Olive Oil Baking

I grew up in a house where the smells of home baking were part of almost every day. My mother loved to bake and, as I married and had my own children, I carried on this loving tradition. But the more I read about food additives, Trans-fats and hormone affected foods the more I decided to cook most things from whole, healthy food sources. So when the opportunity to review a cookbook of heart-healthy recipes using olive oil came up, I jumped at the chance. I was also intrigued that a book of baking (not cooking) was inspired by olive oil. How could I bake sugar cookies or pancakes with olive oil and not end up with that distinctive taste? But, as I found out, it is entirely possible to replace butter, margarine or vegetable oil with olive oil and expect mouth-watering results. The information on olive oil in the introduction is convincing and helpful. But there is a downside. As home schooling families we are often on a rather tight budget and olive oil is definitely a more expensive fat source than margarine or vegetable oil. The author writes that olive oil should be purchased in tins rather than the popular glass bottles because light reduces the benefit by up to 30% while it is still on the grocery shelf. Buying a large tin of olive oil is an investment that many may balk at. So I tried the recipes in the book three ways, using just olive oil, using a mix of half olive oil and heart smart vegetable oil and using regular vegetable oil. In each case the recipes were wonderful and turned out well. So the book can be recommended on the strength of the recipes alone or with the idea of using pure olive oil to enhance our families health. In either case the recipes are family oriented, user friendly and made with many whole food sources. I have my copy of “Olive Oil Baking ” on my cookbook shelf and plan to use it often. The recipes for “Mom’s Best Pancakes” and “Lemon Blueberry Waffles” almost warrant the purchase on their own! So if you are a cook who doesn’t look for quick shortcuts or pre-packaged mixes this could be just the book you need. After all, we keepers of the family table have a great responsibility to nourish our children’s minds and bodies and “Olive Oil Baking” is a great way to accomplish this.

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