Cooking with Essential Oils

Wholesome food for my family is everything, this is something that I wake up thinking about, planning and trying out new recipes. I have lived in some amazing places and tried so many different cuisines but I definitely have to say that Mediterranean style cooking is my favourite- fresh, wholesome, stems from my italian heritage and free from processed food.

For me cooking with fresh produce is my number one but when I came across these little gems “oils of life” I couldn’t help but explore and share with my family and friends the amazing flavour it adds to meals plus the added health benefits it provides especially to my little ones. I like using the citrus oils in my smoothies and baking , Rosemary, Oregano & Thyme in my sauces and baked dinners…

If you are new to the essential oils world and want to know more check out my page on Essential Oils all the info that you need to know is there…..

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Why use Essential oils in your food?

They are AMAZING! Essential oils have a several benefits when added to food. They can provide another dimension to your cooking and enhance the flavour of your dish. As these oils are super concentrated you only need to add a very little to get the flavour that you are after.

Health Benefits – Essential oils have been used throughout history and there has been a lot of rediscovery in holistic health that they plant based oils hold amazing health benefits like cleansing and immune support… so why not add them to your food…

Convenient & save money – think about all herbs that you buy and throw in the bin or you only need a little bit of rosemary to add to your baked potatoes and end up using dry herbs or leaving it out. That’s why EO’s are great to have in the your kitchen. Since I started using the oils I either grow my own fresh herbs that I use all the time like mint, basil & parsley so I am not having to spend a fortune on buying fresh and for all the other herbs I use my oils.  I try not to use dried herbs that much as they can lose up to 90% of their healing nutrients so you are better or using fresh or EO’s.

Seasons – Great back up when fresh herbs aren’t available in all seasons!

Safety & Methods of Use

Essential oils can add a very subtle or very strong taste to our foods, so it is important that you know how to add the oils to your cooking in the right way and ensure that you know how to use them safely. THIS IS IMPORTANT.

Ingesting Essential oils – Yes it is safe to ingest essential oils however you have to make sure that the oils that you are using are 100% Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CTPG). They need to state on the bottle that you can ingest them and as some oils are so potent you need to make sure you do your research before adding them to your favourite recipes. The oils that I use are CTPG which are pure, natural, aromatic compounds which have been carefully extracted from plants. They do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients, free of contaminants such as pesticides or other chemical residues.  Please do not go to the $2 shop they are synthetic and you can get unwell by ingesting these types of oils.

So how to start….

The toothpick method

1 toothpick dip =  dip a toothpick into the essential oil and dip it once into the recipe
1 toothpick swirl = dip a toothpick into the essential oil and swirl it around in the recipe
1/2 drop – Drop an essential oil onto a spoon, then use the tip of a sharp knife to obtain the desired flavour

Substituting oils for herbs

1/2 tsp dried herbs  = 1 1/2 tsp fresh herbs = 2-3 toothpick swirls of EO
1 tsp dried herbs = 1 tsp fresh herbs = 1 drop EO

Substituting oils for citrus

1 tsp lemon extract = 1/8 tsp lemon essential oil = 16 drops
1 tbs lemon zest = 1/16 teaspoon lemon essential oil = 8 drops

Other useful tips on using essential oils

  • Always keep your oils in a cool /dark place as they will last longer
  • Oils such as Oregano, thyme, Rosemary, clove, cinnamon bark and ginger as they are very strong
  • It is best to add the oil last to a dish where possible as they are heat sensitive and you want to minimise exposure and to get the most out of your oils e.g. when adding my oils to my pasta sauce I always allow the sauce to boils and shimmer for 30 mins prior to adding the oils. However when baking this is hard so i tend to add the oils in the last 5 mins of baking when I can.
  • When using essential oils it is always best to dilute oils with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil – this is the same in cooking. When I first started using the oils I made up 3 olive oil infused oils that I add regularly to my food and top up when need it.
  • EO’s and water don’t mix so i find that when I am wanting to ingest the oil I give it a good mix prior to drinking it or i add 1 tsp of coconut oil. If you are using it in a cocktail give the cocktail a very good shake.
  • Have fun! If you are a passionate foodie/ cook you are going to love experimenting with EO’s and the more you experiment the better understanding you will have when adding it to your foods.

Here are my favourite oils that I use for certain foods/ cuisines:

Italian Mama: Oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemon, basil
BBQ King: Black pepper, rosemary, thyme –  mix the oils to make a great marinade for your meat, chicken or seafood
Baking Queen: Lavender, lemon, wild orange, peppermint, cinnamon bark – bake to your hearts content – add to your energy balls or favourite cake recipe. Try using peppermint or wild orange in your chocolate dishes
Asian Spice: Coriander, ginger, lime, lemongrass – add these flavours to your fav thai dishes or curries
Tea lover: Lemon, ginger, peppermint, wild orange, chamomile
Health+Wellbeing: :Lemon, peppermint, wild orange, ginger – add these flavours to your smoothies, energy balls or salad dressings

If you are wanting the latest cooking tips sign up to “Cooking with EO” newsletter or if you would like a cooking workshop at your home let me know.

 

WATCH THIS SPACE FOR……..

  • Cooking with Essential oils 101
  • Salad dressings
  • Healthy snacks
  • And more……..

 

Image from doTERRA website 
The information provided on this page has been researched using doTERRA’s website tools and The Essential Life Book.

 

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