When we think of essential oils, we typically think of aromatherapy, spa products, and scents for our at-home diffusers. But, did you know that some essential oils can be used in cooking as well? It’s true! However, before you go dumping your favorite sage oil into a bowl of spaghetti, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
The first thing you should realize is that not all essential oils are edible. In fact, some can be very dangerous when ingested. So make sure you do your research before proceeding, and only look for food-grade essential oils for use when cooking.
Here are some essential oils that will work well in your dishes.
5 Essential Oils for Cooking
01. Lavender: Food-grade lavender essential oil works well in dessert and pastry recipes, such as scones. Many people also use it in savory fish dishes as it tends to lend a delicate, floral flavor.
02. Citrus: Food-grade citrus essential oils such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit, are pressed directly from the peel of the fruit, so they offer a familiar fruity flavor. Because citrus oils are not steam distilled, they are more sensitive to heat applications, which can work to intensify the flavor. Many people like to include them in refreshing summer drinks, cocktails, smoothies, and treats.
03. Cinnamon: When using food-grade cinnamon essential oil in cooking, keep in mind that the flavor is very strong, so a little goes a long way. It works well in sweet dishes like French toast and cinnamon rolls. It is also known for its antimicrobial, antioxidant, and energizing effects.
04. Thyme: This savory essential oil works well with meats, soups, stews and bakes. To get started, try food-grade thyme essential oil in your next marinade for meats and veggies! Bonus, thyme is also an immune stimulant that supports the body’s resistance to disease.
05. Peppermint: Just a drop or two of food-grade peppermint essential oil will add a perky and wintery fresh flavor to any cookie or sparkling beverage recipe.
Tips for Cooking with Essential Oils
When cooking with food-grade essential oils, remember that they are highly concentrated, so you won’t need to add much to get a full flavor effect. Usually a drop or two will do the trick. It is also best to add the oil towards the end of the cooking process if possible to help preserve the most flavor.
Now that you are familiar with the basics of essential oils for cooking, it’s time to get bold and experiment. A drop of this, a pinch of that, and your entire menu could be transformed! Who knows what you may come up with next?
Photo source: pixabay.com