Substituting Olive Oil For Butter

December 4th, 2007 by Jeff in General Cooking

The last few weeks I have been conducting an experiment. I have been using olive oil in place of butter as often as possible. I came to the conclusion that we are eating way too much butter when I noted that for a two week period, we generally require 3-4 pounds of butter to be in the fridge. Sorry, but that is just too much. Now butter does have its place. I cannot even think of sitting down for Saturdays big breakfast without buttered toast, so eliminating it completely is not my intention.

As much as I like to cook, we are a busy household here where my wife and I both work many hours at our respective jobs and this requires we make some shortcuts for meals. Usually I try to make the main course from scratch, but many times for the side dish, I just use a boxed side dish, such as rice, pasta, potatoes, etc., from a box. Almost without exception, these instant side dishes all call for butter or margarine. So my experiment focused here first. Instead of using butter, I substituted Olive Oil (usually extra virgin) in a 1/1 ratio. As for the pasta and rice dishes, there was little to no difference in taste and texture. In fact, I found that most of the time, the dish tasted better.

The one dish I found that was changed quite a bit was when I used it in mashed potatoes. I found it better to just use regular olive oil (not virgin) as the flavoring matches more to that potato taste. The texture was actually smoother and lighter than when you use butter. Even with the extra virgin olive oil, I found the taste wonderful.

I normally skip lunch, or just eat a little snack (that usually isn’t very healthy), but for the last couple of weeks, I would just take some bread and dip it in some EV olive oil. I believe that I have become addicted, now that I use this quick lunch in combination with my garlic and rosemary infused olive oil, yum yum..

Now there are times you just cannot use olive oil in place of butter, such as when baking, etc.. However, chances are more than not, you can use them interchangeably.

So far, my experiment has been a huge success. Olive oil is so much better for you than butter, and when it comes to eating healthy, every little bit counts. Give it a shot in your cooking, you will not be disappointed!

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