[Disclosure: Olivado sent me samples of their oil to review. I was under no obligation to review the samples or, if I did review them, to post a positive review. I received no monetary compensation for this review.]
[All this could be yours!]
Several months ago, I received an email from Katelyn, a lovely representative for a company called Olivado, asking if I’d be interested in sampling some of their avocado oil. Well, I’m a sucker for avocado and already use it in a plethora of dishes. Like the fruit itself, avocado oils confer a host of health benefits in addition to a unique and delicious flavor. To top it all off, the company’s home base is in New Zealand (and as we all know, I’m crazy for the antipodes). How could I refuse?
When the parcel arrived in the mail, I could barely contain myself, I was so curious to give the product a try. The visual picture offered was, in itself, striking: nestled in a gorgeous chestnut faux leather box that would be perfect recycled as a gift box or storage for precious mementos, the bottles themselves were obviously designed with care. Made of sleek black glass (important to protect the delicate fatty acids and nutrients within) they sported thick, colorful labels. I received a bottle each of avocado oil, an avocado-lemon blend, macadamia oil, and Omega-Plus, a balanced oil containing avocado, olive, and flax.
The avocado oils are organic, fair trade, cold pressed and extra virgin. According to their website, Olivado is the premier producer of avocado oil, having pioneered the method to extract oil from the fruit. The oil also possesses an extremely high smoke point (500F/255C). Because it is primarily a monounsaturated fat, I wouldn’t cook with it at excessively high temperatures in any case, but it’s good to know you can sauté with it or use it in any context where olive oil would be appropriate. The Omega Plus provides a “proper balance of essential Omega 3, 6 & 9 fatty acids” in an easily digestible format, without any animal products. And the macadamia oil, also with a high smoke point (410F/210C), is high in natural antioxidants in the form of vitamin E. Since they are all vegetable oils, they’re naturally vegan, cholesterol-free and trans-fat free.
I couldn’t wait to start pouring and get cooking! One dictum I remember clearly from my days in nutrition school (when we studied fatty acids) was drummed into us by one of our instructors: “A good quality oil should smell and taste like the thing it’s made of; clear, tasteless oils have been stripped of all natural elements and nutritional value.” Let me tell you, the instant I openened that first bottle of Olivado, I was awash in the intoxicating scent of fresh avocado. Love at first sniff!
[I loved the color of this dressing. . . and the avocado-rich flavor.]
Rather than lose some of the delicate taste and gorgeous scent through cooking, I wanted my first attempt to showcase the oil at room temperature: a salad dressing! For inspiration, I went straight to Gena’s blog. With her raw food roots, love of big, fresh salads and innovative dressings (and she recently decided to go to medical school–whoo!), I knew I’d find something perfect. And I did!
I whipped up Gena’s Tomato Curry dressing–except without the curry ;). Using the lemon-avocado in place of the olive oil (and sub’ing stevia for the dates), the result was an incredibly smooth, light, fruity dressing that elevated a simple salad into something extraordinary (see photo, above).
I also used the regular avocado oil in place of olive oil in another dressing, this one a warm topping for a spinach and caramelized shallot salad (you can see the recipe on my Facebook page, here.). Again, a stellar result, and one, as the HH remarked, that was “worthy of a restaurant meal.”
The Omega Plus, with its blend of extra virgin avocado, olive and flaxseed oils, is a great ingredient to add to smoothies, mix into dressings, or drizzle over your oats in the morning for extra Omega 3 and 6 goodness.
[So creamy, and so rich!]
Finally, I wanted to create something that would allow the subtle flavor of the macadamia oil to shine on its own. My thoughts turned immediately to the whipped topping recipe in How it all Vegan. I used to call it “sweet mayonnaise” because the mixture is really just an emulsification of oil and soymilk with some sweetener. It’s actually a perfect finishing touch for something a little less rich, such as my Baked Apple Rice Pudding.
Using macadamia oil in place of the original vegetable oil and stevia with just a touch of agave instead of sugar, I created a light whipped “cream” to die for. And even though the main ingredient is oil (and I know many of us are trying to cut back), a tiny spoonful was sufficient to lend an air of opulence to the pudding.
I was really impressed by the quality and flavor of the oils and would definitely seek out the avocado and macadamia again (I was less enamored of the Omega Plus, not being a fan of flax seed oil). I love that they offer substantial health benefits along with fantastic flavor.
And I’d love for you to try some, too!
Olivado has generously offered to send a box like the one pictured above (including the faux leather gift box) with four flavored oils to one lucky DDD reader!
Here’s how you can enter:
First entry: take a peek at the Olivado site and tell me what impresses you most about the company or products.
Second or subsequent entries: For extra entries, do one or more of the following:
- mention this giveaway on twitter, using this text: “Win a box of @Olivado healthy oils from @rickiheller! Avocado, macadamia & more. Enter here: http://su.pr/19ZbHy “; then come back and leave a comment telling me that you did so.
- mention this giveaway on Facebook, with a link to this page. Then come back and leave a comment telling me that you did so.
- Write about this giveaway on your blog, with a link to this page. Then come back and leave a comment telling me that you did so.
- Follow Olivado on Facebook. Then come back and leave a comment telling me that you did so.
- Subscribe to this blog (see icons at upper right of the page). Leave a comment telling me you did so.
- Follow DDD on Facebook. Then come back and leave a comment telling me that you did so.
- Follow me on twitter. Then come back and leave a comment telling me that you did so.
The giveaway will run until midnight this Sunday, January 16th, after which I’ll choose a winner using random.org.
Good luck, everyone! 😀
Diet, Dessert and Dogs (http://rickiheller.com)
This is a quick and easy topping that can be used over almost any sweet dish. The macadamia flavor is very subtle, yet noticeable enough to render this cream something extraordinary. And while it is very rich, you’ll only need a little dollop to dress up your desserts, pancakes, or waffles.
1/4 cup (60 ml) unsweetened soy milk
1 Tbsp (30 ml) light agave nectar
10 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) pure vanilla extract
1 tsp (5 ml) organic cornstarch (arrowroot or tapioca won’t work in this)
1/2 cup (120 ml) Olivado macadamia oil (yes, that much!)
Place the milk, agave, stevia, vanilla and cornstarch in a blender and whir to blend. Then, with the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Blend until it is smooth, creamy, and firming up. Transfer to a bowl or container and chill for at least 30 minutes. Dollop over your favorite dessert. Makes 3/4 cup (180 ml). Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 4 days.
* Note: To make the recipe suitable for Stage 1 and beyond, omit the agave and use more stevia instead.