Many of the Essential Oils available on the market today are extracted from plants that often double as spices or flavoring agents. This leads many to wonder if they can cook with their Essential Oils and the answer is yes! Food grade Essential Oils can be used to flavor candies, baked goods, soups, and other savory dishes.
However, because these oils are incredibly potent you will need to use a great deal less than you would with regular spices. For example, herbal based oils such as basil and thyme have a ratio of one drop of oil for every teaspoon of loose spice.
When using citrus based oils such as lemon, lime, or grapefruit in place of a peel or zest, the flavor is a little more forgiving and you need not fear overpowering your dish. In your given recipe, replace one tablespoon of zest with 1/8 of a teaspoon of your corresponding oil.
You can even use Essential Oils for baking as a replacement for alcohol based extracts (i.e. using peppermint oil instead of peppermint extract). Essential oils are significantly stronger than these extracts; a good place to start would be using ¼ of a teaspoon of oil for every whole teaspoon your recipe calls for. If you are using the oils to flavor chocolate, you will want to be very careful with measuring your Essential Oils. Aim for ¼ to ½ of a teaspoon per pound of chocolate to avoid overpowering the candies. Below are more tips for how to cook with essential oils. Read more
With spring around the corner, many people are looking forward to a break from the dreary cold of winter while others are dreading the allergies that come with the changing seasons. However, there is no need to live in a haze of itchy, water eyes, clogged sinuses, and headaches. There are numerous Essential Oils that can help ease the worst of your allergy symptoms to let you enjoy the warmer weather and blooming flowers. Here are some tips for using essential oils for allergies. Read more
Stress, anxiety, and effects of depression plague a large number of us in today’s society. Whether this is due to environmental or psychological factors, the timely use of certain essential oils can vastly improve our emotional well being. The effects of stress on the body are numerous and largely not good for our health. While a little stress can be beneficial, excess or chronic stress can contribute to heart problems, ulcers, and worsen depression.
Essential Oils for Stress
Thankfully, there are a number of Essential Oils we can use to help reduce anxiety. One stress fighting oil is Patchouli. This potent oil not only relieves stress, but it also can control extreme emotions to help keep us feeling composed and serene. Read more
With seasonal threats in full swing, you may find yourself looking for natural remedies and defenses to keep yourself healthy. An excellent option to consider is using essential oils. Some oils provide a boost to your respiratory health or overall immune system while others are designed to provide relief of seasonal threats–some can even do both. Read more
Use of essential oils dates back to ancient India, Persia, and Egypt; however, the distillation process used today did not become common practice until the 11th century. Even so, it wasn’t until the 18th century that essential oils saw any commercial traction. This article will help you understand some basics about essential oils and how to use them.
What Are Essential Oils Made From?
Essential oils get their name as they are extracted from the essential part of the plant, be that the leaves, bark, resin, etc. Prior to the rise of modern medicine and pharmaceuticals, people sought to alleviate their illnesses with the healing properties of plants. Essential oils continue to be popular for their therapeutic and aromatic qualities as many individuals turn to more natural, homeopathic remedies for minor ailments.
As mentioned before, not all essential oils are derived from the same part of the plant. Some botanicals only contain medicinal properties in their leaves or budding flowers while others store their oils in their roots, bark, and so on. Below is a list of various oils and the part of the plant from which they are derived.
- Citrus rinds: Orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, bergamot, mandarin, grapefruit, etc.
- Flowers/Buds: Jasmine, rose, chamomile, clove, boronia, linden blossom, etc.
- Leaves: Cinnamon, bay, eucalyptus, tea tree, myrtle, lemon myrtle, violet, etc.
- Barks and woods: Cinnamon, cedarwood, cassia, sandalwood, rosewood, etc.
- Roots: Ginger, angelica, etc.
- Resins: Frankincense, benzoin, myrrh, etc.
- Seeds: Nutmeg, parsley, anise, cardamom, dill, cumin, fennel, coffee bean, etc.
However, individuals cannot simply munch on some flowers and expect results. It takes hundreds if not thousands of pounds of botanicals to produce the concentrated oils used today. By far the most popular method of extraction is steam distillation, with the exception being citrus. Citrus based oils are obtained through expression, which involves squeezing and pressing the botanicals’ peel.
Do you know GMO’s?
