[The following post is sponsored by Pompeian.]
When Pompeian asked me to write a sponsored post about olive oil, I told myself that it would be a no-brainer. I already use a lot of olive oil when cooking. It’s delicious on pasta and pizza (and I eat a lot of pasta and pizza!). I always sauté vegetables with olive oil – butter burns at around 300 degrees, while olive oil can go to over 400 degrees without burning, so it’s just easier to sauté with.
In fact, one of the few vegetables my son actually likes (as in, asks for!) is carrots sautéed in olive oil and dill! It’s been such a great help in getting vegetables into that boy.
Pompeian sent me a bottle of their Extra Virgin Olive Oil and I was excited to get started! But then I checked out the Pompeian Pledge. This wasn’t going to be about using olive oil, it’s about swapping butter for olive oil for the month of August, which is National Olive Oil Month.
I love butter, I can’t deny that. But olive oil is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than butter. It’s a staple of Mediterranean diets, which many nutritionists hold up as the gold standard of eating. I could see some definite benefits to using olive oil in place of butter. But would it taste good?
The Garlic Bread Swap
I thought about some of my favorite foods that I put butter in or on. The first olive oil swap I decided to make was with garlic bread, since I was having some leftover pasta for lunch that day (of course I was!). I usually make my garlic bread with butter, but I knew that olive oil would work great because I dip crusty breads in olive oil all the time!
I brushed some Pompeian olive oil onto the bread and crushed a generous amount of garlic on top. I sprinkled some Italian seasoning and a little salt on and put it in the oven.
Just as I thought it would be, the garlic bread was delicious. One successful swap down!
The Mashed Potato Swap
One of my favorite foods in the world is mashed potatoes, which I always think of as yellow and buttery. But I was willing to give this swap a try.
I love the taste of roasted garlic with potatoes, so I prepared a couple of bulbs by cutting off the pointy ends and covering the exposed garlic with a teaspoon of olive oil. I wrapped the bulbs in aluminum foil and roasted at 400 for 40 minutes. Meanwhile I prepared the potatoes.
I boiled six potatoes and drained them. I added three tablespoons of olive oil and mashed the potatoes well. Once the garlic was roasted and cool enough to touch I squeezed both bulbs on to a plate and mashed it into a pulp with a fork. I added that to the potatoes, along with enough milk to make things creamy. I whipped this with a whisk, adding salt and pepper to taste as I went along. Last I stirred in a generous helping of shredded Parmesan cheese.
They were good! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very different taste than mashed potatoes with butter. But they were delicious. This is definitely a swap that I could make for at least a month. Another successful swap!
The Popcorn Swap
One of the initiatives that Pompeian is working on for August is getting some movie theaters to use their olive oils on popcorn. I admit, this one seemed the weirdest to me. Popcorn! Butter! They go together! But I thought it couldn’t hurt to try.
Usually when I make popcorn I pop it in peanut oil and then toss it with butter. I decided to replace both with olive oil. My usual recipe is 3 tablespoon of oil and 1/3 of a cup of popcorn kernels, but I wanted to make the olive oil flavor part of the popcorn, not drizzle it on top. So I popped 1/4 cup of popcorn in 1/4 cup of olive oil.
I added some salt, gave it a taste, and honestly, I was blown away! I pretty much knew that I would like the other two swaps before I made them, because I know my own taste buds. But I really didn’t think this one would work. I only tried it because it seemed so crazy. But it TOTALLY works! And if you’re saying to yourself “She’s only saying that because they’re paying her to say that!” I say, try it for yourself!!!
And, not only is it absolutely delicious, it also cuts out the extra steps of melting the butter and mixing it into the popcorn, which also cuts out extra dishes. Yay! I couldn’t stop eating this. A very successful – and surprising – swap!
Take The Pledge
If you head over to Pompeian’s Facebook page you can take the Pompeian Pledge to replace butter with olive oil, and you’ll be entered to win one of 1,000 prizes: a free movie redemption code and a coupon for a free bottle of olive oil. Plus, each week five more people who’ve taken the pledge will win a fun prize pack!
To help you swap in olive oil in your recipes, Pompeian has developed a conversion chart, so that you know how much to use. It’s not an even swap – you actually use less olive oil than butter!
You can check out all the different kinds of Pompeian olive oils here, and don’t forget to take that pledge!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Pompeian.