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How to use essential oils in cooking?

Essential oils are perfume concentrates, often used in cosmetics or naturopathic care.

A perfume concentrate could perfectly find its place in your kitchen, indeed, essential oils can intensely perfume all your dishes. However, they should be used with great care: this is why we explain how to use essential oils in the kitchen!

Why use essential oils in the kitchen?

An essential oil is highly concentrated, so it is perfectly suited for use in the kitchen. Indeed, it allows you to flavor a recipe easily, without having to use a large quantity of ingredients, such as basil or fresh herbs for example. While the use of raw food is always to be preferred, sometimes it is simply not in season or you may need a food that is not easily found. An essential oil is not really an oil, but rather an essence. Not to be confused with olive or rapeseed vegetable oils!

These essences have the advantage of bringing an intense and different flavor to your dishes. Orange essential oil, for example, will replace a large quantity of peel and will bring the same flavor in the mouth. Its little extra, as it is in liquid state, it is much better distributed in your cake doughs and other coulis. No more bites with too much or too little zest. On the other hand, if you want to integrate the healing and beneficial effect of essential oils by ingesting them, it is not possible. Indeed, the quantity used in cooking is so tiny that the effects of the essential oil in question will not be perceptible.

How to choose your essential oils for cooking?

The use of essential oils should be used sparingly, both in the kitchen and in the bathroom. They are not recommended for young children and pregnant women. In the kitchen, it is advisable not to exceed a certain quantity, generally 1 drop of essential oil per serving of 4. This may seem very little, but remember that essential oils are very concentrated. So do not pour them directly into your preparation, first put your drops in a spoon before pouring them into the dish. You can also dip a toothpick in your bottle and then dip it in your preparation to make sure you don’t put too much, your dish would be ruined.

Essential oils do not dilute in water, so you will need to incorporate them into a fat- or sugar-based preparation, such as a cake batter for example. They do not stand well cooking at high temperatures or mixing with other essential oils, so use them carefully. Not all essential oils are good for cooking, so it is very important to check on the packaging that the one you have chosen is intended for food use! To facilitate the use of essential oils in cooking, you can prepare syrups: put a few drops of grapefruit essential oil in a bottle of agave syrup for example.

Essential oils to have in the kitchen

As we have just seen, not all essential oils are good to ingest. However, some oils, or essences, can quickly become a must in your recipes. Here is a non-exhaustive list of essential oils essential in cooking:

  • Thyme EO;
  • Essential Oils of vanilla;
  • Essential Oils of sweet orange;
  • Essential Oils of lemon;
  • Essential Oils of peppermint;
  • cinnamon Essential Oils ;
  • Essential Oils of basil.

Essential oils in the kitchen: our recipe ideas!

  • A fig and feta cake with rosemary essential oil;
  • A lemon pie with thyme essential oil;
  • A salmon tartar with grapefruit essential oil;
  • Madeleines with lavender essential oil;
  • A pumpkin (or squash) soup with sweet orange essential oil;
  • An apple fondant cake with cinnamon essential oil;
  • A chicken curry with lemongrass essential oil;
  • A strawberry soup with basil essential oil;
  • Homemade applesauce with vanilla essential oil;
  • A chocolate-mint mousse with peppermint essential oil;
  • Baked apples with cinnamon essential oil;
  • A pastry cream with lemon essential oil for surprising éclairs;
  • A vegetable oil with thyme essential oil, perfect to flavor your meats in sauce or a ratatouille;
  • A mayonnaise with basil essential oil.

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