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Cooking with Essential Oils


By +Janice D'Agostino on May 31, 2013 10:00 AM in Recipes

By +Janice D'Agostino

When you use essential oils in the kitchen, there is no end to the interesting tastes you can create. – Valerie Ann Worwood, aromatherapist and author of The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy 

Aromatic essential oils soothe frazzled minds, reinvigorate as well as a strong cup of coffee, and boost the body's natural healing power. Good quality 100% pure essential oils are also safe to cook with. Adding delicious flavor, one drop at a time. 

Do brand research before choosing essential oils and select only those that are 100% pure. The less than pure brands often dilute the oils with non-food products. One of the ways to tell quality is by price structure. Some oils are ridiculously expensive to produce and, if they are pure, should be more expensive to purchase.  

A good way to learn how to use essential oils in cookery is with salad dressings and marinades. The following recipe uses sunflower oil which contains more vitamin E than any other oil, but if you prefer EVOO, go right ahead and use it. 

Essential Sunshine Lemon Basil Salad Dressing

Nutrition facts 

Ingredients

  • 1 T sunflower oil
  • 1 t rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • 1 drop basil essential oil
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Directions

In a small bowl, mix the first four ingredients, taste and adjust the flavor. Basil essential oil is a very strong oil. Put your drop on a spoon to make sure it is just one drop and swirl into the base mixture. You may want to add an extra drop of lemon as it is one of the mild oils. Season with twists of black pepper. Drizzle lightly on your favorite salad. Lemon and basil are especially good with tomato salads.

Just a quick Google away are a number of books, websites, and even Facebook pages ready and waiting to help you explore cooking with essential oils. This is a particularly good list of things to learn when setting out to select good essential oils. Soon these oils will become essential to your cookery.

 

Your thoughts… 

Do you use essential oils in your cookery? What are your favorite flavors? Share your essential oil hints and recipes with everyone here! If you would like help with nutrition facts or in a recipe search, leave your question at Recipe by Request. If you would like your wonderful recipe included at CC Palate, please send it to me via pm.

 



Comments


ONE time i used lemongrass oil in an asian soup, really yummy, but i wasn't sure you were meant to ingest them, so i don't do that anymore. maybe i should.



I think it all sounds yummy, and this is something I would like to dig my teeth into.



We have a specialty shop close, so I'll have to see what they carry.  Having never looked at the oils, are they required to tell you if it's 100% pure?  Recipe sounds tasty!



So if it is expensive, it must be good. Hmmm........

 

I also question the references to their "healing powers".



I use Vanilla Musk oil to stop cravings, even in the grocery store, IT WORKS! Just take a big ol' SNIFF and feel better!



I use Vanilla Musk oil to stop cravings, even in the grocery store, IT WORKS! Just take a big ol' SNIFF and feel better!



I use rose in tea, oatmeal, martinis and rice crispie treats.



We selling snake oil now?   I am very disappointed that a health and fitness type site would buy into something like this... It is along the lines of selling Mini thins in my opinion...  Disappointed indeed.



Sounds like witchcraft to me...I prefer Worms Wart and Frogs Breath Wink



As someone who uses aromatherapy to treat ailments and other essential oils topically applied, and as a natural perfumer, I can attest to their healing powers.  I had eczema on my feet that just wouldn't go away but applying highly diluted oregano oil to my feet actually cured it.

 

As for pricing - the reason many essential oils are expensive is because of purity yes, but also because it is often very difficult to extract essential oils from plants (whether leaves, flowers, stems, roots, etc.).  Sometimes it can take thousands of pounds of flowers to produce one ounce of essential oil.  Also,  you want to make sure that the essential oils are organic!  

The benefits of essential oils are unending.  Don't dismiss it till you try it!



Healing is largely "mind power". But the article does not lay claim to healing with oils just their ability to aesthetically enhance foods. Who can argue with that? 



