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Olive Oil: The healthier baking alternative

on July 29, 2012

While it may seem impossible to make some of your favorite baked goods healthy, making the small switch from butter to olive oil can help you cut out the saturated fat in your favorite recipes without sacrificing the taste.  Extra-Virgin olive oil has large amounts of healthy monounsaturated fat which promotes the good cholesterol as well as an abundance of antioxidants which promote cardiovascular health.

Here are some easy conversions to help with substitutions.

1 teaspoon butter = 3/4 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter = 2 1/4 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup butter = 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup butter = 3/4 cup olive oil

Here is a great recipe for Honey and Goat Cheese Filled Fig Muffins.

3/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese or reduced-fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
2 cups white or whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
3/4 cup packed dark or light brown sugar
1 cup low-fat or nonfat buttermilk
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped dried figs
3 tablespoons turbinado or granulated sugar


1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners or coat with cooking spray.

2. Thoroughly combine goat cheese (or cream cheese), honey, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Whisk flour (see Measuring Tip), baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Lightly beat eggs and egg white in a medium bowl; add brown sugar and the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and whisk until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in buttermilk and oil until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined; do not overmix. Fold in figs.

4. Spoon half the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Add 1 generous teaspoon of the reserved cheese filling to the center of each muffin, and cover with the remaining batter. (The filling should not be visible.) Sprinkle the muffins with sugar.

5. Bake the muffins until the edges start to brown and the tops spring back when gently pressed, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Eating Well has a great collection of olive oil based recipes that are sure to become staples!



One response to “Olive Oil: The healthier baking alternative

  1. […] girls call it 🙂  I use orzo pasta because it feels fancy.  I add 1/4 stick of butter, a bit of olive oil, kosher salt and […]

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