Adding essential oils to your favorite recipes can have a number of important health benefits. They can also add a special flavor to your dishes. Many of you know the benefits of cooking with coconut oil or using olive oil in recipes. However, did you know that there are also a number of essential oils that are great for cooking? This is good news because essential oils have a wide range of therapeutic effects.
One drop like a handful of spices
You should add the oil at the very end of the preparation and the dish must not be very hot because the aromatic and healing properties of the essential oil could be lost due to the action of heat. When using essential oils in cooking, do not put them directly into the water as they do not dissolve so they will remain concentrated in one place in the dish. Instead, it is good to mix them with some emulsifiers like vegetable oil, honey, milk, egg yolk, butter, rum or cream. You can also prepare teas, juices and cocktails (such as Mojito) this way.
Essential oils have a higher concentration of natural active substances than fresh herbs and one drop can replace a handful of finely chopped spices. Therefore, everyone who suspects that they have or already have an allergy should watch their intake of essential oils. For example, if you are allergic to parsley, by consuming parsley essential oil, intolerance to this spice will intensify even more.
Also, all essential oils, especially in fresh food, can be mild preservatives but also digestive regulators because they stimulate the secretion of digestive juices.
Some oils should not be added to food
If you overdo with adding essential oils, the food or drink may become bitter or have an overly intense smell and taste. Some essential oils, such as peppermint and eucalyptus, due to menthol and alpha-pinene substances they contain, provide an increased feeling of cooling and are ideal for cold dishes and salads. Other essential oils such as ginger and nutmeg provide a feeling of warmth and are ideal for warm food combinations.
Keep in mind that there are some essential oils, such as cinnamon (leaf and bark), which due to their high concentration of cinnamaldehyde can irritate the mucous membranes of the oral cavity and stomach, so their oral use is not recommended. In cooking, it is enough to use cinnamon powder because it will give each cake a familiar holiday flair, without any harmful consequences.
Best Essential Oils to add to your dish
Soups: coriander, nutmeg, rosemary
Salads: lemon, orange, thyme, ginger, coriander, rosemary
Stews: basil, coriander, tarragon, laurel, black pepper
Meat: thyme, tarragon
Fish: tarragon, ginger, thyme, nutmeg, laurel, lemon
Fresh Cheese: basil, coriander
Pasta: basil, coriander
Sauces: orange, thyme, rosemary, lemon, mandarin
Cakes: mandarin, peppermint, orange, ylang-ylang, ginger
Cold Drinks: lavender, lemon, peppermint, coriander
Hot Drinks: nutmeg, orange, ginger
It is important to note that consuming essential oils is still a controversial topic. Due to the fact that they are highly concentrated and it is considered that consuming some of them can be unsafe. Do not consume any of the oils above certain amounts. Some are definitely not safe to consume and should not be used for cooking. Before adding any essential oils to your food, it is a good idea to consult a naturopath or other healthcare professional.