I Find Olive Oil Tasteless...But Are There Healthy Alternatives To Butter?

@Janey1966 (24127)
Carlisle, England
July 8, 2011 6:17pm CST
I've not done any cooking Friday as it's always fish and chips day from the corner shop..and very nice they were too. It's my one indulgence of the week lol. As you know, I've been cooking in a different way to what I usually do. For example, I will prepare a coating or a marinade to cook chicken. However, a couple of recipes (including one where I cooked potatoes differently) required the use of olive oil, something I have NEVER used in cooking before. I have always used butter, not in excess but used it all the same. I know people will tell me that I'll get used to it but can butter be used in recipes where olive oil is supposed to be the preferred ingredient? I hope the answer is "yes" because I find olive oil so bland it's untrue..and I'm not a fan of sunflower oil either. Also, how do you cope with extremely small measurements if you don't have a) a collection of measuring spoons/cups or b) expensive weighing scales that could weigh air if you asked them to. In my case I just have bog-standard spoons out the drawer (that can't even get in some jars as the spoons are too wide) and some basic weighing-scales for £3.99 that are a waste of space but I cannot afford to replace them.
16 responses
@thezone (9452)
• Ireland
8 Jul 11
You might be able to substitute butter for olive oil in some recipes. Although I am not sure as I can't stand the taste of butter, it makes me gag, I don't even have it on sandwiches. I have nightmares about someone stuffing a block of butter in my mouth and making me eat it lol. In saying that I don't use much oils wither when cooking unless it requires it. I always measure by eye and instinct but when I have to, I use the measuring spoons when I need to be a bit more precise and they never let me down. No need for scales or other gadgets at all Janey
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
8 Jul 11
I wish I'd one some measuring spoons/cups on Ebay the other night. Was so close to winning them but it wasn't to be. However, we're off to The Range in Carlisle in a few hours (poor John being dragged there lol) as I still haven't got myself a rolling-pin. I can buy both there (hopefully) but I've only got about £15 max..so maybe not.
@thezone (9452)
• Ireland
9 Jul 11
Poor John a spoon and rolling pin expedition Tell him I said Hi and that my thoughts will be with him. You could get away with a cheap set of measuring spoons to be honest, I got mine from the pound shop and never failed me. Got a rolling pin now but I used to use a milk bottle, a glass one if you can still get hold of one. I am the McGuyver of cooks
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
9 Jul 11
No idea who McGuyver is lol but I'm sure you will tell me.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
1 Sep 11
Have you tried using coconut oil? We use it for a lot of things in our home, but not cooking, mainly in raw dishes. When we cook, we use nothing or very good quality organic olive oil. We also use that as a salad dressing from time to time as well. I do know of people who use coconut oil in cooking though but I guess it would not really suit every type of dish.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
2 Sep 11
Since I started this discussion I actually LOVE olive oil now. I use it all the time (usually instead of butter, which is something I used to use) so maybe it's contributing to my weight loss, who knows? Can't be without it now, you'll be pleased to know.
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
2 Sep 11
Awesome! And just like the other discussion, it s a start! All great things had to start at the beginning!
@epicure35 (2822)
• United States
21 Jul 11
It seems to be that your best option would be to use the combination of olive oil and butter that many use. It keeps the butter from burning and the olive oil is "heart healthy", so you keep those benefits and the flavor of the butter. There are also olive oil "blends" you might want to try; some find them somewhat lighter (e.g with vegetable oil or canola oil), or extra virgin olive oil. I prefer the butter/olive oil combination myself.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
21 Jul 11
Yes, since this discussion started I've used olive oil and butter combined and it's great! I've actually got used to the olive oil on its own too. Remember that I'd not even used until recently so it was all new to me. In fact, there was an offer on the very same olive oil in a store and I bought another two bottles of it lol.
@leeloo (1494)
• Portugal
11 Jul 11
I have to say I really enjoy the taste of olive oil, so I am not the best person to ask. Just a side note, not all olive oil tastes the same, depending on where it is grown and how it is made it will have a very mild to very strong flavour(cold press) - which some people do not like. All fats are generally interchangeable as long as people like them, though alternatives like olive oil and peanut oil reduces cholesterol, peanut oil is expensive where I live. There is always margarine/spread, the war between the benefits vs the dangers of margarine are still out. What is mentioned is that in theory margarine made purely from vegetable oils contains no cholesterol so it should be healthier, the use of trans fats and hydrogenated oils have been shown in some studies to eliminate these benefits by increasing rather then reducing cholesterol. So if you like margarine/spreads and find one without trans fats or hydrogenated/partially hydrogenated oils it could be a healthier alternative. The thing is the discussion on how unhealthy butter is vs it's alternatives is still being discussed. As for the measurements, http://www.jsward.com/cooking/conversion.shtml may help. Well hope that you continue to enjoy cooking and having fun.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
12 Jul 11
Since I started this discussion I've become more accustomed to using the olive oil..but in smaller amounts. I have used it along with a smaller amount of butter too, so I guess it's a balancing act at the moment. I CAN use it on its own now, so that's encouraging. Thanks so much for taking the trouble to reply.
