Essential oils are the distilled pure aromatic essence of a plant. One whiff and you're keenly aware of the difference between a plant essence and the chemical detergent fragrances. Think of them as the superfoods of the scented world.
Unlike toxic fragrances, essential oils provide us with only truly healthful benefits. They can calm us, provide energy, alter our mood, improve our breathing, and even help us get a good night's sleep. They're a great alternative to the chemical fragrances found in personal care and household cleaning products. A few dabs on the wrist or smoothed into your hair can keep you smelling great for hours, and feeling good, too.
Essential oils can also be eaten in small doses. Not only do they provide incredible flavor, but the effects you get from smelling them can also be enjoyed when eaten.
Only use therapeutic grade pure essential oils when eating them. Never use blends or oils diluted in another oil. As with food, organic is always recommended when possible. Essential oils are very powerful. Be careful not to overdo it when adding or it could take over the flavor of your recipe!
Raw Chocolate Truffles with Neroli and Ginger
½ cup each: raw cacao powder, raw cacao butter, honey, agave, maple or yacon syrup.
1 vanilla bean, scraped
5 drops each neroli and ginger essential oil.
Pinch of salt
In a double boiler or bain marie, let the cacao butter melt over boiling water. Add the scraped innards of the vanilla bean (and you can chop the whole bean up into tiny pieces if you like a lot of vanilla). Mix in the cacao powder and salt. Then mix in sweetener and essential oils. You can add other ingredients here too if you like: coconut flakes, dried fruits, nuts, etc. Pour into molds (you can use ice cube trays if you don't have chocolate molds) and let chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
Summer Fruit Compote with Lavender and Grapefruit
Serves 6 to 8
6 cups fresh fruit. Summer fruits are abundant, so mix them as you like: plums, peaches, berries, cherries—or stick with one kind for a really rich flavor. Just avoid melons and citrus.
1 cup organic apple, cherry or blueberry juice
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 drops each lavender and grapefruit essential oils
Combine all ingredients except for lemon and essential oils into a saucepan. Make sure fruits are chopped and pitted. Leave berries whole minus stems. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until fruit is soft (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and mix in lemon and essential oils. Let cool before chilling. Serve plain or with a dollop of raw cashew cream.
Mojito with Peppermint and Lemon
1.5 oz light rum
1 tablespoon raw sugar
6 fresh mint leaves juice of 1/2 lime 7 oz club soda 1 drop each lemon and peppermint essential oil
Muddle mint leaves and sugar at the bottom of the glass. Add essential oils and ice. Squeeze in lime, add rum and fill with club soda. Stir well, sip and enjoy! It's a wonderful drink if you're skipping the rum, too.
Learn more about Jill Ettinger
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