Thursday, April 12, 2012

Olive Nation: A Product Review

*Update: I just found out that Olive Nation has these on sale right now for 15% off. Just enter coupon code EXT15. Offer expires 04/21/12.

Recently I won an awesome giveaway at Heavenly Homemakers  for a $25 gift certificate to Olive Nation. Woohoo! Olive Nation is a great resource for all kinds of healthy and yummy foods. I splurged on several fun things like premium olive oil, a bag of quinoa and a bottle of strawberry extract. I was the most excited about the extract. I have only really tried the usual suspects like vanilla, almond and mint, so using something completely different sounded fun!

The first thing I used it in was a strawberry smoothie. This is the recipe I came up with:

1 c ice cubes
3 bananas broken up in chunks
2-3 c frozen organic strawberries
1 c coconut milk
1 c (+ more if necessary for desired consistency) water
3 Tbsp ground flaxseed

I have to say, these were amazing. The kids liked it so much I had to make a second pitcher. The strawberry flavor was really nice - not fake tasting at all. The extract enhanced the strawberry flavor in a really pleasant way.  It was so fresh and re-mindful of a homemade strawberry milkshake - creamy and good!

Next, I wanted to try it in something baked, so I made a double batch of strawberry muffins this morning. I came up with this recipe:

For 24 muffins:

4 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour (or fresh ground)
1/3 c sucanat
1/3 c turbinado
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp real salt
3 c chopped frozen organic strawberries
4 eggs
1 c water (could use milk but we are sensitive to dairy so we use good ole' water)
1 c yogurt (we used coconut yogurt)
2/3 c melted palm shortening (non-hydrogenated) or coconut oil

I know I should mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately and then combine, but honestly, I just dumped everything into my Kitchenaid and blended it. It came out great!

I spooned the batter into 24 lined muffin cups and topped with this strudel topping:

1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c turbinado
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp (give or take, you may need to adjust a bit to get the right consistency - I did) palm shortening.

Work these ingredients with a fork until it resembles course crumbs. Then just spoon over each muffin.

I baked these at 425 for 20 minutes and then popped out to cool. 

The muffins were really good too! I was so pleased. They passed the kid test and even were requested again later in the day. Since I made so many, I popped one dozen into the big freezer to have on hand as a convenience food for later. Again, the extract was not a phony strawberry flavor. It was so subtle in the muffins that I think I will actually use at least 2 tsp next time if not more. 

I was really impressed with Olive Nation's product and would definitely recommend it. And, I really want to try some of their other amazing sounding flavors like blackberry, apricot, peach, pear and how about chai for the holidays! Yum!!!


  1. Thanks for the heads up on Olive Nation. I hate buying any extracts at the store as the "pure" is hard to find or expensive for the wee bit you get.

    blessings, jilly
    visiting from sew many ways

  2. Looks like these are winners! I can't wait to try these, since I have a daughter who loves anything with strawberries (or flavor) in it! Looks great!