Did you know that you can use essential oils for cooking too?!
Just a drop or less can add tons of flavor (and health benefits) to your raw or cooked dishes!
But… which oils should you start with? And, how do you use them anyway?
On today's #AskWardee, I'm sharing the top 5 essential oils for cooking along with tips for how to use and which recipes they work best in.
Read, listen, or watch below!
Q: Favorite Essential Oils For Cooking?
Belinda G. asked:
I'm ready to dip my toes in the water … cooking with essential oils, I mean. 🙂 Can you share the top essential oils you love to use in cooking and how/what you use them in? Thanks so much, Wardee!
First… Is It Safe To Use Essential Oils In Cooking?
Here's more info on safely ingesting essentials for culinary and medicinal purposes. Done properly, it can be safe. And, we always advise to play it safe wherever there is doubt (especially with infants, children, and pregnancy).
If you'd like to go more in-depth on essential oil usage and safety, be sure to register for a FREE 10-part video class on essential oils put on by my good friends Dr. Eric Z and his wife Sabrina. It's coming up soon, so register now right here. They're sharing tips and information for making healing remedies for your body and non-toxic natural recipes for your home… all with essential oils!
Now let's talk about the top 5 essential oils for cooking! (Which are covered more in depth here.)
Top EO #1 — Lemon
Lemon essential oil infuses sweet and savory foods with a bright, lemon-y zing. It's like liquid sunshine! It also adds digestive and immune benefits to your uncooked dishes.
Quick Tip: Excellent in any recipe calling for fresh lemon juice!
Top EO #2 — Peppermint
One drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea! Used in raw recipes, peppermint essential oil is an excellent digestive aid and can help get rid of an upset stomach within minutes.
Quick Tip: Peppermint is fantastic paired with chocolate or citrus. A little goes a long way!
Top EO #3 — Basil
Basil essential oil contains powerful antioxidants and can improve digestion, reduce water retention, and even kill internal parasites.
Quick Tip: Even a drop may be too much, so add to dishes by dipping a toothpick into the bottle and then dipping the toothpick into the dish.
Top EO #4 — Orange
Fresh and energizing orange essential oil can boost your digestion and immune system. Very versatile, orange essential oil can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
Quick Tip: When a recipe calls for orange zest, use 1 to 2 drops orange essential oil instead. Blood orange is great, too!
Top EO #5 — Cinnamon Bark
Cinnamon bark essential oil treats urinary tract infections, protects the kidneys, improves digestive health, and relieves a toothache… while adding pungent, spicy, warming aroma and flavor to foods.
Quick Tip: It's very potent, so dip a toothpick into the bottle, then add to food!
2 Methods For Subbing & Using Essential Oils In Cooking
Keep in mind that essential oils should only be added to recipes containing some fat. Because they are an oil and oils only mix with other oils (fats), this guarantees that they will be diluted throughout the dish.
You also need to know… the 2 methods for subbing/using essential oils in cooking.
Method #1 — Replacing Herbs & Spices
The essential oils that are essentially the same as the herbs and spices in your cupboard can be used as herbs in your cooking. Think clove, sage, marjoram, basil, etc. The names are the same, so that's a big clue!
Add them to your dishes at the end after the food has cooled to preserve the aroma and nutrition.
One drop is like one teaspoon of dried herbs. Or, in the case of bold herbs — such as thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary and marjoram — only a tiny bit is necessary. First, dip a toothpick into the bottle and then dip the toothpick into the food. Stir, taste, adjust.
Method #2 — Replacing Extracts
Lemon, lime, peppermint, or orange extracts can be replaced by essential oils. And, they're yummy! Replace each teaspoon of extract with 1 to 2 drops of essential oils all the way up to 1/4 teaspoon (25 drops) of essential oil. Start with less and increase until you get the desired flavor. Remember that flavors can intensify so it's best to use less rather than more!
Method #3 — Replacing Rind or Zest
This is added because it came up in the comments… Thanks for the follow up question, Jackie!
Use 1 to 3 drops of a citrus essential oil to replace 1 teaspoon of citrus zest. The zest from 1 citrus fruit would be 8 to 14 drops of the citrus essential oil. Start on the low side and increase to taste as needed.
I've been given the green light to invite you to a free 10-part video class on essential oils put on by my good friend Dr. Eric Z and his wife Sabrina. It's coming up soon, so register now right here.
In this video series — “Essential Oils For Abundant Living” — they're sharing tips and information for making healing remedies for your body and non-toxic natural recipes for your home… all with essential oils!
Here's what they're covering:
- Lesson 1: Aromatherapy Quick-Start Guide
- Lesson 2: Inhalation Guide & Safety Tips
- Lesson 3: Topical Application Guide & Safety Tips
- Lesson 4: Internal Use Guide & Safety Tips
- Lesson 5: DIY Body Care Products
- Lesson 6: DIY Cleaning Products
- Lesson 7: Cooking with Essential Oils
- Lesson 8: Preventing Disease with Essential Oils
- Lesson 9: Treating Disease with Essential Oils
- Lesson 10: Advanced Strategies & Protocols
- Is it safe to ingest essential oils?
- Rocky Mountain Oils and Aroma Foundry — my preferred essential oils
- More info: Top 5 Essential Oils For Cooking
- FREE “Essential Oils For Abundant Living” 10-Part Video Masterclass — Hurry! It starts soon!
- Book: Aroma: The Magic of Essential Oils in Food and Fragrance
- Using Essential Oils In Cooking #AskWardee 039
What Is The #AskWardee Show?
The #AskWardee Show is the live weekly show devoted to answering your niggling questions about Traditional Cooking: whether it's your sourdough starter, your sauerkraut, preserving foods, broth, superfoods or anything else to do with Traditional Cooking.
I share tips and resources, plus answer your questions about Traditional Cooking!
When: Wednesdays at 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern
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What are your favorite essentials oil to use in cooking? How do you use them?
Disclaimer: At Traditional Cooking School, we recommend using only pure, therapeutic grade essential oils such as those from Rocky Mountain Oils and Aroma Foundry and those generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided by this website is intended for educational and informational purposes only. This post or the essential oils mentioned therein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a qualified aromatherapist when using essential oils for any purpose. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.
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