Olive Oil Desserts
By Elena Paravantes, RDN
We often associate olive oil with cooking, or as an addition to salads, but in fact Mediterranean cuisine has a large variety of desserts that are made with olive oil.
As olive oil was abundant in these areas and butter was often too expensive, they made use of what they had.
In terms of flavor, olive oil works best with desserts that have a citrus ingredient in them such as cookies with orange rind or cake with lemon. Olive oil also combines well with cakes that have fruit or vegetables in them such as apple, raisins, pears, banana and carrots. And chocolate and olive oil is also a special combination.
But there are obvious nutrition benefits as well, by using olive oil you are eliminating a lot of the saturated fat that comes with butter, but you are also getting the good monounsaturated fats and some antioxidants.
When using olive oil in a dessert it ισ preferable to use mild tasting olive oil. It is also important to not to use old olive oil. If olive oil has gone rancid, it can be obvious in a cake even after baking. In recipes that call for vegetable oil or corn oil, use olive oil in the same amount. If you are replacing butter, use ¾ of the amount in olive oil.