I wanted to not only give you some fun and simple spicy recipes for the festive season and beyond, but also to introduce you to the wonders of Nutmeg oil.
Why Nutmeg oil?
In our bulletin on “Boost your energy by 50%”, I mentioned Saint Hildegard of Bingen. What a remarkable woman! Her belief was that God has given us herbs, spices and foods to serve our body and keep us both healthy and full of joy and peace. This is what she wrote about Nutmeg:
“The wood and leaves of the nutmeg tree are harmful, but nutmeg itself gives a person a positive disposition and calms bitterness of the heart and mind.” (Von Bingen, 1155).
So it’s no wonder that Nutmeg oil has been found to stimulate the brain and remove mental exhaustion, temporary stress and anxiousness, and at the same time improve cognition.
On an emotional level, it encourages us to trust in ourselves, so we can be more spontaneous in life. Releasing resistance and doubt, it allows us to live in a state of flexibility rather than an obsessive need to control.
But that’s not all this wonderful oil does. It can improve the quality of our dreams, making them more colourful and intense, and at the same time more positive. It also activates the sacral, solar plexus and heart chakras.
And because it is a culinary oil, it is a wonderful addition to any recipe in place of nutmeg spice. If you live in the US, you would use the vitality range of oils (so where I’ve mentioned a culinary oil here, just substitute the word vitality after it). Enjoy these wonderful Xmas recipes…but first, let’s start with my absolute all-time favourite essential oil blend containing Nutmeg oil.
Artemis’ “Divinity” Essential Oil Blend
This blend was made for me as a perfume when I attended the Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Level 1 & 2 training with ISHA, and it’s truly divine!!!
- 6 drops Tangerine oil
- 3 drop Nutmeg oil
- 1 drop Ylang Ylang oil
You can also make a spritzer from this by adding this mix to 60ml of filtered water.
Recipe #1 – St. Hildegard’s Cookies of Joy
The following recipe was reconstructed from Hildegard’s circa 1157 treatise “Physica: Liber Simplicis MedicinÃ”. It’s amazing to think that these biscuits were first made over 900 years ago! She said to eat them at regular intervals to increase joy and positivity…you’ll see my adaptations to the recipe below, to incorporate essential oils.
- ¾ cup (170g) butter 1 cup brown sugar (can substitute with a natural sweetener such as coconut sugar – I personally use 2/3 cup coconut sugar, so they are less sweet than the original recipe)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- 1.5 cups of flour (can substitute with a gluten-free flour mix)
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (or 1 drop of cinnamon bark oil)
- 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg (or 1 drop of nutmeg oil)
- ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
Grind the cloves. Let the butter soften, then cream it with the sugar, and the dried spices or essential oils. Beat in the egg. Sift the remaining dry ingredients, add half of them and mix in, then add the other half and mix thoroughly. The dough can then be chilled so it’s workable.
If you own a Thermomix or other high speed blender, there’s a slightly easier and quicker way of preparing this dough: Simply grind the cloves in the Thermomix. Then add the softened butter, sugar and oils and blend. Then add the egg and blend. Then add all the remaining dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Form walnut-sized balls of dough, place on a greased and floured cookie sheet or a sheet of baking paper, and press flat. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then place the biscuits onto a cooling tray. Serves 30.
Recipe # 2 – Christmas cake
This scrumptious recipe has been handed down for generations, from “Nanny cake-lady” – Belinda Forsyth’s great grandmother – and Belinda has adapted the recipe to use essential oils. Thanks so much Belinda for sharing this with us!
- 1.5 kg mixed dried fruit
- 1/2 cup brandy or whiskey
- 1 grated Granny Smith apple
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 250g melted butter
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups plain flour or gluten-free flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg powder or 1 – 2 drops of Nutmeg essential oil
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder or 1 – 2 drops of Cinnamon Bark essential oil
Soak fruit in alcohol overnight. Add dried fruit, apple, sugar, honey and eggs into a large mixing bowl. Melt butter, and add to the mixing bowl, mixing well. Sift the flour into the mixing bowl, adding spices and oils. Mix well.
1. Press into a 23cm baking tray which is lined with 2 layers of baking paper (so that the paper extends 2cm/0.5 inches above the tin). Bake at 160 degrees Celsius/ 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover the tin with foil for first 1½ hours, remove foil and cook for another 1½ hours.
2. This recipe also works well in 1 cup muffin moulds. They make lovely gifts in this size. These only need to be baked for approximately 30 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius/320 degrees Fahrenheit.
Recipe # 3 – Artemis’ Chocolate & Nutmeg Protein Smoothie
- 600ml of “healthy” milk (eg. almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, organic goat’s milk, etc.)
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla powder
- 1 medium-sized ripe banana
- 1 Medjool date (seeded)
- 1 heaped teaspoon of raw cacao
- 1 – 2 drops of Nutmeg oil
- 4 drops of Tangerine oil
- A scoop of protein powder, such as Young Living’s Balance Complete or Pure Protein Complete (USA)
- 1 teaspoon of bee pollen (optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Start with 1 drop of Nutmeg oil, and add an extra drop to taste (if too much is added, it overpowers the flavours in this smoothie). Chill and add ice if desired. This makes enough for 2 people, and tastes absolutely fantastic!!! Not only is it a great Christmas treat, it’s an all-year-round treat!