@marguicha (83854)
• Chile
10 Jul 11
I love to cook but don´t have so many problems. I use butter only for some recipes (like frying mushrooms), but for the most part I use sunflower oil as it is harmless when fried. I never use only olive oil for cooking but mix it with sunflower oil. I only use heated olive oil mixed with dry oregano to give it a taste to home made crouteons which I roast later in the oven. I have somewhere in the kitchen some measuring spoons (the least expensive), but for decades I have used normal spoons and in some instances my hands to rub in the right amount of salt or whatever needed. I love to discover that as I learnt to cook without a recipe book at hand, many dishes were becoming better tasting as they were always a bit different. I NEVER weight. Check somewhere in the web the amount in cups (normal) and spoons. My weight scale (a wedding present) is at the garage.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
10 Jul 11
I suppose it's a confidence thing with me. No doubt - in future, I will learn not to rely on weighing-scales so much and guess the amounts. My Mum (partly) does this but she's been cooking a lot longer than me and does it in her job as well, so she's used to it. I'm pleased to say my Victoria Sandwich cake turned out splendidly, despite having to guess how much more self-raising flour had to go in it..as most of the flour I'd measured out was all over the work surfaces and floor! I've whipped up some double cream instead of putting jam inbetween the halves and it's awesome, as I left it in the fridge overnight, so it has a much better texture now, nice and fluffy sponge, which is exactly what I wanted. Not good for the waistline but at least it TASTES better than shop-bought where they don't even use real cream half the time!
@musicman6 (2368)
• United States
9 Jul 11
My sister told me to use Safflower oil, it's different from Olive Oil, and good for cholesterol !
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
9 Jul 11
Thanks for that!
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
9 Jul 11
Oh, olive oil is tricky! A lot of what's being sold as "olive oil" is actually a blended oil, or it's pressed so far beyond belief that it tastes like nothing but oily water. For flavor, you have to go after a good bottle of extra virgin olive oil. It used to be that Italian brands put the best stuff in most supermarkets. But these days, companies are throwing a vowel on the end of their olive oil just so they can pass off that cheap crap. I'm not sure which brands the UK carries, but Pompeian extra virgin is my favorite. It's really fruity, thick, and it adds a bunch of flavor. But if you really do want to get away from olive oil but still need an oil substitute, nut oils are quite healthy. Peanut oil is probably the most affordable of the bunch. As for measuring - only bakers need to measure. For everything else you can just eye it.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
9 Jul 11
I had to "eye" my self-raising flour 'cos most of it I'd spilled on the floor and worktops lol. Guessing HAS worked though, thankfully. I'd often wondered what was the difference between olive oil and extra virgin olive oil and you have cleared that one up for me..so thanks for that. I do have a sweet tooth which isn't good when using oils is it, I don't suppose. However, we visited the bigger Pioneer Food Store earlier and it was awesome (it has a wonderful reputation round here as it's a locally based company specialising in meats) and besides the meat I was able to pick up some other things like CHILLI SAUCE..FINALLY BOUGHT SOME! I reckon they probably had peanut oil if I'd known to look for it at the time. What an ace shop though, will definitely visit that one again.
@p1kef1sh (45647)
9 Jul 11
Poundland for the measuring spoons nd other kitchen paraphenalia, you have one in Carlisle in Scotch St. I didn't used to like olive oil but I gradually acquired the taste to the point where I can drink it neat - but NOT in large quantities. In fact there is nothing wrong with butter provided that you don't abuse it by eating far too much. Generally if a recipe calls for olive oil then that's the best thing to use, but why not experiment - you might be pleasantly surprised.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
9 Jul 11
I've been given a few tips on here already and I SHALL try them in due course. As for the measuring spoons..TOO LATE!! Already ordered some from the M&S website, mainly 'cos I loved the bright colours lol. I've also ordered some digital scales as the manual ones have broken due to my clumsiness. I did buy some measuring cups from a shop called THE RANGE and it includes an egg separator. I'm dying to use it. I've already used the little scraper to level out my cake mix so I'm getting into all these new tools and gadgets!
