It’s the most wonderful time of year and you know what that means- FOOD! Why would you prepare the same boring dishes when you can build new traditions for your family and friends? Make this holiday season one you won't forget by adding essential oils to your homemade recipes for a burst of flavor and to allow your food to heal you from the inside out. After all, food IS medicine!
A few reasons why we recommend switching from dry herbs and spices to essential oil are their aroma potency, their long shelf life=aka the money saved, their sustainability, and most importantly their health benefits. Essential oils are very powerful compared to fresh or dry plants; for example, did you know that 1 drop of clove oil is equal to 2 pounds of carrots, 2 quarts of blueberries or 2 cups of beet juice!? One 30ml/1oz bottle of essential oil contains about 600 drops, so just do that math and you’ll be shocked how much money you can save by switching to essential oils.
Buying spices and herbs can take up so much cabinet space and will only last up to 6 months or so after opening; after that time, their aroma will fade away. On the other hand, essential oils can last you up to two years and the thicker oils last up to 5 years if stored properly. Over time you would be saving so much money just by choosing the oil version of any plant, herb or spice, plus you’ll get increased health benefits for your body which can’t be obtained from fresh or dry plants unless you consume very large quantities, which means it will cost you more. So opting for the oils version of the plants seems like a win-win!
In addition, you would be making a choice that has a positive impact on the environment. The packaging for all the herbs and spices increases the environmental waste, while the shipping all those crates of spices, herbs, and produce every day leads to build up of air pollution from the exhaust pipes of the trucks and increases the cost of our food. Not to mention, the fresh foods most of us get from the store today are not even harvested when they are ripe, most of them are shipped while they’re green to warehouses where they’re exposed to artificial light shortly before they’re placed in the stores' shelves. That means the plants do not get the opportunity to extract all their necessary nutrients from the sun unless you buy them from the local farmers.
Sadly, this is how the vast majority of fresh produce is handled in most modern societies and while it’s an effective way for the grocery stores to avoid losses caused by perishable produce as the easiest way increase their profits, it’s sure NOT the best solution for consumers. On the other hand, when processing essential oils, plants are harvested when they’re at their peak ripe state, then immediately processed and distilled most of the times at the same farms from which they are grown into very concentrated oil form, thus making essential oils the most concentrated nutrients on earth. If you want or need to take supplements, then you should definitely consider using essential oils as your best method as long as they come from organic farms, which are certified and approved by either USDA, QAI, Ecocert, and other internationally recognized agencies for safety, quality and purity of ingredients in products.
If more people would consider using essential oils and organic locally grown produce that uses natural farming methods, we wouldn’t need to ship as much, which would lead to a MAJOR decrease in pollution and food costs, and we’d be living healthier and longer lives without all the additives, preservatives, GMOs, and chemicals added to our foods today which, sadly and for the most part, are not even real foods anymore.
Some of our favorite oils to use in place of dry herbs for this season are bay, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, gingergrass, peppermint, orange, and rosemary. These herbs and spices are perfect for the weather and can give your food the boost to make your holiday everything and more!
GENERAL TIP: as a general rule for cooking, substitute 1 drop of oil for 1-2 tsp of fresh herbs or 1 drop of oil for 1-2 TBS of dry herbs or spices.
BAY OIL: You can substitute dried bay leaves with a few drops of our bay essential oil in any dish that calls for it. Not only is the oil more potent than the dried leaves, but this oil is known to revitalize the gastrointestinal system of the body. In addition to that, this oil has powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that have been proven to be effective against bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli. For more health benefits, check our website.
Recipe uses: soups, stews, braises and pâtés in Mediterranean and Latin American cuisine.
CLOVE OIL: Another equally flavorful and powerful oil to use in the cold season! This oil is extremely versatile and very popular, especially during the winter holidays season. It can be used as a general tonic and possesses antifungal properties that can improve your oral health! Dried seasonings in your cabinet cannot do that! For more health benefits of this oil, check out our website.
