Swapping Butter With Olive Oil Is Easier Than You Think
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Ever ran out of butter and thought of using olive oil? It’s more functional than you think! Though olive oil has a more robust flavour, in certain recipes it can be a good alternative for butter. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and can contribute to heart health by helping to manage cholesterol levels. 

It’s also a source of antioxidants, which combat oxidative stress in the body. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a valuable component of a balanced and health-conscious diet, and it may even be a smarter option than butter. In salads and certain dense desserts like brownies, it’s easy to use olive oil instead of butter. 

But it’s trickier to swap them in savoury recipes where the aroma may not mesh with some ingredients. If you want to consider using olive oil instead of butter, there are a few dos and don’t’s when it comes to swapping olive oil with butter, let’s find out! 

For Baking

When substituting olive oil for butter in baking, it's crucial to maintain the right balance. Typically, a 3/4 cup of olive oil can replace a cup of butter. Additionally, consider using extra virgin olive oil for a more pronounced flavor or a milder option, like light olive oil, for a subtler taste. It's important to note that the olive oil and butter swap may not always work, particularly in recipes that involve creaming butter with sugar. 

This creaming process contributes to a light and airy texture in baked goods, a quality that olive oil can not always. So, it's best to stick to recipes that originally call for melted butter or another liquid fat when incorporating olive oil. Olive oil is easier to integrate in recipes like brownies, ranging from chocolate chunks to pumpkin swirls, as well as muffins and quick breads. 

For Sautéing 

Olive oil has a lower saturated fat content and higher levels of monounsaturated fats make it a heart-healthy choice. Whether you're sautéing vegetables, searing proteins, or creating a flavorful base for sauces, olive oil can provide that perfect sizzle. However, if you're keen on the velvety finish and aroma that butter brings, combining equal parts butter and olive oil is a great approach. This combination acts as a terrific compromise, as it not only reduces the overall saturated fat content but also minimizes the risk of burning. 

What Not To Do 

Transitioning from butter to olive oil may need some trial and error, especially with recipes you make more often. So, focus on choosing the right oil. Extra virgin olive oil offers a robust flavour, its profile can range from sharp and peppery to smooth and buttery, depending on the olive's origin. while light olive oil provides a milder taste, so it's best to start with the latter. 

You can also think of starting out with infused olive oils. Garlic-infused or herb-infused oils can add an extra layer of complexity and you can use them alongside butter. In savoury dishes that need stovetop or oven cooking and have to be made by sautéing, pan-frying, or roasting, substituting olive oil for butter can be a functional swap. 

Roasts and grills that call for butter can easily use olive oil instead because it works well with smokiness. For cooking at higher temperatures, going for a more affordable olive oil (not extra-virgin) is recommended. While extra-virgin olive oil can be used, it is often more cost-effective to reserve it for uncooked applications such as dressings and finishing drizzles, where its nuanced flavour can be fully appreciated.