If the use of essential oils is well known for cleansing, deodorising of perfume a home, less is known about their use in the kitchen. They have the ability to replace artificial flavours, enhance the taste of some dishes or facilitate digestion of rich sauce dishes.
How can one know if an essential oil is edible?
Essential oils used in cooking have to be of excellent quality, 100% pure and natural. The organic option is also recommended.
Dosage and dilution of edible essential oils:
Essential oils have very powerful aromas, one needs therefore to use them wisely.
Start with just one drop (it generally will be enough for a family dinner).
Dilute the drop in the recipe’s ingredients: a fat, syrupy or oily substance (oil, egg, flour…) depending on your preparation.
Unlike dried aromatic herbs, essential oils do not loose their properties as long as they are added at the last moment in your recipe and preferably not on the stove.
Do not use an essential oil in more than one dish in the same meal.
As you already know, essential oils are not harmless products and when one is intending to eat them, care is of course required. Even if some scents are tempting, only use essential oils that you know are edible because some are toxic and others very irritating!
There are 4 categories
- Aromatic herbs: basil , rosemary , linalool thyme, peppermint, oregano, lemongrass
- Citruses: lemon , grapefruit , orange, mandarin
- Spices: cinnamon, cloves
- Flowers: geranium , lavender , ylang-ylang, orange blossom
- 1 to 3 drops in a tablespoon of essential oil can lift both pasta and pizza
- sauces, seasoning oils: pour 1 or 2 drops of essential oil of an aromatic herb in your mayonnaise or vinaigrette
- dishes with that may include chicken, shrimps, rice, coconut milk: lemongrass essential oil can be the final touch that makes it great
- perfumed honey: a few drops of lavender
- beverage: 1 drop of peppermint + 3 drops of lemon in a litre of water
- salty dishes (tarts, cakes, soups…): perfume with rosemary or basil