Essential Oils - Spice And Herb Up Your Cooking

Essential oils are highly concentrated aromatic oils derived from plants, widely used in aromatherapy for their medicinal and mood-enhancing effects. Some essential oils also have culinary uses, however, and these powerful plant essences can be used to rejuvenate, or in place of, dried herbs and spices, which can lose aroma and flavor over time.A number of essential oils have been designated as Generally Regarded As Safe [GRAS] to use as food additives by the US Food and Drug Administration. These include those listed below.

When using essential oils in your cooking, it is important that they are 100% pure and of therapeutic grade. Essential oils are highly concentrated and, consequently, very potent, and so should also be used sparingly. The recipes below give suggested amounts, but probably the best way to establish what suits your taste is through trial and error.

Here are just a few simple ideas that you could try. Like herbs and spices, different essential oils provide good accompaniments to different ingredients. Generally, essential oils that go well with poultry include basil, dill, fennel, lemon, marjoram, mellisa, orange, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme. For red meat, try basil, clove, dill, fennel, marjoram, mellisa, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and/or thyme. Essential oils that go well with fish or seafood include black pepper, fennel, lavender, lemon, lime, orange, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme Stiiizy .

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When cooking joints of red meat, simply add 1 drop of essential oil to a vegetable oil and brush over the meat before cooking. Essential oils can also be added to the cooking oil when browning mince meat (lamb or beef) - use 1 drop per half-kilo of meat.For chicken, add 2 drops each of lemon and orange essential oils to 4 tablespoons of honey and 1 dessert spoon of mustard. Make a paste and brush over the chicken before grilling or baking.

Essential oils are ideal for making marinades - simply add a few drops of your selected essential oil(s) to honey or olive oil and brush on the meat. Place oiled red meat in a bowl containing red wine, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 chopped onion and 1 drop of orange essential oil. Season and leave for up to 8 hours.Essential oils also make great salad dressings. Add 1 drop of your chosen essential oil to 10 ml of vegetable oil and/or vinegar. Basil, clove, lavender, lemon, lime, rosemary, sage and thyme are good choices for salad dressings.

Add 1 drop of the essential oil of your choice to 1 cube of softened butter. Mix gently and add to potatoes, other vegetables, toast...Citrussy oils (e.g. grapefruit, lime, lemon, mandarin, orange and tangerine) and minty oils (e.g. peppermint, spearmint and mint) can add zest to drinks of all kinds. Try adding one or two drops of a selection of essential oils to water for a simple thirst quencher.

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