You Never Knew You Needed
It’s great to have a handful of side salads that you can whip up anytime you need to boost a meal with more vegetables. From Massaged Kale Salad to Radish Salad, salads are a great way to make vegetables a little more exciting! One of my biggest hacks for making salads more interesting and ones that you’ll actually really enjoy eating is to play up the texture.
Celery has one of the most interesting vegetable textures, it’s extremely crunchy, can be cut, diced, and thinly sliced in so many ways where it feels like you’re eating a different vegetable every time. Celery also has a pretty neutral flavor, one that’s a little sweet and sometimes a little bitter, but always absorbs what flavors you have around it making it a great vegetable to mix with others.
First things first, I’ll be addressing the health benefits of celery (and celery juice for that matter) in great detail coming up in its own article because that deserves some space and nutrition myth busting. In the meantime, do you know much about the health benefits or nutrition behind olives?
What Are The Health Benefits of Olives?
Olives are used in so many cultures and regions of the world and for good reason! Olives taste delicious, they add a salty bite to any meal, and not to mention add some healthy monounsaturated fats.
But wait, did you know that olives are actually a fruit? Yes! Just like avocados are technically a fruit, yet we consider both of these whole foods a healthy fat because they’re generally made up of more healthy fats than carbohydrates — how we typically define fruit.
Olives are made up of around 12% fat and that fat is mostly oleic acid. The remaining makeup of olives is a small percentage of carbohydrate and fiber. Oleic acid is a type of monounsaturated fat which makes up about 74% of the fat found in olives.
This type of monounsaturated fat is the main component of olive oil and we know the many health benefits of olive oil including reducing inflammation, reducing heart disease, helping our body absorb fat-soluble nutrients, and may even help reduce cancer. (1)(2)(3)
Olives do contain fiber, but the fiber star in this dish is celery. Celery contains about 1g of fiber per stalk so eating a salad like this where each serving contains roughly 2-4 stalks is a great way to boost fiber as a side dish (that’s about 4g from the celery alone).
Olives contain vitamin E, iron, copper, calcium, and sodium. Celery, on the other hand, contains vitamin K, potassium, sodium, molybdenum, B vitamins, vitamin C, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium.
In addition to an array of vitamins and minerals, both olives and celery have additional plant compounds that range in health benefits. For example, olives contain tyrosol which may help prevent heart disease, quercetin which helps lower blood pressure, and oleuropein which is an antioxidant mostly found in unripe olives!
Celery contains a host of phytonutrients which have been shown in some animal studies to help reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of oxidative damage, and potentially protect the gut lining. These compounds in celery are called phenolic acids, flavones, flavonols, phytosterols, and furanocoumarins. (4)