We bet you have heard of essential oils before, and will you might think that they are only meant to use for diffusers, during spa sessions and as at aromatherapy, but we decided to prove that fact wrong and let you know that now you can even use essential oils when you are cooking to give extra flavor to your dishes! Even though you might think this is a really complicated task, it’s not at all, you just need to have a few considerations in mind while doing it. Don’t be scared if you have heard that essential oils are dangerous for you or your stomach since you have been eating them all along before you even realize it. You could have eaten. Essential oils any time you had some herbs or a citrus peel or zest added to any recipe, since that’s where essential oils come from, so actually there is nothing new about adding these ingredients to our food, except maybe the way we decided to use them.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants, what the oils do is that they capture the plants’ scent and flavor which is what we know as the essence. These unique aromatic compounds are the ones that give each essential oils its characteristic essence. Usually, to get an essential oil from a plant the follow a process called distillation or mechanical methods such as cold pressing. When the aromatic chemicals have been extracted, they are combined with a carrier oil to create a ready to use the product. This final product is what we usually get at the stores or shop them online and we can find tons of variety of presentations and smells!
Essential oils used for aromatherapy or other spa treatments are not always the same that we can use for cooking, so before you try any recipe that includes essential oils, be sure to check the list of safety essential oils from the FDA. Don’t get to experiment with these oils if you haven’t checked safety tips on poison control or the FDA guide. For example, doTERRA essentials oils can be used for cooking since they have the FDA Supplement Label, but not all of their oils are safe for cooking, so you still should check. Remember all the time that we are talking about cooking with essential oils, not ingesting them as part of a therapeutic treatment.
How to cook with essential oils?
After you reviewed your safety guides of essentials oils that can be used for cooking you are ready to use them. But how to proceed now? Well, it’s actually really easy getting used to adding essential oils to your recipes. Beforehand you should know that a few drops of any essential oil is equal to about a teaspoon of any similar extract, which is good to know in case you substitute any ingredient for an essential oil. Another thing you should take into account is that the essential oil should be in the last ingredients you add to any recipe to preserve most of the flavor. We also recommend knowing the essentials oils you choose to work with, so you could remember which ones have a stronger flavor and the ones that don’t, because according to this fact you will know of much of each add to a recipe if you want a stronger or medium flavor. Don’t add too many drops because a recipe can be ruined if you overpour it with a specific flavor.
Now the big question, why should you add essential oils as part of your cooking ingredients? We bring you three main reasons why adding essential oils as part of your cooking ingredients is a great choice:
1. Use essential oils as a flavor substitute
Sometimes when we are cooking, we don’t have everything we need in hand and in the worst case you don’t even have enough time to go to the grocery store and shop for it, that’s where essential oils come very handy. For example, you can substitute lemon zest for a few drops of lemon essential oil, getting the same flavoring result. Other essential oils that are really useful when cooking that you should think of getting are oregano, thyme, and basil since those can really add a lot more flavor to your recipes with just a few drops.
2. Use essential oils for slightly rare ingredients
It has happened to all of us that when we decided on making a recipe, some ingredients are just unknown for us, well, essential oils can help you with that too. For example, getting a lime scent essential oil or a cilantro one can be a great addition to your kitchen ingredients. Especially since sometimes these ingredients can come very useful to highlight other flavors on our recipes and the lack of them can be a huge bummer. But having them in essential oil form can still add that freshness to your recipe, without the actual ingredient.
3. Use essential oils for flavor popping
Cooking is a whole work of art, especially when it comes to flavoring you have to be really careful to not overpower it. But if you want to twist the regular flavor of your everyday cooking you could perfectly do that by just adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils. For example, if you like your black tea to have an extra citrus flavor you could add a few drops of orange essential oil to it. Another way of increasing the flavoring of something with essential oils is by adding some of it to the oil you regularly use for cooking. If you add a little bit of rosemary essential oil to your extra virgin olive oil the result will be tastier than the regular plain oil and therefore the dishes you prepare with it will have a stronger flavor.