Cooking With Essential Oils
We’re all familiar with how wonderful essential oils are for lotions, soaps, candles, and beauty products. (and if you’re not, you will be soon enough) But did you know that they can also be used in cooking? And I’m not just talking about olive oil? Pure, organic, food-grade essential oils can work wonders in the kitchen and take your meals from okay to gourmet, even if you’re not a chef! Using essential oils in your recipes not only enhances the aroma, quality and taste of the ingredients, but adds the therapeutic benefit specific to each oil that you choose to incorporate.
When cooking with essential oils it’s important to remember how concentrated they are – a little goes a LONG way! Typically, you can count on 1-2 drops to be the equivalent of the called-for amount of dry or fresh herbs. This makes the use of essential oils in cooking extremely cost effective as the bottle will last you a very long time. A good approach to incorporating concentrated oils into your recipe is to always measure the drops onto a spoon rather than directly into the dish. This will help to avoid using too much. You can always add more to suit your taste.
Another rule to follow when cooking with food-grade essential oils is to always add the oil near the end of the cooking process. This ensures great aroma and taste as the chemical constitutes of the oil may be altered and lose their therapeutic benefits and concentrated flavor if cooked too long. Remember- essential oils can be used in both savory and sweet dishes, so the possibilities really are endless. If you’re unsure of where to start when cooking with these oils, here’s a list of 10 great oils to try!
1. Oregano– Think Italian. A few drops to homemade tomato sauce. A drop or two in pesto or cream sauce. A little bit in a blend for a dipping oil with bread. Even a drop or two spread over pizza dough before adding your toppings.
2. Ginger– This oil will add a nice flavor to sweet or savory dishes. Add to soups and stir-fry or try it in a jam for a unique taste.
3. Peppermint– Like the flavor of mint and chocolate together? This oil is wonderful in anything chocolate such as sauces, chocolate fondues, frostings, and homemade treats. You can also add peppermint oil to a tall glass of ice water for a refreshing drink. It’s great used in tea as well.
4. Lemon– Add it to baked goods and treats, water, tea, juices, and in poultry and fish marinades.
5. Orange– Use this oil the same way you would the lemon. In addition to adding it to baked goods, beverages, and marinades- orange essential also goes nicely with chocolate.
6. Black Pepper– Add to sauces, soups, and dips. Black pepper is great for aiding in digestion and helping with the elimination of toxins in the body. This oil is great to use in healthy recipes to assist with weight loss.
7. Basil– This oil adds wonderful flavor to Italian dishes the way oregano oil does. Sauces, soups, pasta, bruschetta blends and pizzas all work well with the addition of this oil.
8. Cinnamon Bark– Sweets! Add to cakes, breads, biscuits, chocolate recipes and apple cider.
9. Grapefruit– Swirl a few drops into juices and tea. Add it to any recipe that has a citrus flavor. This oil can be used in everything from tropical marinades to sweet, fluffy cupcakes and frostings.
10. Sage– Savory! This essential oil goes well in sauces, marinades, ground meat, and soups. It blends nicely with fresh herbs too so mix in your favorites!
How do you use essential oils in the kitchen?