Add Flavour to Your Kitchen
Essential oils can take your Cooking to another level of Aromatic Delight. Whether your a raw cook, meat lover, vegetarian or addicted to sweet delights essential oils can enhance your food and add therapeutic benefits. But if you’ve never used oils in your kitchen before here are a few tips to inspire to feel confident.
What are Culinary Essential Oils
Always use e. oils that are Food Grade and state this on the bottle. I use Young Living Essential Oils as they have an extensive culinary range of the highest food grade quality essential oils. If in doubt check the label and they should be in packaged dark glass. At home keep them in the pantry where it is cool and out of the sunlight. And, remember to recap your oils straight after use so not to lose the aromatic and health benefits.
Essential Oils are concentrated botanicals and as such you need use very little. They can add a very subtle or very strong taste to your dishes depending on how much you use, so less is always best, tasting as you go until you feel confident. (see below for how much to use).
A Little Goes a Long Way
Because we need so little they are a very economical way to flavour our foods naturally and there is no wastage. Often we can’t get the fresh herb we want in season so 1/2 to 1 drop of essential oil may give the same taste and health benefit as 1 teaspoon of dried herb or a bunch of herbs. It’s a good idea to mix your essential oils with an olive, coconut or other oil or liquid when cooking to more evenly disperse the flavour in your dish. Our citrus oils are distilled from the rind so they are zesty and delicious but different to juice.
Spice Up Your Teas
I love my teas but while traveling I can’t always get what I love. So I carry my favourites. Cardomom, Black Pepper and Lemon. And when I feel like a chai I add a drop each of Cardamom and Black Pepper. Or I add it to powdered Tumeric to make a Tumeric Chai. But 1 drop from the 5ml bottle can be too much so I decant into a 2ml sampler bottle and then 1 tap is perfect in a good black tea. YUM.
So how can we add essential oils to our cooking?
Here are a few methods and measurements.
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 tlb 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
Salad dressings or salad oils: Lemon, lime, lavender, rosemary, clove or spearmint.
Meat and sauces:
Basil, marjoram, oregano or thyme.
Lemon, clove, orange, tangerine, cardamom, lavender, spearmint or peppermint.
Lavender, Roman chamomile, orange, tangerine, lemon, thieves blend, peppermint and melissa, Check out my Chai Recipe.
Lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, citrus fresh or peppermint can be added to cold sparking or still water.
Cinnamon, clove, cardamom, lavender, basil, lime, chamomile or lemon. Gently Warm honey until it becomes runny, then add the oil.
Consider adding oregano, marjoram, thyme or basil to tomato sauces for pizza or pasta dishes.
Try a drop of lemongrass, black pepper, coriander or ginger to enhance your Thai curry, soup or stir fry.
Use peppermint oil, lavender, tangerine or orange oil.