Original Post by: dean1974

We selling snake oil now?   I am very disappointed that a health and fitness type site would buy into something like this... It is along the lines of selling Mini thins in my opinion...  Disappointed indeed.


Essential oils are made from aromatic molecules that really do produce effects on the human body. This is why all medication is made from plants. This is also why you should be careful using essential oils to avoid poisoning.



Original Post by: cynthia84

Sounds like witchcraft to me...I prefer Worms Wart and Frogs Breath Wink


Many of our medications are chemically synthesized versions of centuries old herbal remedies. Want an easy one?

Willow tree = salix alba = salicylic acid = aspirin

Essential oils are just taking those herbs and extracting the oils from them. Just because the word is "oil" doesn't mean that it doesn't work.  Man, what a weird supposition to make!



Ugh, sorry, that quoted the wrong comment. You know who it's directed to, though.



This is incredibly irresponsible in my opinion. Some essential oils are toxic when ingested! A teaspoon of tea tree oil can kill. Do plenty of research before trying anything like this.



Have never tried essentials oils in cooking but my health food shop has quite a range. I just assumed they were for aromatheraphy. Will chcek the out and keep eye out for recipes in which to use them. Am alswy looiking for new taste sensations to dress up otherwise ordinary vegetables etc.

 



Absolutely agree with the effects essential oils have onthe body, not so sure about ingesting them though. Making your lemon & basil dressing with lemon juice/fine grated rind and basil leaves ground in either a pestle and mortar or a liquidiser must have the same effect and taste imho



Agree with you rosi...however if you are living in an area where it is hard to find fresh basil or other fresh herbs maybe essential oils will do the trick. I will still try some of the more obscure fragrances just to experience the taste. 



Original Post by: granjoan

Agree with you rosi...however if you are living in an area where it is hard to find fresh basil or other fresh herbs maybe essential oils will do the trick. I will still try some of the more obscure fragrances just to experience the taste. 


Fair comment but please ensure the oils you buy are for consumption :) 



Looked at range of essential oils at health food shop yesterday..quite expensive and deemed organic, but every bottle stated not to be digested. Is that just our australian health standard rules (which is pretty strict) or is there a different range that can be purchased.? Adviser said customers do use these oils in cooking..just one drop cannot hurt...or can it? 



The one thing to remember when looking at any health food or supplement-yes, they are more expensive, but one-it take very little of their use and two they will bring you to better nutrition and you will be satisfied with less.  So that $15 bottle of 100% pure peppermint oil, can be used for up to one year.  

That is three of your starbucks and gone like that with leftover health issues.  



Only therapeutic grade essential oils can be ingested! There are very few companies that ensure their oils pass stringent health checks are qualified by the FDA as 'supplements' and can be ingested, such as Young Living. I have been taking Young Living oils for years without any problems – in fact, since I started, I have never touched any medication! 

Also, essential oils cannot be exposed to heat as the heat will fracture the molecules in the oils, stripping them of their natural healing properties. Essential oils can only be used in low to no heat for them to be truly beneficial to the body. 

This article is very vague and might mislead many.. Most essential oils in the market are 'perfume grade' and contain many additives and solvents that are harmful and toxic! 



 i can't vouch for the validity of this site, but it makes some good points. 

http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/howtobuyessentialoils.asp



Essential oils are scientifically proven to be beneficial in many ways.  There is chemistry behind them as to how they are absorbed and utilized in the body.  The molecules in essential oils are extremely small and perform specific functions.  Read up on this.  Since studying essential oils, I found them to be a healthy alternative to pharmaceuticals with better results.



Original Post by: granjoan

Agree with you rosi...however if you are living in an area where it is hard to find fresh basil or other fresh herbs maybe essential oils will do the trick. I will still try some of the more obscure fragrances just to experience the taste. 


Granjoan, why don't you try growing your basil yourself.  It is one of the easiest herbs to grow at home, even in the winter.  I have a ready supply all year round by doing just that.  :)



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