Easy Olive Oil Substitutions Promote Better Health


March 2018

With its promise of good taste, versatility and better health, olive oil should be a staple in every kitchen. Although it is commonly enjoyed raw as a dressing, dip or topping, olive oil has many more uses in the kitchen and can easily swap out butter, margarine and a variety of cooking oils to achieve great flavor and a host of wellness benefits.

Olive oil is a sensible choice for recipes that call for deep frying, pan frying, stir frying, sautéing, grilling, basting or baking. And making the switch to olive oil in everyday cuisine is simple. Read on to learn not only how olive oil can be incorporated into everyday preparations for better heart health, but how it can be stored and applied for the best results.

For those seeking a healthy cooking fat, but concerned with calories or saturated fats, olive oil makes an excellent cooking spray. Simply fill a spray bottle with olive oil to help control the amount used. Cooks may even save some money by avoiding expensive cooking sprays.

Use olive oil in favorite recipes in place of butter, margarine or vegetable oil to enhance the health benefits while delivering the same great taste and moist, tender results. The Vitamin E in olive oil helps keep cakes fresh longer than cakes made with alternative fats.

Basting roasted or grilled meats and vegetables with olive oil adds flavor and healthy fats while sealing in moisture during browning. For added complexity, consider infusing the olive oil with complementary herbs or spices; it’s an easy way to add flavor without adding calories.

Olive oil’s versatility makes it an ideal choice for cooking. Because of its various flavor profiles, there is an olive oil to complement nearly any ingredient while still offering compelling health benefits. Extra virgin olive oil tends to have more character and stands up well to robust and hearty flavored foods. Olive oil typically has a mild taste that allows the flavors of mild or delicate ingredients – such as fish or fresh vegetables – to shine through.

For deep frying or pan frying foods, olive oil is a good choice due to its high smoking point of about 468°F (242°C) and stability at higher temperatures. Additionally, its mild flavor won’t overwhelm the dish.

Olive oil in grilling marinades helps seal in the natural moisture of foods. Because olive oil remains stable at high temperatures, it won’t burn like other oils or fats.

Tossing vegetables in extra virgin olive oil before cooking or roasting seals in their natural moisture and enhances flavor.

Store olive oil in a cool, dark place. Repeated exposure to direct sunlight and heat can turn the oil rancid. For added protection from light, consider keeping oil in a dark-colored glass bottle or decanter. Never refrigerate olive oil.

Reduce cholesterol in a recipe by substituting each whole egg with one egg white plus a teaspoon of olive oil.