Most of you have probably heard of the classic olive oil cake, which is tender and lovely with a prominent olive oil flavor and perhaps a hit of citrus. But did you know that olive oil is an awesome substitute for vegetable oil or melted margarine or butter in many of your baked goods? Using olive oil in place of other fats will drastically cut down the cholesterol and saturated fat content of your treats.
What does this do to the taste, though? Well, that's an important question, as some higher intensity olive oils will definitely interfere with the intended flavor of a baked item. But check this out...
The folks over at Bertolli asked me to try their new extra light tasting olive oil, and I think the idea behind this product is pretty darn nifty.
At first glance, the label can be deceiving. My husband came home from work and saw the bottle sitting on the counter. "Light olive oil? Gross!" He said, thinking that it was actually a low fat/low calorie greek extra virgin olive oil. But a quick peek at the label will assure you that this is the same as any other olive oil, but with a much milder flavor.
So, if you've wanted to try baking with olive oil to reduce cholesterol and saturated fat, but have been put off by the idea of the taste it may add, this is the perfect solution!
I enjoy baking with olive oil - it seems to be less finicky than butter (but don't get me wrong, I love baking with butter!) and I don't think I've ever had a dry cake or muffin made with it.
These citrus olive oil muffins are not too sweet and have a dense, moist texture, making them perfect for breakfast! They contain both orange and lemon zest, but again, the flavor is not overpowering.
So what if you wanted to use olive oil as a substitute for butter, margarine, or shortening in your other desserts? Here's a quick conversion chart you can use to help out.
Butter/Margarine/Shortening Olive Oil
1 teaspoon ¾ teaspoon
1 tablespoon 2 ¼ teaspoons
¼ cup 3 tablespoons
⅓ cup ¼ cup
½ cup ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons
⅔ cup ½ cup
¾ cup ½ cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup ¾ cup
Simple as that! This particular recipe will work well whether or not you use the lighter tasting olive oil, since these were designed to support the stronger flavor. So if you want to give olive oil a try but would rather just use what you already have in the pantry, this would be a good place to start!