Kitchen Hint: Using Pure Essential Oils in Cooking

Dill Essential Oil in Glass Vial

Dill Essential Oil in Glass Vial

By Catherine Haug, April 2014 (Image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Thanks to Bev for this intriguing hint. Caution: as Bev points out, use the tiniest amount of essential oils as they are extremely potent.

I used this tip last year when I was canning pickles.  I couldn’t find any fresh dill in any of our local stores so I used Dill Essential Oil in its place.  I used one drop per pint jar and two drops for quart jars.  If you don’t have enough fresh dill and you have to use what you have sparingly, Dill Essential Oil can be used to help stretch your fresh dill further.  The key is to use only a pure, therapeutic essential oil.

Essential oils can be used in many areas of cooking.  For example you could use a Basil or an Oregano Essential Oil in Spaghetti Sauce. (Caution, Oregano Oil is considered a hot oil and it will burn your skin if you are not careful.)

Essential Oils are very, very concentrated; [for flavoring a sauce] you would dip a tip of a tooth pick into the oil and then into the sauce. (It goes without saying that you would use a clean toothpick every time you insert it into the oil.)

Swan Valley Herbs in Bigfork carries some pure essential oils; Withey’s in Kalispell has a wider selection. Bev also provided an online source:

Read on for other herb options.

Other herb options

by Catherine

I like to grow herbs in clay pots, in a sunny spot. When I lived in Portland, I kept my pots on the steps of my front porch, which faced south. Those that needed less sun were kept on the east-facing steps of my back porch where they got only morning sun. They were attractive to passers-by, and easy to care for.

Or keep them on a shelf built outside your kitchen window.

In the fall, many herbs can be cut and dried, then stored in a cool, dry spot. Some can be infused in olive oil or vinegar.

See my old post: Preserving Herbs with Salt or Sugar for another interesting option. I use this for my sage and rosemary leaves – the leaves don’t get too dry and they retain their fragrant oils. Plus they flavor the salt too, so be sure to use a bit of the salt as you use your herbs.


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