With the sudden surge of the concept of 'natural lifestyle', essentials oils have seeped into every household for aromatherapy or cosmetic purposes. Known as 'Nature's pharmacy', essential oils are concentrated essences, which are either steam distilled or cold pressed directly from plants or flowers. Their external uses are well known to all but not everyone knows that these oils have proven benefits if consumed internally! That's true. Essential oils are those hidden gems that have been used in food and beverage industry for eons now but have been hardly talked about. Your favourite restaurants use them to serve a bagful of flavours on your plate. You may have seen these little 'bottles of wonder' sitting pretty on the shelves of grocery stores but you walked past them or probably picked them up for your skin or hair. Next time you spot them, you should know how these oils could level up you cooking skills. Savoury or sweet - adding essentials oils in your recipes can open a realm of culinary experiences. Here, we dive in and unfurl some amazing uses of this product in everyday cooking. It's time you move your essential oils from your vanity box to your kitchen shelf.
Benefits Of Using Essential Oils In Everyday Cooking
Go From Simple To Gourmet
There's a bon vivant in everyone who loves good food served on the plate. Impress your family and friends with your cooking skills by just adding a dab of this secret ingredient. There's a whole host of essential oils like orange, rosemary, vanilla and rose, which are packed with invigorating aromas and flavours that will enhance the taste of the dish you create. You can add just a few drops of an essential oil in your main meals, salads, marinades, dips or even desserts.
(Also Read: Coriander or Cilantro: Uses and Benefits for Skin and Health)
Add just a few drops of an essential oil in your main meals, salads, marinades, dips or even desserts
Extend The Shelf Life Of Your Meals
Many essential oils have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that control the growth of bacteria in food. They act as natural preservatives and are gradually replacing the synthetic ones with harmful side effects, in the food sector. Cooking with plant extracts like oregano, thyme, cinnamon and clove oil combats the production of yeasts and spoilage fungi, and keeps your food fresh for a longer time.
(Also Read: 6 Things to Keep in Mind While Using Essential Oils)
Essential oils have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that control the growth of bacteria in food
Lose Weight Naturally
Now, this is a good enough reason for all of you to rush and get home these essential oils now, right? Some essential oils like fennel, lavender and peppermint are known to boost the digestive system of the body. Grapefruit essential oil activates enzymes and breaks down body fat quickly. Cinnamon oil controls insulin and blood sugar by cutting down sugar cravings. Combining the consumption of pure essential oils with a healthy diet and regular exercise will spiral up your weight loss journey.
(Also Read: 8 Incredible Lavender Oil Benefits for Your Body, Mind and Soul)
Some essential oils like fennel, lavender and peppermint are known to boost the digestive system of the body.
Be Ever-Ready With A Backup
Craving for lemonade but out of lemons? You don't have to run to the market. Just add 2 drops of lemon essential oil to your beverage and you have your zesty lemonade ready. You don't need oranges for your pie if you have orange essential oil handy in your kitchen. When you can do the job by adding a tinge of essential oil to your dish, why go through the whole drill of washing, chopping, grinding et al? Coriander and basil essential oils can be easily used in place of the leaves, while achieving the same palate you desire. And for those herbs and plants, which are not readily available in the market (think rosemary, lemongrass, bergamot etc.), you can easily substitute them with their easy-to-get extracts.
(Also Read: Healing Power of Essential Oils: Tea Tree, Jasmine and More)
Coriander and basil essential oils can be easily used in place of the leaves, while achieving the same palate you desire.
Embrace General Wellness
Essential oils are delicious sources of wellness. Kickstart your day with the energising and refreshing peppermint oil infused in your morning tea or lemon-honey water. Cardamom essential oil is a strong antiseptic and protects stomach from infections. Acidity can be cured by using ginger essential oil in meals or baked cookies. Clary Sage oil treats hormonal imbalance and alleviates menstrual pain. The list is endless. There's a wealth of oils out there not only to satiate your taste buds but to also provide nutrition.
No wonder, essential oils have become such a rage these days. It's amazing how few drops of essential oils can be the elixir of life. Consuming essential oils is a significant healing modality in the resurgent Ayurveda practices. But, one needs to know some basic rules of using essential oils for ingestion. First and foremost - use only pure therapeutic, food grade oils. Essential oils are highly potent, concentrated forms of the plants they are derived from. Not more than a couple of drops should be used for internal consumption. Ideally, essential oils should be diluted well in olive oil or coconut oil and added after the meal is cooked.
Be mindful of these tenets and reap the benefits of essential oils through a healthy diet. Happy cooking!