Whether you’re making a delicious pasta dish, roasting vegetables in the oven or creating a homemade marinade or salad dressing, you probably reach for a bottle of olive oil. It’s a standard pantry item in every kitchen these days, and the availability of high-quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) can impart even more flavor in your food.
But did you know that olive oil can be just as versatile when it comes to baking? In fact, olive oil can also boost the overall taste of your baked goods and put a fresh, flavorful twist on traditional recipes. Learn more about how to use olive oil in baking with these tips and tricks.
Tip #1: Substitute Olive Oil for Butter
Extra virgin olive oil is a suitable substitute for butter in many baking recipes. If you don ‘t have any butter on hand, or if you just want to experiment with new flavors, olive oil is a great alternative ingredient to consider.
Here’s how to do it: When switching out butter for olive oil, you’ll need to use a ratio of three parts EVOO to four parts butter – in other words, 75% of the butter recommended for the recipe. For example, if a recipe calls for four tablespoons of butter, you could replace that with three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil instead. You can also substitute olive oil for vegetable oil with a 1:1 ratio.
Tip #2: Make Recipes Healthier
Here’s another fun fact about olive oil in baking: it can actually make your recipes healthier. Butter is high in calories and saturated fat, so it’s not great for your health – especially if you like to bake often. Using plant oils such as olive oil is highly preferable for the potential health benefits since this is a less processed ingredient.
Extra virgin olive oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also high in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that can help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. Olives contain natural disease-fighting polyphenols and antioxidant vitamin E.
The health benefits of olive oil make it a great addition to your baking repertoire. If you love baked goods but want to make sure you’re making smart, healthy choices, consider using olive oil in place of butter when possible. To make sure you’re getting the best quality olive oil, choose a cold-pressed EVOO. Because heat is not used to extract the oil, cold pressing helps to preserve the natural antioxidants from the olives.
Tip #3: Try Infused Olive Oils
One simple yet satisfying way to put your own personal spin on a baking recipe is to use infused olive oils. You can use these oils the same way you would classic olive oil, but the added flavors can really enhance the final result. Consider introducing a bright, fresh citrus note with orange or lemon infused olive oil, or complement sweet baked goods with subtle herbal notes from basil or rosemary infused olive oil.
Tip #4: Embrace Olive Oil Baking Recipes
You don’t necessarily have to swap olive oil in for butter or vegetable oil when baking. A simple Google search will turn up hundreds of results for yummy olive oil baked goods, including cakes, cookies, and brownies.