Cooking with Essential Oils
One of the many reasons why people incorporate essential oils into their recipes is because of the simplicity of adding 1-2 drops of a specific oil versus spending time chopping and slicing. But it is also extremely important to use essential oils the right way so that you can experience the health benefits while also avoiding overpowering your meals with flavors that are too intense. Remember these THREE words and you will be all set! CONVERT - Remember that the essential oil is a concentrated portion of its original source. A good rule of thumb is to use one drop of oil to replace a teaspoon of a specific ingredient in your recipe. DILUTE - Another thing to remember when cooking with essential oils is that they should still be diluted into a lipid first. This not only keeps us safe, but it helps to ensure the oil (and flavor) gets dispersed throughout the whole dish. For savory recipes, dilute into a bit of olive or coconut oil. Stir, then add to the recipe. For sweet recipes, honey or syrup works well. DELAY - For hot recipes, wait until the end of the process before adding the essential oil. These are called “volatile oils” for a reason – they are relatively fragile and will dissipate quickly in high heat!
Top 10 Oils For Cooking
Here are my top ten cooking oils in no particular order: 1 - Lavender: Since this oil is considered one of the most gentle to use, I recommend including lavender if your desired flavor is delicate and floral. 2 - Peppermint: This is one of the most popular oils to cook with because of its cool and refreshing flavor. Peppermint is linked to increased level of energy so if you add a drop to your next brownie batch you might have an extra pep in your step. 3 - All Citrus Oils: Whether you use Lime, Lemon, Grapefruit, or even Tangerine oil, you will enjoy these oils in a variety of recipes (especially smoothies). 4 - Bergamot: Although this oil has a citrusy flavor, I want to highlight it separately. Try bergamot in scone recipes and treats to take advantage of its excellent pairing with mild flavors. 5 - Cinnamon Bark: Cinnamon essential oil works very well in sweet dishes to replace powdered cinnamon bark. Think cinnamon French toast, or an extra cinnamon boost in cinnamon rolls. But it is EXTREMELY important to dilute properly to protect sensitive membranes, and to only use a drop or two for a recipe. 6 - Cardamom: Use cardamom and cinnamon bark as part of a chai flavor blend or in any spice-flavored dessert or treat. You can also use this oil if your desire is to add a warm flavor touch to meat dishes and main courses. 7 - Ginger: Add ginger to sweet treats like ginger snaps, gingerbread, and spiced drinks. You can also try it in sauces for savory dishes like stir fries and marinades. 8 - Thyme: As a savory flavor, add thyme to main course dishes, especially when meat is involved. The herbaceous flavor blends well into soups, stews, and baked goods as well. 9 - Fennel: I am going to warn you that this oil should NOT be used daily or in excess so it really should NOT be for the beginner cook, but once you feel ready to add a drop of this oil to your dish you can get really creative. Some ideas include savory marinades, soups, sausages, and various ethnic recipes. 10 - Cilantro: Use cilantro essential oil where you would use cilantro such as in salsas, dips, and savory cuisine.
Dr. Brittany Bowers
Chiropractic, Acupuncture, NAET
Nashville and White House, TN