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Olive Oil Vs. Vegetable Oil
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Would it make a difference if I baked bread using Olive Oil instead of Vegetable Oil? I have been experimenting with my new Breadman using some of the pre-mixed Pamelas, Bob's and Gluten-free Pantry. But am also interested in moving on to the recipes, and would really like to use olive oil since it is a healthier choice.

Thanks-- Cin

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I'm sure you could use olive oil. It may just alter the taste mildly, depending on the type of olive oil you use. Olive oil is awesome for making foccaccia bread.

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If the recipe calls for vegetable oil, any oil would work. I've been substituting ingredients in recipes all my life, and know this for a fact. My only concern is, that olive oil is not heat stable, and turns toxic at high heat. Coconut oil would be a better choice.

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If the recipe calls for vegetable oil, any oil would work. I've been substituting ingredients in recipes all my life, and know this for a fact. My only concern is, that olive oil is not heat stable, and turns toxic at high heat. Coconut oil would be a better choice.

I have avoided much cooking most of my life :=) but now it looks like I will be doing a lot more. Funny how life works sometimes.... Very happy there are so many great recipes ideas here!

Anyway - Doesn't olive oil become unstable at a higher temperature than a break maker?

Also, this may sound like a dumb question, but I have always hated coconut so I would tend to stay away from coconut oil --- Does coconut oil taste like coconut and leave a coconut flavor?

Thanks,

Cin

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Yes, coconut oil does taste like coconut. But it won't leave a strong coconut flavour. You may be right about the olive oil being fine.

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One of my wife's first attempts at baking (pre my diagnosis) she made me a carrot cake for my birthday. I sat down, and as I was eating it, couldn't help but wonder why it tasted like olives! She'd subbed in Olive oil, and you could certainly taste it! not really bad, but not the best tasting carrot cake!

she's gotten much better, and has been great since I've been trying to be gluten-free. The other day she made me some killer spring rolls to take to school with me....

Geoff

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Yes, you can substitute olive oil one for one for vegetable oil.

Yes, it is chemically stable and non-toxic at normal cooking temperatures (both baking and stovetop) but it is NOT suitable for deep frying (but you shouldn't worry. . .to be terminally toxic you would have to eat litres, and I do mean LITRES of the stuff that had been toxified).

If you do substitute olive oil for vegetable oil, you should use light olive oil (which is usually the less expensive stuff) or mix it one third/two thirds with safflower or sunflower oil to preserve the texture of your breads. Note of caution though - olive oil has a distinctive flavour and is better suited to savoury foods (stick to veggie oil in your fruit etc breads). I use good olive oil for savoury cooking and light safflower oil for sweets.

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I agree with Ursa Major on the coconut oil. It would be a far better choice - perhaps the best, though I'm sure there are other opinions on that.

Since you don't like coconut, perhaps palm kernel oil would be more to your liking. It is similar to coconut oil in some key ways (though not quite as good), and I've read it has a very light taste. I have not tried it yet, so I can't say just how it tastes. Google will help you locate a source for it, and some places offer a sample at a low cost, so you don't have to commit to a large amount until you're sure you'd use it.

As for olive oil stability, I'm not totally comfortable with the idea of baking with it, but it wouldn't be as bad as frying with it. I wouldn't even use it for pancakes, as I've tasted that, and always got sick to my stomach on them. I didn't know why until I looked into the smoke point of olive oil. In baking however, the temperature inside the bread/cake etc won't be as high as the oven temp setting, but I'd think it must get hotter nearer the surface than in the middle. Just how hot I don't know. The best olive oils have the lowest smoke points (somewhere in the 200-300 degree range as I recall). Different brands suggest different values. The more refined it is though, the less of a healthy choice it makes, regardless of smoke point. That goes for any vegetable oil.

There is also macadamia nut oil, which I would be comfortable with using for baking and light frying. The taste is quite mild, and I'd think it would be very nice for many kinds of baked goods. The MacNut brand appears to be the best in quality, and of course it's more costly too.

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Let me clear a little something up here. There are only two times that you will ever need to worry about the smoke point of cooking fats and your health:

1. If you are deep frying. (And if you still deep fry foods on a daily or weekly basis in this day and age, well, I sincerely doubt that the carcinogens and free radicals freed at the smoke point of oil are the greatest of your health concerns. If you deep fry less than once a month, second-hand cigarette smoke will do more damage to your health. And if you deep-fry with olive oil, I have to wonder why you spend the money on olive oil in the first place. . .)

2. You walk away from a pan with oil in it on a hot burner. (If you do this, please give up cooking and/or take out some heavy-duty house insurance. Sooner or later, you are going to need it)

It is dead easy to figure out if you've hit the smoke point of your fat - it stinks. Literally. Like three-day-old burned-down house (which is what yours will be in three days if you leave the stinking oil on the heat). If you can't smell it, it hasn't hit smoke point. By definition, if the oil you are cooking with does not reach smoke point, the health risks caused by overheated oil are nonexistent. Smoking oil is just one step away from burning oil, which is just one teeny step from burning house. So yes, you should worry about the smoke point of oil, but not for the one-in-a-billion chance that it will give you cancer. . .

Baking with olive or safflower oil is perfectly safe - the oil-saturated flours will not achieve smoke point in a domestic oven. And, as I've said, DON'T DEEP FRY WITH OLIVE OIL. (It's a waste of money).

