Can I Substitute Olive Oil for Vegetable Oil in Baking Corn Bread?

In the quest to make your recipes healthier, you may be trying to replace all sorts of fats and oils with healthier versions. Among the healthiest of the fats is olive oil and it can be worked into a number of recipes and cooking styles, though it won't work everywhere. The oil will, however, work well in corn bread recipes.

Cornbread turns out delicious and best of all, healthy, when baked with olive oil. (Image: Amanda Grandfield/iStock/Getty Images)

A Healthy Oil

Olive oil repairs or aids a variety of bodily ills from lowering harmful cholesterol levels to helping those fighting cancer. The monounsaturated fat and antioxidants in olive oil can help to lower the harmful cholesterol that can harden the arteries and cause a stroke or heart attack. Oleic acid, a compound found in olive oil, can inhibit the growth of certain cancerous tumors, according to Jean Fisher of What's For Dinner.

Olive Oil In Cornbread

Andrea Pyenson, in an Oct. 15, 2003 "Boston Globe" article, interviewed food writer and cooking teacher Faith Willinger, who recommended using olive oil in cornbread recipes. In her experience, the olive oil gave the bread a deeper, more complex flavor than traditional recipes calling for vegetable oil or butter. Willinger also noted that the crust on her olive-oil cornbread was crispy, while the inside was soft and crumby.

Choose a Light Variety

For baked goods such as cornbread, a lighter grade of olive oil works better and provides a less intrusive flavor, according to Fine Cooking. If you are buying a bottle of olive oil to use strictly for baking, choose the less-expensive one labeled simply "olive oil" as opposed to the fancier "extra-virgin olive oil." If you have only the standard extra-virgin variety, it is fine to use in your cornbread recipe as well.

Moderation

Though olive oil may make your cornbread healthier, it is still a high-calorie fat and should be used in moderation. Simply adding olive oil to a recipe will not make it healthy. The majority of your meals should be made up of fresh or frozen vegetables, grains and proteins with fats used in moderation.

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