Little did you know that you have a secret flavor arsenal in your cabinet…yep! Your essential oils can be used in both cooking and baking to amp up your flavors and give those boring meals an extra umph. Most people assume that aromatherapy is the only way to use essential oils and many others are learning about the best way to apply them – but cooking with essential oils brings us back to their roots! Most herbs and plants were utilized in cooking and early medicinal purposes before distilling was perfected to create the high-quality essential oils that we utilize today. In addition, integrating essential oils into your cooking will positively impact your life in the future, both by saving you money and improving your health if you use them.
So, let’s break it down in easy-to-use segments so you can get right to boosting your flavor profiles!
TIPS FOR COOKING WITH EOs
POTENCY & EFFICACY
– Essential oils are 50-70% more potent than herbs!
– 1 drop of Peppermint Oil = 28 glasses of Peppermint Tea
– A drop will do you! Always start small when adding EOs, because you can add more to taste.
– EOs are more cost effective than herbs – one drop for flavor vs. tablespoons of the same herb
– Longer Shelf Life than herbal counterparts
– Remember the 4 C’s – Cool, Capped, Centered, & Contained
Cool – avoid heat and sunlight; keep in amber or dark-colored bottle
Capped – tightly capped with orifice reducers
Centered – upright bottles to avoid eating through orifice reducers (citrus oils)
Contained – glass containers only; avoid plastic
SAFE FOR INTERNAL CONSUMPTION
– High-quality essential oils only (dōTERRA is my EO of choice!)
– Expiration Dates = approved by the FDA for internal consumption
– Use caution with children, as they still may have undiscovered food allergies
TOP 5 WAYS TO USE EOs IN COOKING
#1 – Add a Drop to Smoothies to Boost Flavor
Looking for added health benefits of essential oils along with wonderful flavor to your recipes? If you’d like to preserve the nutrients and harness the therapeutic benefits of the essential oils, a great way is to add a drop to your smoothies. Having a hard time getting your kids to eat their greens? Add spinach or kale to fruit smoothies and take the taste up a notch with some L emon, Wild Orange, or Lime essential oil! (As always, discuss these benefits with your trusted healthcare provider before use.)
#2 – Add a Few Drops Once Food Is Fully Cooked
Simply mixing essential oils into food at the end of a recipe will also allow your body to glean from the health benefits of the oil. Don’t forget that essential oils oxidize quickly once heat is applied to them, and their chemical properties change drastically!
#3 – The Toothpick Dip-and-Swirl Method
Some super-potent and flavor-rich essential oils should not be added by the drop. When going for flavors such as Oregano or Clove, take a toothpick, dip it into the oil, then swirl the toothpick around in your ingredients. Then taste to see if you need to repeat for more flavor. The Dip-and-Swirl is the perfect way to add a flavor punch without overpowering your dish.
#4 – Use EOs in Place of Dried Herbs
Boost flavor and add amazing spice by using essential oils in a recipe where you would normally use dried herbs.Keep in mind that essential oils are 50-70% more potent than their herbal counterparts. This means that using essential oil will provide a much stronger flavor and will also be a money-saver since you are only having to use a very small amount.
#5 – Boost your Baked Goods
Incorporating a few drops of essential oils into your baking will seriously rev up the flavor! I especially like the combination of one drop of Peppermint essential oil with chocolate in brownies or holiday cookies during the winter months, and Lemon essential oil with blueberry scones or muffins during the spring/summer! Try adding several drops to your favorite recipe for a flavor makeover!
Now that we’ve covered the bases of how to safely and effectively integrate essential oils into your recipes, let’s look at some simple dishes you can prepare in each season!
SUMMER– CITRUSY MINT TABBOULEH
This flavorful and unique take on Tabbouleh is a dish that your whole family will enjoy! Quinoa is a rich source of protein and fiber and contains many vitamins and minerals. The citrus in the recipe provides great boosts for your immune system with its vitamin C, while the addition of the essential oils will amp up your flavor profiles for a summer zing.
