Muffin Monday: Olive Oil Muffins

Olive Oil. Liquid Gold.

Did you know that out of all edible fats olive oil is the most digestible?  The health benefits of this particular oil are numerous, as are their flavour profiles. Like wine, olive oil can come in a variety of tastes that range from fruity, rich, buttery, light, delicate, full and robust. Because of the versatility behind this particular oil along with the undeniable health benefits, I have always been a fan. That being said, I have never baked with olive oil.

Now I realize that using olive oil in baking has been done for centuries and the results have been professed across kitchens all over the globe, but for whatever reason the combination of baked goods and olive oil conjure up unnatural tasting goodies in my mind. I know, I know, I know…I have issues.

After reading the rave reviews online for this particular recipe, I decided to suck it up. The recipe that Anuradha from Baker Street chose for this week comes from Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis. It was meant to be a last ditch healthy effort before the onslaught of what I can only imagine will be sinfully delightful holiday muffins (coming soon!) With 1 cup of sugar and only 1 ¾ cups flour, I’m not sure if healthy is the best word to describe these muffins. Somehow I’m thinking the ¾ cup olive oil is not able to magic the unhealthy away.

The recipe is straightforward and comes together quickly and easily – my type of muffin. Along with olive oil, 2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar are called for along with a mixture of lemon and orange zest. Not doing much for easing my concerns here people! Because I didn’t have any fresh oranges, I opted to use an orange extract (¾ tsp). I also made my muffins gluten-free; choosing almond flour (2/3 cup), quinoa flakes (½ cup), brown rice flour (½ cup), tapioca starch (¼ cup) and xanthan gum (¾ tsp). In light of the citrus flavours in the batter I opted to use a nice, fruity extra virgin olive oil which I thought would complement the lemon and orange flavours. As for the balsamic? I would just have to cross my fingers (and toes).

In the end these muffins turned out well and exceeded my expectations! That being said my expectations were low (sorry Giada). They were edible and the olive oil really allowed for these muffins to stay nice and moist. The citrus zest was a nice addition, and the vinegar heightened their flavour without tasting vinegary. The sliced almonds paired well with the almond flour, really dialing up the nutty taste and texture. However, we all found these muffins to be waaaaay too sweet. And we skipped the powdered sugar on top! You could probably use half the listed amount and it would be sufficient. Can’t say I will be making this recipe again, but if I were I would consider using agave nectar as the granulated sugar just seemed too harsh with the other gentler, healthy ingredients. Are you picking up what I’m putting down?!

Adios until next week’s muffin adventure!

For a copy of the original recipe for Olive Oil Muffins, please visit Baker Street and be sure to check out what the other food bloggers have baked up this week!

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.



14 comments on “Muffin Monday: Olive Oil Muffins

  1. Barbie on said:

    I was also apprehensive at first. I was scared of the olive oil bit, I wasn’t sure how it would affect the taste of the muffins.

    I’m glad they turned out well for us (and the rest of the Muffin Monday bakers!) Your photos are, as always, gorgeous!

  2. Anita Menon on said:

    Gluten free muffins – I am so curious to try them. I do not think I’d get half the stuff that you’ve added, where I stay.
    The more I read about it, the more curious I get.
    Happy Monday ( Tuesday to me)!

  3. Marta (Princess Misi on said:

    Oh my, they do look delicious! I am a big quinoa fan but never thought of using quinoa flakes in muffins! Thanks a lot for the tip! 😀

  4. Your gluten-free muffins look really good. I did reduce the sugar in mine too, and they tasted just right! Happy Muffin Monday :-).

  5. elena @3greenonions on said:

    you know I’ve never baked with almond floor – must try it soon!I know what you mean about the sugar – I think just looking at a full cup of sugar instantly makes my hips wider:))

  6. Carrie @ poet in the on said:

    I have to love how you said they were “edible.” I’ve had experiences like that! Good for you for giving them a chance, though!

  7. Stay-At-Home-Chef on said:

    Yes I’m glad I went ahead and tried the recipe despite my olive oil related hesitations. Barbie you’re right – always good to try new things :)

  8. Stay-At-Home-Chef on said:

    Anita I have to say that baking gluten-free has made me a better baker! So much science behind each and every ingredient!

  9. Stay-At-Home-Chef on said:

    Marta I just discovered quinoa flakes recently and they’re great! Provide a lovely texture kinda similar to oats.

  10. Stay-At-Home-Chef on said:

    Yes Maya it seems like a lot of people automatically cut down on the amount of sugar in this recipe and had great results. I should have gone with my gut instinct!

  11. Stay-At-Home-Chef on said:

    Elena you are absolutely right! The guilt was partially mixed with disgust just looking at the full cup of sugar before adding it to the batter. Unnecessary :)

  12. Stay-At-Home-Chef on said:

    Carrie sometimes you just gotta call it like it is my friend 😉

  13. Pingback: CookThatBook » Muffin Monday: Olive Oil Muffins | ClubEvoo

  14. Nastassia on said:

    love these gluten free and love that you used orange extract i bet that added a wonderful and strong citrus flavor! love muffin mondays :)

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