Essential Oils in the Kitchen
Have you ever considered using Essential Oils in your culinary creations? They are wonderful replacements for extracts, fresh or dry herbs and fruits, especially if the item needed is not available or inconvenient to find. Modern Essentials Living* offers some oil ideas:
The basic rule is to use 1 drop of oil in place of 1-2 Tbsp of fresh herbs and 1 drop for 1-2 tsp dried herbs.
Some oils from herbs are often quite robust, so using a very small amount to start out is a good idea. Dip a toothpick into the oil and stir that into your culinary creation, taste it, and add more if needed.
Use the toothpick method for floral oils as well. They are usually a background flavor in a dish rather than the forefront.
Citrus essential oils unfortunately cannot be used as a substitute for fruit juice in a recipe, as the oils are harvested from citrus peels rather than the flesh of the fruit, but these oils are excellent for using in place of citrus zest or baking extracts. If the zest of a whole fruit is needed, use 3-10 drops of the oil needed. Remember some oil can be very overpowering if too much is added.
If cinnamon is needed in a recipe, the oils of both cinnamon and cassia can be used. They taste very similar but their flavors vary significantly in strength. The “cinnamon” we often use here in the U.S. is often ground cassia because it is easier and cheaper to produce. Use 1 drop of cinnamon oil in place of 1 Tbsp of ground cinnamon and 1 drop of cassia oil in place of 1 tsp ground cassia or cinnamon.
For essential oils from plants in the mint family, just 1 drop substitutes for 1 tsp dried herb or 1 Tbsp fresh.
If using it in place of an extract, such as lemon or peppermint, start with 1 toothpick amount and taste. You can always add more.
Because Essential oils and oil in general is often changed by heat, its a good idea to add the oils at the end of the cooking process, if that works with your recipe.
When using Essential oils in your cooking and baking it is important to use glass or metal bowls and cookware as plastic tends to absorb the oil and its essence.
(True, unadulterated essential oil of Vanilla does not exist due to the method used for the extraction of the vanilla flavor from the vanilla bean.)
* Modern Essentials Living © 2015 AromaTools Pg. 15