1 c. quinoa
1½ c. water
1 red grapefruit
2/3 c. dried apricots
¼ c.slivered almonds
1 c.fresh mint, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
2 drops Grapefruit
2 drops Lemon essential oil
2 drops Lime essential oil
1 Tbsp.extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt
Using a sieve, wash quinoa in cold water. Next, mix quinoa and water into a saucepan and cover with lid. Heat to a gently boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove saucepan away from heat and let stand for another 10 minutes with lid on. Quinoa should now appear soft and water should be completely soaked in to the grains.While the quinoa sits, prepare grapefruit by slicing off the peel and cut into sections, avoiding the membranes. Dice fruit into little bits. Chop apricots into small bits. In a small bowl, mix all dressing ingredients together. Pour dressing ingredients along with fruit into the quinoa and stir to combine. Sprinkle slivered almonds over quinoa along with pinch of salt and cayenne pepper. Garnish with fresh bits of chopped mint. (For a mintier kick, dip-and-swirl Peppermint EO or Spearmint EO to taste!)
FALL – ON GUARD® CHOCOLATE CHIP GRANOLA BARS
This recipe for homemade granola bars is the perfect go-to snack to for the kids to grab when you’re all running out the door. I love the combination of On Guard® Protective Blend and chocolate for a perfect fall spicy flavor. These are great for breakfast on-the-go, or for a snack to pack in lunch boxes!
2 ½ c. of quick oats
½ c. rice crisp cereal
½ c. of mini semisweet chocolate chips or carob chips
¼ c. brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. of salt
¼ c. coconut
⅛ c. flax seeds
⅛ c. sesame seeds
⅛ c. chia seeds
⅓ c. organic refined coconut oil
¼ c. raw local honey
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 drops of On Guard essential oil
Add all dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. In a large saucepan, combine wet ingredients and cook over medium heat while gently stirring until they have melted together.Add dry ingredients to saucepan and stir well to combine. If granola bar mixture appears too saucy, pour in a bit more oatmeal; if it appears too hard, add a bit more coconut oil or honey until texture is just right. Turn off stove and spread parchment paper into a cake pan. Add granola bar mixture into cake pan and smush it down using the back of a spatula. Bake at 350° F for 12-15 minutes until granola bars appear crisp and lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, cut granola bars into rectangles and store individually in plastic baggies for easy grab-and-go use!
SUMMER – TROPICAL LIME & WILD ORANGE SMOOTHIE
This fast and delicious smoothie can be blended up in a matter of minutes. Add this to your repertoire of simple and nutrient-dense snacks or breakfasts for on-the-go! Kids will love these tropical flavors. Wild Orange will add an amazing citrus zing and will also aid in promoting digestive health as well.
3 drops Wild Orange essential oil
2 drops Lime essential oil
1 c. frozen strawberries
½ c. frozen peaches
½ c. frozen mango
1 ½ c. pineapple juice
Add all ingredients to blender and blend until texture is just right for you! Relax and savor this delightful treat!
WINTER – HOLIDAY SPICE APPLE CRISPS
The combination of Cinnamon, Wild Orange, and Clove makes for a beautiful holiday aroma and a perfect treat around the holidays.Packaged individually and gussied up with some ribbon, these make great on-the-go holiday gifts…as long as you don’t eat them all first!
7– 8 medium-sized apples
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil
1 toothpick swirl of Clove essential oil
2 drops Wild Orange
5 drops dōTERRA On Guard® Protective Blend
Preheat oven to 225° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix sugar along with Cinnamon Bark and Wild Orangeessential oils together in a little bowl, and then dip-and-swirl in the Clove, or simply use the dōTERRA On Guard®. Slice apples into rings, being sure to leave out the seeds. Line apple rings onto the baking sheet, then dust with essential oil and sugar mixture. Bake both baking sheets of apple rings for 45 minutes, turning apple rings over mid-way through baking. Once outer rims of apples appear to be curling, remove from oven and cool them on a wire rack until they are nice and crunchy!
Now that you have some amaaaaazing recipe ideas and understand how to wisely go about adding essential oils to your cooking, you will be able to harness their potent flavor power and amp up your recipes. As always, I recommend discussing essential oil usage with your trusted healthcare provider, but know that cooking with essential oils is not the same as taking them internally for therapeutic benefits. Heating the essential oils does alter the chemical profile of the oils but leaves behind their amazing flavor. I would love to hear your favorite recipes and how you use EOs in your kitchen!
Ready to order some EOs for your cooking and baking? Find out how to purchase the only oils that I recommend for internal consumption here.