I love cooking and baking with essential oils. They are a kitchen pantry essential! That’s because there are so many benefits to incorporating these oils into your recipes, from their amazing flavors and smells to their antioxidant levels and immune boosting properties.
Essential oils are the natural aromatic nutrients from bark, flowers, leaves, roots, stems and seeds. They contain virtually all of a plant’s healing nutrients, amino acids, enzymes, trace minerals, and vitamins. Unlike herbs which can lose up to 90% of their healing nutrients, essential oils retain theirs. In fact, they are 50 to 70 times more concentrated than herbs. For example, one drop of peppermint essential oil is 28 times more potent than peppermint tea!
[Tiff’s Note: I can vouch for the strength of the peppermint for sure. I put one drop on my tongue to help take away some congestion and it felt like I had put an entire pack of gum in my mouth!]
Having a variety of essential oils in my pantry is like having an herb garden in constant full bloom with year round access. Essential oils can be stored in the cabinet for years (with the exception of citrus oils which are recommended to be refrigerated once they are opened). They also save me money as a little bit goes a very long way. I don’t have to worry about my fresh basil going bad if I don’t use it up in time.
Essential oils can be used three ways: aromatically, internally, and topically. In addition to flavoring recipes, essential oils provide natural preventative care with their antibacterial, antiseptic, and medicinal properties. However, it’s important not to use just any brand of essential oil for flavoring your foods as most essential oil brands are not safe for internal consumption. Personally, I only use doTerra’s certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils for internal consumption.
My top 10 go-to essential oils for incorporating into recipes are lemon, peppermint, wild orange, lime, lavender, cinnamon, oregano, ginger, rosemary and clove. I drink lemon, lime, or wild orange oil in my water each morning and throughout the day. Citrus oils help to gently cleanse the colon and liver; remove fat, stones and toxins from the body; and lift the spirits.
Did you know that clove essential oil is the #1 antioxidant on earth? I add clove and cinnamon oils to my coffee or smoothies for a daily antioxidant punch and insulin control. Clove is also fantastic combined with ginger and cinnamon for baking holiday pies.
Foods cooked at high temperatures create carcinogens (which are proven to be linked to cancer). [From Tiff, here’s one post and another to help explain why.] However, by combining rosemary essential oil with your meat dishes, you can reduce carcinogens up to 60% while increasing the “delicious” food factor!
An important cooking tip is to add essential oils at the end of cooking because high heat destroys their benefits. For stronger spices such as basil, oregano, thyme, cinnamon, and marjoram, dip a toothpick into the oil and stir it into the recipe after cooking.
Helpful Tips When Measuring Essential Oils as Ingredients In Recipes:
- 1-2 drops = 1 tablespoon of dried herb
- 1 teaspoon herb = 1 tiny drop of oil
- ½ teaspoon herb = 1 toothpick drop of oil
- Example: 2 tsp dried oregano = 1 regular drop oregano oil
- Citrus extract and zest: 1 tsp lemon extract = 1/8 tsp lemon essential oil = 16 drops
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest = 1/16 tsp lemon essential oil = 8 drops
- Extracts are generally artificial flavorings made to taste like the fruit
- Make your own flavoring extract: use 5 drops essential oil with 1 ounce carrier oil
On a personal note, my husband has celiac disease, a multisystem disorder that damages the small intestine. (It is triggered by the consumption of gluten). Over the past few years, I have studied and used many essential oils to help with celiac and gut issues, not only with my husband but also my health coaching clients. I’ve discovered that the best essential oils to help with celiac and gut issues include Frankincense, Thieves, Lavender and Peppermint.
Frankincense solves a number of digestive conditions. It clears gas collected in the intestines, eases stomach aches, indigestion and abdominal pain. It also aids the digestive process by speeding it up.
Thieves is an essential oil blend containing cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, rosemary and wild orange essential oils. It can be rubbed into the bottoms of your feet and palms of your hands daily to kill germs on contact. A single drop of OnGuard coats every cell in the body within 20 minutes. How that’s for the ultimate immune system booster?!
Lavender improves digestion and reduces nerve irritation.
Peppermint can help to reduce abdominal pain and fight bacterial infections.
About 80% of your immune system is in your gut. Thus, a robust immune system is the #1 defense against all diseases! Most of the diseases that plague us today originate in the gut. Removing toxins stored in your colon can help you feel and look immeasurably better.
Yes, a detox can be easy! Here’s one of my favorites:
An easy lemon liver detox beverage to drink over a 2 week period:
10 drops each Lemon and Peppermint essential oils
2 drops Thieves blend
Juice of 1 organic lemon
8 ounces of purified water
Add oils and lemon juice to a glass of purified water. Stir and drink upon rising to cleanse the GI Tract.
To learn how to get the best price on essential oils, go HERE.