• China
9 Jul 11
We have never used olive oil, sunflower oil and butter.usually we use salad oil,lard,rape oil and sesame oil,occasionally tea-seed oil(squeezed out of seed of oil-tea camellia) .I know that olive oil is rich in Unsaturated fatty acids ,V E,etc.which has health effects on the cardiovascular.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
9 Jul 11
I like the sound of sesame oil, does it taste nice? We do have some lard too but I'm saving it for the pastry I've still not got round to making due to having no rolling-pin. And, yes, it's all getting tiresome lol.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (60427)
• United States
9 Jul 11
a reasonable set of measuring spoons doesn't cost much and well worth it, just as a good set of measuring cups are also good... and the better the olive oil, the better the taste, but the idea is to not have a heavy olive flavor, that's why all those other oils are used, because they don't have an olive flavor... and no, olive oil has good fats, while butter (while tasting better) doesn't have those good fats - granted all fats have the same number of calories, but... there are some things that you can't replace butter for, but for your health, you should at least try to improve your healthy fat intake... but a teaspoon of butter on your baked potato is better than a teaspoon of any other oil... just because you aren't eating a deep fat fried potato that way... just saying...
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
9 Jul 11
I know what you're saying my friend and I will continue to use the olive oil, mainly 'cos I don't want to waste it. Someone has given me a useful tip to flavour it with garlic or whatever and I shall do so. After all, I've got lots of stuff to choose from in my cupboards, so I've no excuse not to try. Funnily enough, I bought some measuring cups today. At first I thought there would be spoons on them as well..but there weren't any. However, I've ordered some measuring spoons (along with digital scales to weigh my food as my manual one has busted) from the M&S website and I can't wait to pick them up from the store on Wednesday. Still no rolling pin though!!
@moneywinner (1866)
• Brazil
9 Jul 11
I think you can substitute olive oil for butter, at least in most of the recipes. I always use the olive oil to finalize my dishes. Well, but I really like it. And is so much better for your health than butter! I don't know if you ever tried flavored oils, but that can be an easy way to make the olive oil more tasteful. You can infuse the oil with garlic, herbs, ground spices..
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
9 Jul 11
That's an excellent idea, I shall try that tip..thank you.
• United States
9 Jul 11
I do like olive oil and find it to be tasty. lol How about using Grapeseed Oil, Truffle Oil, or Canola Oil. Just something else to consider? I remember being down South and not a single measuring spoon/cup, so yes improvising helps and I remember asking one of the ladies there and was told to use a saved cleaned out yogurt cups. I could not off hand remember them all but checked on line and found that "one of the 4 oz. size for a 1/2 cup measuring cup, a 6 oz. yogurt cup for a 3/4 cup measuring cup and an 8 oz. yogurt cup for a 1 cup measure." Worked out well for me.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
9 Jul 11
Thanks for that. I'm all oiled up now lol.
• Mexico
9 Jul 11
I guess you could just cut out any type of oil. What I do is when I cook eggs or have to fry anything I don't use anything. Sure it means a bit of the food will stick to the pan but it's nothing my dishwasher can't handle.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
9 Jul 11
We don't have a dishwasher (shock, horror) but our griddle pan is supposedly non-stick and, until I read all these recipes, like you I didn't use any oil at all..only occasionally butter, depending on the type of food I was cooking.
@yoyo1198 (3644)
• United States
8 Jul 11
Janey....You can get a cheap set of measuring spoons at any WalMart. Some of the little grocery stores will have them. I suggest that you do invest in a set as well as a set of measuring cups. If you're going to be cooking via recipes from now on you will need them. You can't use the tableware for measuring (tsp, tbsp or cups). I use olive oil and butter. I think the olive oil enhances the taste of some foods. The butter, I use more in baking. Olive oil for the saute and stir-fry and vegetables. I think you need to stick with the original recipe content the first time you make something then you will know where to try for substitutes. But, yes, you can use the butter as substitute. Other oils can be substituted as well. You will have to decide where your preferred tastes lie.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
8 Jul 11
Thanks for that. I guess I'm a bit miffed that I didn't win some measuring spoons/cups on Ebay the other night as they would've come in very handy.
@marianne87 (3526)
8 Jul 11
I don't find olive oil tasteless but I don't like the taste of it. I prefer vegetable or sunflower oil. I don't have top grade cooking equipment, I use what there is, and I improvise. I guess measurements, using egg cups or whatever to measure stuff out. Recipe books are just guidelines, not rules.
@Janey1966 (24127)
• Carlisle, England
8 Jul 11
I shall keep all that in mind, thanks.
@ebuscat (5949)
• Philippines
9 Jul 11
For me yes olive oil is very good so be take it weekly.