One of the most intriguing uses for dozens of doTERRA essential oils is in food preparation. Yes! There are herbs, spices, fruits, and more. If you love to cook – or even if you simply want to add a special note of deliciousness to beverages or prepared foods – read on.
First, a few notes of caution. Most essential oils on the market today are NOT intended for internal use. Be sure that any essential oil you plan to take orally is marked as safe for that purpose. doTERRA takes special care to mark every bottle of culinary essential oil with a Supplement Facts label – your assurance that the oil or blend can be consumed. In addition, there are some culinary oils that should not be consumed during pregnancy or during breastfeeding or with children under 6. doTERRA provides safety information.
What are some of the doTERRA oils that can be used in raw, cooked, and baked food recipes?
Herbs, Leaves, and Grasses: Basil, Cilantro, Clary Sage, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Lemon Myrtle, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Oregano, Patchouli, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Rosemary, Spearmint, Thyme
Spices and Berries: Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cassia, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Juniper Berry, Pink Pepper, Star Anise, Turmeric
Fruits: Bergamot, Grapefruit, Green Mandarin, Lemon, Lime, Litsea, Melissa, Orange, Tangerine
Flowers: Lavender, Rose
How do I know how many drops of essential oil to use when substituting for fresh or dried plant material?
Some of this depends on your personal tastes and preferences. The attached chart gives some common conversion equivalencies. Usually a drop or two of oil per recipe is enough (more with citrus and if adding early in the heating process, less with strong herbs and spices such as oregano or cassia). If one drop is too strong, you can use a partial drop by inserting a toothpick into the bottle and twirling enough to coat with the oil. In order to assure best distribution of the oil in a savory recipe, it is helpful to mix the desired drop(s) in a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil (evoo) before adding to the bowl/pot. To best preserve the strength and therapeutic effect of the oil, add it after heat has been turned off. More oil is needed when it must be added early, such as in the baking process.
If you want just a subtle hint of herbs on your savory baked goods, create a spray in a 4 oz. glass trigger spray bottle. Add a few drops of the desired essential oil and 1/8 cup of evoo, the fill the bottle the rest of the way with distilled water. Use this mixture to spray items like empanadas, tortilla chips, baked French fries, egg rolls, etc.
What are the advantages of using essential oils rather than fresh or dried plants in my recipes?
There are several advantages. Here are a few of my favorites :
- Freshness, flavor, and safety. When you use a drop of doTERRA essential oil, you get flavor harvested at peak maturity and under optimal growing conditions for the individual plant. When stored properly, each drop will be as fresh and bursting with flavor as if it had just been distilled or cold pressed. The closest you can come to this flavor with fresh material is if you have excellent plants growing in your back yard and can pick what you need at the peak of flavor and freshness just before you plan to use it. And, unlike your backyard, there is no chance that your doTERRA oil will have any contaminants. You can even use the sourcetoyou.com website to look up the exact chemical composition of the oil in your bottle.
- Cost. Herbs and spices are the most expensive foods in any grocery store or farmer market per ounce. doTERRA essential oils can be carefully measured and very sparingly used to optimize value. When making cost comparisons, remember that the doTERRA CPTG quality standard is better than organic.
- Zero waste and prep time. When you use essential oils, there is no prep time, no washing and rinsing, no chopping, no straining, and no waste. In fact, you can even recycle or upcycle the beautiful amber bottles when you have used up all the oil inside.
- Zero calories and allergens. Oh my word! This is incredibly important: doTERRA essential oils have no calories and no proteins to cause allergic reactions. They can be used with just about any diet or eating regimen.
- Sourcing. With doTERRA essential oils, you know (1) that you are getting oils from plants grown on small family farms by growers with years or even generations of experience, and (2) that doTERRA supports fair trade wages, working conditions, and contracts with no middlemen. When you buy a bottle of doTERRA essential oil, you are “shopping local” just as you would with a farmer at your local market…with the bonus that your culinary products are being delivered to your door whenever you choose to receive them.
What are some examples of recipes using essential oils?
Simple Vinaigrette: 3 drops Lemon essential oil, 1 drop Oregano essential oil, 2 oz. EVOO, 1 oz. apple cider vinegar, ½ tsp. Dijon mustard, a pinch of Himalayan salt, and pepper or cayenne to taste.
Provence Seasoning Salt: 2 Tbsp. Himalayan salt, 2 drops Basil essential oil, and 1 drop each of Thyme, Marjoram, Rosemary, Lavender, and Fennel essential oils.
Spiced Sweetener: to 2-4 Tbsp. of your favorite sweetener, add 1 drop each of your favorite spice oils. My favorites are Black or Pink Pepper, Cardamom, Fennel, Cinnamon, and Ginger.
DIY Tea: to a mug of hot water, add a drop or two of your favorite oil! An oil blend that I love to add in the evening is doTERRA’s DigestZen (perfect for settling your digestion and tastes a bit like an enhanced licorice root tea).
Great sources for recipes designed specifically for essential oil use can be found on the doTERRA blog and the Aromatools blog. You can start here:
If you are interested in receiving an eBook with tips and tricks specifically designed to enhance your experience using doTERRA essential oils in your kitchen, send me your email address and/or phone number, and I will send it promptly.
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