Vegetable Oil Substitute

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There are several considerations when deciding whether you can use olive oil in recipes that call for vegetable oil. Baking with olive oil instead of vegetable oil is an option, but it really depends on what you’re baking and what your goal is.

(Here’s some olive oil dispensers you may like)

First, we have to understand what ‘vegetable oil’ is. Vegetable oil is a catch-all term for oil derived from vegetable sources rather than animal sources. Olive oil is a vegetable oil. So is oil from corn, soybeans, and rapeseed. As far as the function of oil in baking, you can easily use olive oil in place of other vegetable oils. But you may not need or want to. Whether you decide to bake with olive oil will depend on your reason for wanting to do so. Below are some reasons you may want to replace vegetable oil with olive oil in your recipes and what results you can expect.

Some people want to substitute vegetable oil in their baking recipes with olive oil because they know that olive oil is a ‘healthy’ oil. It’s true that olive oil is a polyunsaturated fat, which is a healthy oil. But there are other vegetable oils that also contain polyunsaturated fat – for instance soybean oil, canola oil, and walnut oil are all good sources of this healthy kind of fat. So, if your purpose for baking with olive oil is because it’s a healthy fat, you have a few other options. In addition, all vegetable oils, including olive oil, are pure fat and contain about 120 calories per tablespoon. Using olive oil instead of other vegetable oils won’t affect the caloric content.

Recommended reading: Best Olive Oil Dispensers

If your reason for using olive oil in baking recipes is flavor, you may find success. Some flavors match well with the taste of olive oil, but others will clash with even (or especially) the best rated olive oils because gourmet olive oils are highly flavored and taste like olives. Olive oil marries well with citrus flavors, but not so well with chocolate. If you are trying to make delicious brownies, using a cheap, low flavor olive oil may be your best option. One of the reasons that a recipe will call for vegetable oil is because of its ‘neutral’ flavor, and good olive oil is anything but neutrally flavored.

Replacing vegetable oil with olive oil in recipes may be an option if you don’t have regular vegetable oil on hand, but again, flavor is a consideration. If you must make those brownies – taste your olive oil. If it tastes a lot like olives, it may make your brownies taste like olives, too. It might be a better choice to use melted butter or go buy some neutral vegetable oil rather than use the olive oil you have on hand. If you’re trying to make gourmet or unusual brownies, consider using walnut oil. Walnut oil is also strongly flavored, but the flavor of walnuts pairs very nicely with chocolate (and many other flavors as well).

In the end, baking with olive oil instead of vegetable oil is possible, and might even render a wonderful product. You just have to know what you’re going for with your recipe. Bon appetit!

We recommend trying Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil. You can check it out here on Amazon.com!

While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!

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Hi, I have a correction. olive oil is mostly MONOunsaturated, not poly. Monounsaturated fats are more heat stable than poly.. and less likely to go rancid.

I also personally think olive oil pairs very well with chocolate. I often mix nutella with olive oil and spread on bread.