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms whose genetic material has been modified using genetic engineering techniques. This process is not possible in nature or with crossbreeding. When discussed in the media, however, GMOs most often refer to genetically modified foods sold for consumption. The primary reasons for genetically modified foods is to improve upon them in some way, including their resistance to herbicides as well as their quality and nutrition. In the United States approximately 85% of corn, 91% of soybeans, and 88% of cotton are genetically modified.
Are GMOs Safe?
The answer to that question will depend entirely upon who you ask. The scientific community agrees that there is no substantial evidence to indicate GMOs are dangerous or carry any more risk than eating regular foods. However, many individuals against GMOs contend that a large number of these reports and scientific studies were funded by the very companies that sell them. Naturally, this would make any individual wary of the results.
What is Coconut Water?
Not to be confused with the high-fat coconut oil used in cooking or coconut milk from a traditional brown and hairy coconut, coconut water is a low-cal, fat-free, cholesterol-free beverage that not only hydrates but also packs a major potassium punch. Many individuals are turning to coconut water an an alternative to soda and fruit juice because it is slightly sweet but with significantly less sugar and calories.
It is also often used as an alternative to traditional energy drinks. This is because it is able to replenish electrolytes as well as prevent cramping due to its high potassium content. This is particularly true for athletes engaged in extremely long bouts of activity, such as marathons, as they are much more likely to require additional hydration, electrolytes, and potassium than someone who just went for a short jog.
There is also another reason to consider ditching the sports drink in favor of coconut water: your teeth. One obvious factor is the sugar. Sugar is bad for your teeth and can lead to cavities. However, sports drinks are also extremely acidic and begin to cause irreversible damage to your tooth enamel after just 5 days of consistent use. This damage is even worse with energy drinks. Read more
What is Kangen Water?
Kangen water is simply a brand of alkaline water with the potential to provide a number of benefits eclipsing those of regular water. The idea behind how it works is water is divided into its two separate entities via electrolysis: an acidic HO molecule and an alkaline OH molecule. Kangen water only contains the alkaline OH water.
But why would you only want to drink the alkaline half of traditional water? Today’s society consumes a high quantity of acidic food and beverages to begin with, namely soda, which can lower the body’s natural pH balance making it too acidic. By drinking water low in acidity and high in alkalinity, you can restore your pH equilibrium.
Kangen water accounts for the highest number of alkaline water product sales in the industry, as it set the standards for alkaline water quality and is a trusted brand. Read more
Have you ever stopped to read the label of a TV dinner? Chances are, you cannot pronounce half of the ingredients on the list, much less know what they actually are. Many individuals looking to improve their health and diet are turning to organic options, but it comes with a heavy cost. Eating healthy is not cheap, so it is best to understand what exactly it means to eat organic and when is the best time to do so.
What Does Organic Mean?
There are quite a few labels thrown around on food these days. The easiest to interpret is “100% Organic,” as it is exactly what it says. Food that is 100% organic contains no synthetic ingredients and will often come with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) organic seal. If the food item you are inspecting simply says it is “organic”, then it is made with at least 95% organic ingredients; it is also likely to have the USDA organic seal as well. The last label you are likely to run across is “made with organic ingredients.” This food is made up of at least 70% organic products, but is not allowed to carry the USDA organic label. Read more
If you own any essential oils, you may have noticed quite a few of them share the same ingredient(s) as your spice rack. This may have got you wondering, how can I cook with essential oils and how can I tell if my essential oils are meant for consumption? As these oils are undiluted and extremely concentrated, they will be much more potent than any spice or ingredient commonly found in your kitchen. Not only are they more powerful, their higher concentration means they also provide a greater level of nutrients including minerals, vitamins, and more.
Essential Oils Frequently Used in Cooking
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, here are some of the most commonly used essential oils in recipes: lemon, orange, nutmeg, peppermint, oregano, clove, basil, lemongrass, grapefruit, and others. However, not all essential oils are meant for human consumption and should only be used topically. How Can I Tell if an Essential Oil is Safe to Consume? The fastest and simplest way to determine this is by thoroughly reading the label. If it contains any message such as “For Aromatic Purposes Only” or “Not for Internal Use” then do not try to use that essential oil in your cooking. However, if your essential oil contains supplement facts and dietary information, then you know it is safe to use in your cooking. Bear in mind, this only applies if you have taken pains to ensure you have quality essential oils. If you tried to save some money by going for a lesser known bargain brand, you may not have the best quality oils and should therefore not consume them. Read more