Many of us think of essential oils as oils we can diffuse throughout our home or office or put on our skin to boost wellness and provide a soothing scent. But did you know these oils can also be a great addition to recipes?
That’s right, essential oils not only work to boost the taste of food, but studies have also shown their antimicrobial properties are effective in minimizing food-borne illnesses. In addition, essential oils help enhance the flavor of certain recipes.
But not all oils are recommended for cooking. Even though some seem like they will taste yummy, this is not always the case. With that in mind, here are 7 essential oils you can use to elevate the flavors in your meals.
Cooking with Essential Oils: 7 Options
Lavender: Lavender has a delicate floral taste making it the perfect complement for numerous desserts.
Peppermint: This spicy, minty oil makes it the perfect addition to desserts and can also give an energizing zing to tea and lemonade.
Citrus: Taken directly from the peel of the fruit, citrus oils are great for adding to drinks and smoothies as well as casseroles and stir-fries.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon oil is especially strong, so it should be heavily diluted before being used in recipes. It provides a terrific flavoring to French toast and other sweet dishes and desserts.
Cardamom: This oil’s antioxidant properties can kick the health quotient in your recipes up a notch. It has a warm flavor that works well in savory dishes.
Ginger: Ginger’s digestive benefits make it the perfect addition to any dish. Its spicy kick characterizes sweet snacks like gingerbread and gingersnaps, but it also is terrific in savory dishes.
Cilantro/Coriander: Coriander and cilantro come from the same plant; coriander is the seed of the plant while cilantro is the leaf. While both come from the same source, their flavorings are different. Cilantro is great for giving a Latin kick to salsas and dips, while coriander works well with vegetables and sauces.
If you would like to try using essential oils in your meals, there are some important rules to remember. The first is that essential oils are concentrated forms of their original source, so they have very strong flavors. Therefore, you want to be careful about the amount you use, and always be sure to only use food grade essential oils, which are safe for ingestion in small quantities. In general, you want to use a drop for every teaspoon you would use of the oil’s original source.
Essential oils should be diluted before use. This is an advised safety precaution and it also helps the oil disperse evenly throughout the dish.
Finally, if you are cooking a hot dish, the oil should be added at the very end, when you are almost done cooking. Essential oils are volatile and will dissipate quickly in high heat. Therefore, you should wait as long as you can before adding the oil to ensure your dish will be flavorful.
Essential oils provide several potential health benefits when diffused throughout the home, and who knew they could also be used as a delicious ingredient in so many dishes? What oils will you be using to elevate the taste of your recipes?