Essential Oils For Your Kitchen and Why We Use Them (Part One)
Updated: Nov 1, 2019
It has become pretty clear at this point that essential oils are a significant part of our life and the recipes on our food blog. At least I believe it's obvious, but for those of you who are new here or haven't made that connection yet, I am here to share with you all the essential oils that can be used in your kitchen and your cooking.
Before I start out with listing the essential oils great for cooking, lets first get into why I started using essential oils on my food blog. First we will start out with a little story.....
I have wanted to start a food blog for many years now and when I met Josh (my now partner in crime) he had been selling doTERRA essential oils for about 6 years. I had been using essential oils already at that point but minimally; mostly for baths or rubbing on my scrapes and burns. I was excited to learn more about essential oils as Josh had so much knowledge and understanding of how they worked. I learned that doTERRA* essential oils are safe for internal consumption because of how high quality their oils are.
One day I had this amazing idea pop into my brain! Let's cook with essential oils and share all the recipes with you amazing people out there!
Now to be honest, at that point I had no idea how much I would come to love using these oils. It was just an idea that had formulated, with not a ton of experience of actually using the oils. I was just looking for the unique niche that we all look for when starting a blog or any other company. At first, it was my plan to only use essential oils on the blog in my recipes occasionally because I did not feel that I would find enough uses for them.
But guess what.......I haven't been able to make one recipe so far where I haven't found a way to use the oils!
So why have we come to love using essential oils? Lets start off with some of my favorite reasons:
1. High grade essential oils can be expensive, but I am here to try and put your mind at ease about that. Essential oils can last a really, really long time. Trust me, you probably won't live long enough to see them go bad! Because they are so concentrated you need very little to get the flavor you want. Essential oils are 50-70x times more therapeutically potent than the herbs or plants they are derived from and a typical bottle of oil can have up to 300 drops in it. I typically will only use 1-5 drops in any recipe of mine, but sometimes not even that, making each bottle good for hundreds of recipes!
2. A lot of us have a spice cabinet if we do any sort of cooking but a lot of dried herbs and spices lose their potency, nutrients and vibrancy after a few years; essential oils do not. When I use essential oils for a replacement to dried spices the flavor just really comes thru, which if you wanted to achieve that from dried spices you would have to be consistently buying fresh every few years, which most of us do not do. I can't tell you how many times I have been guilty of using dried spices that I did not even know how old that bottle was! Now, not all spices are going to be found in essential oil form, at least by doTERRA, so definitely don't go dumping your spice rack out right after reading this!
3. Fresh herbs have always been my go to in the past because they look pretty and they usually have the fresh flavor that I want when making dishes. I still use fresh herbs and will probably never stop because sometimes you just need the beautiful look of the herbs; or it adds to the consistency of the food. But....if there is anything that I have just loved about using essential oils is that sometimes I just need fresh herbs for one meal and can use the oil instead of wasting a bunch of the herb. You know the drill: go to the store, buy a package of mint, get home, make your meal and a few days later you find the rest of the mint rotting in your fridge! Fresh herbs can be very tedious and frustrating to keep fresh in the fridge. If you don't use them, you lose them!
4. I saved the best for last! In some dishes, especially a lot of ethnic cuisines, certain ingredients take time to simmer in a dish before all their delicious flavor is infused into the dish. There are also some ingredients where extracting the flavor can be more difficult than usual. For example, lemongrass, kaffir lime, and ginger. All these ingredients bought fresh can be a pain and add extra prep to a recipe. Lemongrass is stalky and hard, so not an ingredient you want to be even adding to a dish unless you take it out before serving, kind of like a bay leaf. One or two drops of lemongrass oil and I am good to go! No wasting time simmering, no wasting time potentially chopping it and no wasting the extra lemongrass stalk that you probably were not going to use!
A lot of us want the to have home cooked meals and ordering out every night is expensive; but we don't have the time to cook, especially Thai or Indian meals! Now, I never buy lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves, I just put in a drop of lemongrass and a drop of bergamot and I get the flavor that I would have waited forever to get!! Cooking time reduced! As mentioned above, because essential oils are SO concentrated you don't need a lot and you get that bold flavor instantaneously!
So there you have it, now you know why I love using essential oils in my kitchen! There are going to be ingredients that you can't replace and times you will want to use spices or fresh herbs, but start using essential oils, even if you just have one or two on hand at the moment. Give it a try and eventually you will start to discover, just as I did, how easily you find yourself grabbing for your oils more and more as time goes on!
Head over to Essential Oils For Your Kitchen and Why We Use Them (Part 2) and I will share with you all the available essential oils for the kitchen and tips on how and when to use them!
Lots of thanks and love!
*You are not required to use doTERRA essential oils but if you do want to use essential oils make sure they are food grade and safe for internal consumption.