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What Is Olive Oil Butter?

H. Bliss
By H. Bliss
Updated May 16, 2024
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Olive oil butter, more accurately called olive oil spread, is a butter substitute made of olive oil. Sometimes it is a refrigerated mixture of olive oil and dairy butter, and sometimes it is a spread made from olive oil that has been chilled until it solidifies. Generally used the same way as dairy butter, with a few exceptions, it offers some health benefits, but has a different flavor that can be somewhat sharp and acidic for those who are used to dairy butter. Olive oil is the oil from the olive, which is the fruit of the olive tree.

Substituting olive oil can be helpful for people with several types of special dietary restrictions. For vegans, who do not eat dairy products, pure olive oil butter can act as a butter substitute in most recipes. Olive oil butter is lower in unsaturated fat and calories than dairy butter, which makes it a popular choice among those maintaining a low-fat or low-cholesterol diet. Usually, commercial olive oil butter products come with salt added, but homemade olive oil butter is often made without salt.

Most of the time, olive oil butter can be used in the same ways butter is used in cooking. It can be spread on toast or used as a crisping and browning oil for cooking vegetables and meat. Like dairy butter, olive oil butter can be flavored with herbs or spices. A popular way to use olive oil spread is to spread a prepared garlic and parsley olive oil butter on bread before baking it so it becomes garlic bread.

One thing to remember when cooking with olive oil is that it starts to smoke and burn at a much lower temperature than butter. This can be helpful when a smoky flavor is desired in a dish, but it can also make food bitter. Cooking with olive oil at high heats makes for a smokier process in general, so it is often best to opt for butter, peanut oil, or canola oil for high-heat cooking, if only to avoid triggering the kitchen smoke alarm.

Olive oil is a vegetable fat that comes from the olive. In fact, the term olive oil is somewhat redundant because the word oil originated from the Greek word for olive. The word oil was used only to describe olive oil specifically when it first formed, but it came to refer to other types of oily substances, including petroleum and mineral oil, after a few hundred years. Olives come from small trees that originated from the Mediterranean area of the world. Most olive oil comes from Spain, Italy, and Greece.

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Discussion Comments

By Krunchyman — On Aug 16, 2014

While olive oil is a good substitute for those who want to be healthy, remember that it's not always a good idea to overdo it. After all, let's look at it this way. Regardless of what kind you're using, olive oil is still an oil. While it might be healthy for you, too much of anything can be a problem. It's not something to be too concerned about, but it's always good to be cautious as well.

By Chmander — On Aug 15, 2014

A few years ago, I noticed that I was having heart and health problems. After going to my doctor, and doing a checkup, he said that I was having high cholesterol, and it was because of the foods I had been eating. When I had told him that I had been using a lot of oils with my food as well, he recommended that I cut down on it, and use olive oil instead. First of all, I don't use oil in my cooking as much as I used to, and second of all, ever since I started using olive oil, I have noticed a significant decrease in my health problems. Overall, it's very beneficial.

By RoyalSpyder — On Aug 15, 2014

I like how the second paragraph mentions that olive oil is good for those who have dietary restrictions, especially when you're trying to watch their weight and how healthy you eat. Generally speaking, olive oil is one of the healthiest kinds, and if there's not much of a choice left, it's definitely the way to go. However, I wonder if there are any other healthy brands of oil as well. Perhaps I should give it a look the next time I go out shopping.

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