As for palm oil. . .RED palm oil (which can be recognised by its deep orangey-red colour) is a polyunsaturated fat made from the fruit of the palm tree and is generally considered to be as beneficial to your health as olive oil. Both coconut and palm KERNEL oil (often sold in America as palm oil) are every bit as high in trans and saturated fats as butter and should be consumed, like butter, in minimal quantities. Avocado, olive and canola oils are high in monounsaturated fats ("good" fats) which help to lower cholesterol and do all manner of other good things for your body. Soy, sunflower and safflower oils are polyunsaturated fats, which are also good fats which help to reduce blood fat content. Hydrogenated oils are always bad oils. Any of the "good" oils is perfectly safe for baking and stove-top frying/sauteeing/stirfrying. If you absolutely MUST deep fry, use a good quality peanut or soy oil and pay VERY close attention to the temperature - use an accurate thermometer designed for monitoring deep fry oil (once again though, I'm more worried about your house burning down than about you getting cancer).

And RiceGuy. . .olive oil pancakes? No wonder you got sick. . .it makes me queasy just thinking about it (though your gippy tummy has nothing to do with the smoke point of the olive oil you used) . . .some things were just never meant to be combined. Try them again with safflower or sunflower oil and let me know how you feel. . .

Sorry for the length of this one. . .it's one of those subjects I'm passionate about.

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Well, thank you all for the input here, I really appreciate it. As I said earlier I was never big on cooking, but am finding myself in an new world. I have never used much oil, butter, or salt and am finding there is a whole world of oil out there that I had I never really concerned myself with. I never deep fry anything, so I won't have issues with burning my house down, but mostly interested in using oils for baking since I am getting into making my own bread (it's so delicious), future deserts (including all my birthday cakes :) I see that oil is going to be a big part of that. I have always been a fan of olive oil for health reasons; however, I don't think I would have tried olive oil in my pancakes.

Funny how on this diet I find myself missing foods I never really ate much before -- like pancakes and waffles. Guess that goes to show you always want what you can't have! (at least what you think you can't have :)

Thanks again!

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Both coconut and palm KERNEL oil (often sold in America as palm oil) are every bit as high in trans and saturated fats as butter and should be consumed, like butter, in minimal quantities.

You seem to be very knowledgable about oils and fats, but I have to disagree with you on this point. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has NO trans fat. And it is saturated, but it's a healthy saturated fat that is metabolized more like a carbohydrate. Partially hydrogenated coconut oil would be a source of trans fat and should be avoided like the plague.

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You seem to be very knowledgable about oils and fats, but I have to disagree with you on this point. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has NO trans fat. And it is saturated, but it's a healthy saturated fat that is metabolized more like a carbohydrate. Partially hydrogenated coconut oil would be a source of trans fat and should be avoided like the plague.

Quite correct, though there is actually no such thing as "extra virgin" for coconut oil. The best kind is centrifuged coconut oil, with no chemicals, heat, bleaching, or any of the other things which make the cheap coconut oils so far from the best. Those cheap ones are known as RBD coconut oil, which is Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized. Sounds more like something you'd do to carpeting, not food!

There's a big difference between the way all other fatty acids get digested, as compared to the Medium Chain Fatty Acid which gives coconut oil such high marks for healthiness. Simply put, it takes a "short-cut", and the body tends to burn it for energy. It also helps the body break down those long chain fatty acids from animal fats, which folks tend to carry around as body fat. The benefits go further, but this is getting off-topic a bit more than may be appropriate.

As for the smoke point, free radicals, and all that stuff, olive oil breaks down at ROOM TEMPERATURE - it just takes longer. It also breaks down from exposure to light, which is why the best olive oils are sold in opaque containers. It's not just when it stinks horribly or begins smoking, and inhalation is an altogether different thing than consuming the oil. I know from experience that good quality olive oil doesn't remain fresh very long. It may not smell bad to everyone, but I can tell when it's getting rancid before the taste changes enough to detect as easily. Either use it up in a relatively short time, or you can freeze it for a while. The time you'll have depends on the quality, how long it's been sitting before and after you purchased it, how you store it, etc. Macadamia nut oil has a longer shelf life, and high amounts of antioxidants to help keep it stable. Having used it I know it keeps longer than quality olive oil.

A word or two about canola, since that came up...It's actually over-processed rapeseed oil - not so healthy once you look up the whole story on it. There's no such thing as a canola plant, except in terms of the processing plant making the stuff.

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And RiceGuy. . .olive oil pancakes? No wonder you got sick. . .it makes me queasy just thinking about it (though your gippy tummy has nothing to do with the smoke point of the olive oil you used) . . .some things were just never meant to be combined. Try them again with safflower or sunflower oil and let me know how you feel. . .

Not in them, just used to cook them. I wasn't the cook either.

I did notice a difference with different oils, but still the smell and/or taste wasn't good. Nobody else noticed. Like I said, I can detect the breakdown early on.

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I have subed apple sauce for some of the oil in cakes. Does anyone know if you can do this with breads also?

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I have subed apple sauce for some of the oil in cakes. Does anyone know if you can do this with breads also?

I'd think that the applesauce would add a bit of an unexpected flavor to a bread that isn't a sweet bread like banana bread, blueberry muffins, or carrot cake. Just taking a guess I would probably try a small amount of soy flour.

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I've always cooked with olive oil as much as possible. I don't even have soybean or canola oil around the kitchen any more. I have experimented with virgin coconut oil in cooking and baking. I can usually taste it, so I use it if I want the trace of coconut flavor. I tend to like it in sweet baked goods. In breads it depends on my mood and what else I've added to the loaf.

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I use olive oil for everything. Extra virgin mostly, except for baking and making homemade popcorn--there I use the light.

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I use lots of olive oil, also grapeseed (high smoke point) and coconut oils, some avocado oil (salad dressings mostly)

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