Olive oil has been favored for thousands of years. But most of us only use olive oil in a few select recipes, ignoring its full potential in the kitchen. Yet, from cooking and baking, down to clean up and kitchen maintenance, olive oil stands as a must have in any kitchen!
Join us as we explore traditional uses AND new ways in which YOU can use olive oil in your kitchen!
Ways YOU Can Use Olive Oil | In the Kitchen
Most of us have used olive oil in the kitchen at one time or another. Many recipes call for it, and of course, there’s always some pan or baking dish that we drop a little oil in before cooking… but are we using this oil to its full potential? Are there additional uses in the kitchen that we haven’t considered?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the ways that olive oil can be used in the kitchen…
MAINTAINING CAST IRON
Many of us have at least one cast iron pan or skillet in our kitchen, but unlike similar tools made in other metals, cast iron requires greater care. Specifically, cast iron requires regular seasoning. Oil works wonderfully for this because it not only maintains the cast iron, but many believe that it adds flavor. Yet, not all oils are created equal. There are thin oils, oils that do not absorb well, and oils that lack flavor… none of these apply to a good quality olive oil. This is why olive oil is one of the best options available to the average consumer. By putting a little olive oil on a cloth or paper towel and rubbing it into the cast iron, the cast iron is not only seasoned, leaving it with a beautiful, dark shine, but the flavor will add to everything from savory to sweet dishes!
One of the best tried and true ways to use olive oil in the kitchen is in baking! Do any of your favorite desserts or savory baked goods call for vegetable oil, canola, etc.? Consider replacing that oil with olive oil… Not only is olive oil considered a healthy alternative to many oils, but it also adds a rich depth of flavor to your baked goods.
There are many amazing recipes using olive oil that can be found online, but did you know that you can easily alter the recipes found in your cookbooks or home recipes to include olive oil? Liquid oils can typically be substituted as a 1:1 ratio, while olive oil can be used as a substitute for butter at a 3:4 ratio—¾ cups of olive oil will typically replace every 1 cup of butter called for.
NOTE: When substituting any ingredient for another, be sure to remember that: cooking times may vary, basic ratios may require minor adjustments to achieve proper texture, and taste profiles may change when substitutions are used.
Does your recipe tell you to grease your cooking vessel?
Olive oil is a healthy alternative to many sprays, and even other greasing options. Just rub the oil over your pan, tin, etc., with clean hands, cloth, or paper towel, being sure to thoroughly get into any corners or designs. You will not only come away with a well-greased vessel but soft, moisturized hands.
One of the most common food allergies is that of dairy. Many people have minor to severe reactions to dairy and, as a result, try to avoid these foods whenever possible. Others simply do not enjoy dairy—be it for taste or personal dietary reasons. And yet, no matter the reason, it can be a difficult challenge to find substitutes. Yes, it is easier to discover dairy substitutes now more than even ten years ago, but that does not mean all of the hurdles have been passed…
Vegetable based butters make a wonderful substitute, but the taste does not always match every recipe. This is where olive oil comes in. From greasing cooking vessels, to adding healthy fats to meats or vegetable dishes, to replacing butter in your baking or cooking, olive oil can be used to not only avoid dairy in the form of butter, but can add wonderful flavor to both savory and sweet dishes!
NOTE: When using olive oil to replace butter, the typical ratio is 3:4—¾ cups of olive oil to replace every 1 cup of butter. It’s important to remember that substituting one ingredient for another can cause cooking times to vary. It can also alter the taste profile and texture. By using your own judgment, these minor changes can be easily overcome.
REDUCE KITCHEN MESSES
There are many ingredients that can be a challenge to clean up after… such as peanut butter, molasses, or honey, for example. One way to help minimize the mess is to coat your measuring utensils in a light layer of olive oil. This minimal amount of oil will not alter the flavor or cooking of most recipes (though care should be taken when preparing something that does not require any oils or fats), and the sticky ingredients will slide right off the utensils—leaving clean-up as a quick and easy job!
NOTE: When using olive oil to coat measuring utensils, etc., it is best if not done directly prior to use of a dry ingredient as it may cling to the oil.
Sometimes we want to keep a container but the label refuses to budge. Other times it leaves behind sticky, shredded paper, or even, a superglue-like layer of residue that causes the container to be virtually unusable.
One way to help remove labels is to coat the surface of the label with olive oil and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. Once set, you can rub the label away! If any residue remains, simply wash with a little soap and warm to hot water to leave a smooth, clean surface.
BUFFING STAINLESS STEEL
While there are many products around specifically designed to clean and buff stainless steel appliances, sinks, etc., olive oil is a handy alternative. No matter if you want a more natural product or simply run out of your usual stainless steel cleaner, the olive oil you have around the house is always an option.
Just put a small amount of olive oil onto a clean, soft cloth and, choosing one direction, rub it on in long strokes. Once the olive oil is applied, simply take another clean, soft cloth to the stainless steel using the same method minus the olive oil. The stainless steel will be clean and shiny AND water spots and streaks will not reappear as quickly! Not only that, but other, long-term issues, such as tarnishing or corrosion, will be less likely to occur!
MAINTAINING WOOD CUTTING BOARDS, UTENSILS, & BOWLS
When you first buy wood products for your kitchen—cutting boards, utensils, bowls, etc.—they are beautiful! However, over time they can begin to look dull, even drying out and cracking in some cases. Often this is due to washing these products, but that is rarely avoidable. Other times it is due to the climate in which they reside, which, again, is rarely avoidable. So what can be done to protect them?
While there are many options that help wood thrive, both natural and not natural, few are ideal for kitchen use, either leaving chemical residue or an unpleasant flavor that can absorb into food. Olive oil, as one of the natural options, serves as a great choice that protects and moisturizes the wood while leaving behind no unpleasant flavors or chemicals! Simply rub olive oil into the wood with clean hands, cloth, or paper towel, then wipe away any excess with a clean paper towel or cloth.
Repeat this process whenever the wood appears to dry out or change color, and enjoy protected, beautiful wood!
While this is not an all-inclusive list of the uses for olive oil in the kitchen, this natural and healthy resource certainly proves itself to be a multi-purpose product! It is safe for all ages… Has excellent flavor… And, due to its variety of uses, every home can benefit from having olive oil!
Be sure to check out our olive oil options by clicking the link HERE
OR go to the My Olive Tree store!