Don't you just hate it when you are in the middle of mixing up your grandmas special spaghetti sauce, or your own infamous gluten-free apple crisp only to discover you have run out of that secret spice, extract, or herb that just makes the dish?
Do you leave what youre doing in mid-prep, turn off the oven/burner, and run to the store? What if your sauce is mid-simmer? Or home alone with the kiddos? Is the store even open?
Or what if you need a specific flavorcan you really trust the artificial flavorings or sugar-laden extracts found at mainstream markets?
I used to have this problem ALL THE TIME.
Before having my daughter, I was super organized and rarely ran out of spices. And if I did it wasnt challenging to hop in the car and head to the store.
Now, that super-organized part of my brain is occupied thinking about HER (and our new little one on the way).
Out of necessity, I have learned the BEST and most delicious ways to season and spice our food using my go-to Young Livings Essential oils.
They work so well and provide such a depth of flavor, there are some spices I just dont buy anymore.
Im absolutely hooked on cooking with oils.
And once you master the basics on how to cook with Young Living Essential Oils, youll never have to make a mad-spice-dash to the store again.
But first the controversy is it REALLY okay to ingest essential oils?
Im going to make this quick & simple.
ONLY EVER ingest essential oils that are 100% pure and preferably organic/naturally grown/wild crafted.
Yes, essential oils come from plants so they are natural. But labeling laws are very gray in the essential oil field, therefore an oil can be labeled pure or natural even if its cut with synthetic oils or perfumes. Not what you want to ingest. If you are unsure of the brand you have on the shelf, don't use them. It's as simple as that.
Tip #1: Don't over do it! Less is more. Light-handed on the oils you get the picture.
Essential oils are the concentrated aroma and flavor extracts of the plant, bark, flower, etc. Theyre not watered down extracts, these are 100% pure natural oilsand that flavor really comes through.
With some strong oils, like nutmeg, cardamom, or black pepper even 1 drop can overpower a dish.
I use a toothpick, insert it into the bottle, then stir it into my dish. Then I add more as-needed.
Tip #2: How to tell if an oil is strong in flavor.
Let your sense of smell guide you.
Remember, the majority of your sense of taste comes via your sense of smell.
If you dont like the smell of something or it smells super strong or pungent, thats a prime indicator to use the toothpick method (listed above) or start with just 1 drop of essential oil.
Also, keep in mind that, as with any spices, one persons strong is another persons mild, so youll have to experiment a bit to find the ideal strength for your familys recipes.
Tip #3: How much to use.
I stick to 1-3 drops max for mild to medium strength oils.
Start using one drop before jumping to 3 drops, then do a taste test.
After adding the first drop, I often let the recipe sit or simmer for 10 minutes, then taste, before adding additional seasoning.
Now youre ready to get cooking! Heres my list of
Favorite Essential Oils for Cooking and Baking
- Oregano—great with ground beef, bison, or lamb and in sauces and stews.
- Rosemary—excellent with roasted potatoes, stews, beef, bison, or lamb.
- Basil—same as above plus its lovely in dressings.
- Black Pepper—for anything, works great in marinades for steaks.
- Lime—can be used in guacamole, marinades, or in place of lime zest in healthy desserts/beverages.
- Lemon—I use this all the time to wash my veggies, add to mayonnaise, and for
- DIY Pink Lemonade
- Mix a drop or so of lemon oil (to taste) and a couple drops liquid stevia to water.
- Add organic whole raspberries or strawberries for flavor and color.
- Mix & enjoy.
- DIY Pink Lemonade
- Cinnamon Bark—I use this often in baking especially zucchini bread and
- Nutmeg—I used with banana bread and during thanksgiving I used it for a paleo pumpkin pie)
- Dill—great in dressings, marinades, quick pickles, and dips like homemade tzatziki sauce with yogurt, garlic, onion, cucumber, and dill.
- Cardamom—stir into lentil soups/dahls, rice, stews, and it makes a wonderfully sweet and warming addition to spiced baked goods, granola, and pancakes.
- Lavender—adds a gourmet flavor to healthy desserts (try it in your next dairy-free berry ice cream recipe) and baked goods.
- Orange/Tangerine/Mandarin—use in place of hard-to-find organic zest in your favorite recipes—wonderful in cream cheese frosting.
- Vanilla—when you just dont have enough vanilla extract, delicious in hot beverages too.
Though it may seem intimidating at first, cooking with oils is not rocket science. All it takes to master is a little knowledge and courage to experiment.
Follow these tips, youre sure to be cranking out mouth-watering, lip-smacking, love-infused dishes and baked goods in no time flat.
How do you cook or bake with essential oils? What tips or bloopers can you share with those just starting out?
Cheers to never running out of herbs, spices, or extracts again!