Most of us have likely incorporated essential oils into our everyday lives. We have lovely smelling candles, use them for aromatherapy, and might even use them for home remedies. But have you ever tried cooking with essential oils?
Essential oils are potent oils drawn from distilling plants, flowers, herbs, and other sources. Just a few drops can make a difference in a dish, providing a bold, robust flavor, or drawing out subtle nuances of complementary flavors on the palate. Read on for why you should cook with essential oils.
Keeping fresh herbs and spices on hand can be a challenge. Dried herbs are fine, but can get old and lose their flavor over time. Essential oils, however, come in small, tidy bottles that can be stored for an incredibly long time without losing their potency. Keep a few of your favorites tucked away in your spice cabinet, and you’ll have access to fresh, bright flavors all the time. Need a drop of lemon for a cake? Instead of using an entire lemon or taking chances with the lemon juice you’ve had on hand for several months, a few drops of lemon essential oil will work wonderfully (3 drops is equivalent to the zest of an entire lemon).
Substitutions for Rare Ingredients
Your local grocer might not carry all the ingredients you crave, and of course, you don’t want to skip over a key flavor in your recipes. Keep a stash of some of your favorite rare ingredients in essential oil form, and you’ll never lose out. When you cook with essential oils, you’re opening your world to entirely new flavors. Instead of cooking with the generic bottles of spices from your supermarket’s spice rack, you can experiment with different types of cinnamon or sage or pepper, for example.
Save Time Processing Ingredients
Some ingredients can create unwanted textures or appearance when you cook with them. If you’re whipping up a lavender frosting, you will have to either create a tincture to extract the flavor or pulverize the petals into a fine powder. With essential oils, you simply add a few drops of the most powerful form of the flower, and you’re ready to go. The same goes for citrus zests, fruits, and other herbs.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention some safety tips to take into consideration. Cooking with essential oils opens up entirely new experiences, but because they are so powerful, you will need to keep some things in mind. First, check the Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) list. Some oils shouldn’t be ingested, even if they are derived from plants. Second, use oils only from companies who perform rigorous testing to ensure quality, safety, and potency. Some companies cut corners, or don’t use real essential oils at all.
Cooking with essential oils will change the way you see recipes, and treat your palate to bolder flavors that are bursting with characteristics you never thought possible.
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Signed by: @Victoria Nobel