Growing up we always had a big Easter dinner and egg hunt after church on Easter Sunday. And we usually had the same foods every year because they were our favorites and because my brother and I were extremely picky eaters! Now I have two even pickier kids! Any elaborate holiday meal for them consists of eating the roll and macaroni and cheese, and maybe peas. Which is also what they eat at 85% of all of their dinner meals! So, now I just cook what we want and let them enjoy their boring meal….again.
I am going to try some new twists on our standard menu this year with essential oils! Essential oils are the highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essences of plants. These natural plant oils are appreciated not only for their therapeutic benefits but also their aromatic and flavoring qualities. Many essential oils such as peppermint, lemon and orange are commonly used in the food industry as flavorings in beverages, desserts, candies and chocolates. Oils derived from herbs and spices, such as thyme, marjoram, cardamom and black pepper are better suited for flavoring savory foods such as stews and sauces. Lavender has recently gained popularity in baked goods and breads.
The first rule of using essential oils in the kitchen is that less, is more. They are the strongest components of plants concentrated down into low volumes, so start off on the scant side. We’ve all over salted or spiced a dish and it is not the easiest thing to overcome. If you are going with a trusted recipe that uses essential oils it is safe to start with the exact quantities in recipe. If you are converting recipes that use herbs and or spices, a good idea is to start by dipping a toothpick in the bottle and swirl in the recipe. Once you become accustomed to each oil you can add more bit by bit to get the taste you would like. When you are adding drop quantities it is a good idea to use a dropper rather than drop straight from the bottle in to your recipe – with some oils it is not always easy to control the rate of drops that come out.
Ensure that you are using pure, unadulterated essential oils that have no added chemicals. DoTERRA Essential Oils are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade and are safe to use in the kitchen. If you aren’t sure of the purity of the brand you are using – Don’t Use It! Not all essential oils from all plant are safe for ingesting. Again, if you aren’t sure, stick with the ones you recognize as herbs, spices or citrus.
Oven Roasted Carrots
- 3 pounds small carrots (cut into about 5 inch pieces that are peeled)
- 2 tbls olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 drop Rosemary essential oil
- 1 drop Thyme essential oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place rack in lower third of oven. Mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Toss carrots with mixture and spread out in a large sheet pan. Roast 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 325 F and roast, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender, about 25 minutes.
Dill Deviled Eggs
- 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 drops Dill essential oil
Separate yolks from whites and place yolks in mixing bowl. Add all the ingredients in with the yolks and mix until smooth. Add yolk mixture back into whites. You can add paprika to garnish (or curry, which is my favorite!).
Easter Ham Glaze
- 1 1/2 cups honey
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 2 drops Orange essential oil
- 1 drop Clove essential oil
- 1 drop Cassia essential oil
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Drizzle the glaze over your ham 20 minutes before it is done cooking. Return the ham to the oven and cook uncovered for the remaining 20 minutes.
If you want a nice spring background scent, try diffusing these combinations! Enjoy!
You can order any of the above oils here.
If you want a great book to learn more about using Essential Oils and finding more recipes, try The Essential Life!
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