Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Olive Oil in cooking and Baking

We have recently been trying to work on eating healthy and the onset of the warm balmy Spring days here in new Zealand seem the best time to start. We have been reading a book called the Pink Ribbon Diet by Mary Flynn and Nancy Verde Barr. Besides a weight loss book , the diet also promotes the lowering of the risk of breast cancer. It was a surprise for me to read that many women under going chemotherapy also put on alot of weight . This was not the standard picture of someone battling cancer.

One of the things the diet promotes is the use of olive oil in cooking and baking. Taking its cue from Mediterranean diet which tended to be rich in vegetables , whole grains and olive oil , the writers linked this to lowered risk of a number of cancers.

The diet or new way of eating seemed very do-able for us. We both love olive oil and lived in a area where locally grown olive oil was plentiful. We are able to buy direct from the grower , filling our old wine bottles with extra virgin olive oil. It is a delight to eat, especially with pan fried peppers and eggplant. I have found using it on warm toast in the morning also tended to make me feel satisfied and fuller faster.

We are experimenting with using it to bake as home baking cakes , cookies and pies are a regular thing for us. I have hunted thorugh olive oil sites and  am posting a table showing how olive oil can be used instead of butter or margerine. The reviews are mixed- some people raving about light pastry , while others citing the taste of olive oil dominated the baking...we have yet to try it our but I thought a batch of home made date scones may be a great for anyone interested here is the table - one of many we found.

Butter/Margarine Olive Oil
1 teaspoon 3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon 2 1/4 teaspoons
1/4 cup 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup 1/4 cup
1/2 cup 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup 1/2 cup
3/4 cup 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup 3/4 cup

I would love to hear for anyone else who is using  olive oil instead of butter for baking and what you have found out...enjoy all.

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Our friends- please share with us your thoughts and words too. We welcome hearing from you and your unique insights.With love ..Greg and Tammy