Recipe uses: red mulled wines, baked hams, spicy cakes and pastries, vegan tacos, punches, apple butter, hummus, etc.
CINNAMON OIL: Another essential oil that most of us love to use for holidays is cinnamon, which is a favorite for many of us because of its warm, sweet, and spicy aroma. This oil smells amazing and is an easy substitute for dried cinnamon in your favorite dessert recipes-all you need is one single drop and you’ll be amazed by its aroma and its intense flavor! It is also well known for its ability to improve metabolism and promote good health overall. For more health benefits, check out our website.
Recipe uses: cocktails, sangrias, cookies, muffins, pies, etc. Check out our recipe for Red Mulled Wine!
CARDAMOM OIL: is perfect for the holidays because of its ability to calm your stomach after eating too much food. Just add a drop of this oil into water and kiss any nausea or vomiting goodbye! But the amazing powers of essential oils do not stop there, so for more this oil health benefits, check out our website.
Recipe uses: bread, scones, custard, honey milk, cocktails, lattes, etc.
GINGERGRASS OIL: The complex aroma of gingergrass essential oil makes it a winner for this season! It has antifungal properties as well as the ability to relieve pain caused by clogged sinuses. You can easily incorporate this oil into a homemade gingerbread recipe for Christmas and any other recipe that calls for ginger. A few drops of this essential oil will give your meal way more flavor than a dried spice ever could. For more health benefits, check out our website.
Recipe uses: rice, chicken, cookies, tea, sauce, green beans, etc.
PEPPERMINT OIL: In addition to gingergrass, Peppermint essential oil is widely used around the world in numerous recipes and drinks! You can even add this oil to our Homemade Chocolate Superfood Recipe and create your own mint chocolate to share with friends and family over the holidays! This oil is also effective in its ability to suppress your appetite. That means you won’t have to worry about feeling bad for hogging all the food this year if you consume Peppermint oil! Check out our website for its many health benefits.
Recipe uses: punch, cake, biscotti, frozen pie, chocolate, cookies, brownies and blondies, drinks, etc. Check out our Antioxidant bundle recipe!
ORANGE OIL: Orange essential oil is perfect year-round because of its pleasant citrus aroma loved by everyone. This oil can blend into a variety of foods and beverages. It can be used as a carminative and a diuretic. It also has the ability to lower blood pressure and boost the immune system. From smoothies and lemonades to baking and dinner entrees, orange oil is highly versatile. The flavors of this oil will burst through and take any dish to a new level of delicious goodness! To read about its many health benefits, check out our website.
Recipe uses: chicken, turkey, dressings, vinaigrettes, salad, cake, chocolate, sauce, etc. Check out our recipe for Vegan Chocolate!
ROSEMARY OIL: Rosemary is a very popular herb to cook with this time of year! You can experience the full effect of its flavor by using this essential oil on chicken, fish, or potatoes. Adding this oil to your recipes will leave them radiating with flavor and anyone who eats them will be begging for more! This oil is also great for detoxifying the body and improving blood circulation. For more health benefits, check out our website.
Recipe uses: chicken, turkey, fish, potatoes, casseroles, vegetables, punch, syrup, etc.
For all our recipes with essential oils checkout the Food Recipes Section of our blog.
All of these oils have been recognized by the FDA as safe for consumption, but this is only the case if you purchase a pure, unadulterated oil. We can only recommend ingesting oils that are USDA Certified Organic. Having the USDA Certified Organic label on the bottle itself is the only sure way to know the oil is pure, which is truly safe and edible as the plants are grown in organic soil within an organic farm, hence it doesn't contain any pesticides or artificial fertilizers and GMO's like the plants grown on conventional farms. We also recommend adding the oils to your recipes towards the end as heat and light are the two enemies of essential oils because they destroy their therapeutic effects.
Essential Oils are more potent because they are the life force of the plants. They harness all the healing and flavors that are present in the plants but in a very highly concentrated oil form, which means that adding them to your recipes will surely make all your dishes stand out from the rest while improving and maintaining your health! We promise 😉