Cooking with oils

Cooking with Essential Oils

This makes so much sense! We use herbs and plants in our food preparation, and herbs are basically essential oil plus plant fiber/tissue.

So when you take some lovely fresh basil to make a beautiful pesto, the flavor from the pesto comes from the essential oil in the leaves of the basil. The “bulk” comes from the fiber of the plant. When you are cooking a beautiful curry, and you are roasting your coriander seeds, the aroma that is released is the essential oil. And when you are using orange rind in a cake, the flavor comes from the essential oil in the rind – the rest is just bulk and fluid.

Where dried herbs have lost much of their life force in the drying process, essential oils retain their life force when produced correctly. This makes them truly “vibrational” in nature, meaning they transfer a living energy to us when we use them in food preparation.


Essential oils take our food to the next level!

The only differences in using an essential oil rather than the herb or plant in cooking are:

  • Essential oils are far more concentrated than herbs. For example, 1 drop of Peppermint oil is equivalent to 28 cups of Peppermint Tea! And it takes approximately 400 fresh, unsquashed jasmine blossoms collected before sunrise to make a single drop of Jasmine oil.
  • Essential oils don’t have the fiber or fluid, so you may need to adjust your recipe with this in mind. For example, if you are using Orange oil instead Orange juice in a recipe, you will need to add some additional fluid.
  • Essential oils retain their life force because of how they are produced. However, as soon as you heat them over about 40 degrees Celsius in your recipes, you will destroy some of the heat-sensitive constituents, even though you will have all the wonderful flavor.

The Golden Rules for cooking with oils

  • Less is often better. Many a dish has been destroyed by adding too many drops of essential oils to the recipe, so until your training wheels are off, start with 1 drop and build up to taste.
  • Generally you will find the citrus oils to be “lighter”, so you can get away with more drops than you can with a stronger oil like Peppermint or Oregano. For example, in a cup of hot chocolate you could add 3 drops of Orange oil, where you’d only use 1 drop of Peppermint oil.
  • Make sure your essential oil is suitable for use in food and beverage flavouring. Not every plant is considered suitable for flavouring purposes, and not every brand of essential oil complies with the necessary standards to be used as a flavouring agent. If your oil is suitable for this use, it will say so on the label.
  • Different countries have different regulations. Young Living Australia has an extensive list of culinary essential oils which are compliant with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) – these are single oils, and a few blends, which all come from well-known food plants used in Australian cuisine. If you are ordering from Young Living in the USA, the culinary essential oils have all been relabeled as “Vitality oils”, so you have Peppermint essential oil for topical use, and Peppermint Vitality for food and beverage flavouring.

How to use essential oils in food and beverages

There are many different ways to incorporate essential oils into food and beverages. Here are just a few ideas. You can:

  1. Add to drinking water (eg. 1 drop of Spearmint and 1 drop of Tangerine oil in 1.5 litres of water)
  2. Flavour your NingXia Red® (eg. make cocktails with Tangerine and Lemon oil)
  3. Make mouthwatering salad dressings with combinations like Black Pepper oil, Lemon oil and Rosemary oil – mixed with lemon juice, olive oil and balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  4. Create herbed butter by mixing Oregano or Lemon Myrtle oil in with your butter, then drizzle over popcorn…or make a sweeter mix with Cinnamon Bark oil, butter, and a natural sweetener like coconut nectar or maple syrup
  5. Uplift the flavor and vibration of your desserts with oils like Cinnamon Bark, Nutmeg or Rose, Lemon, or with citrus oils like Orange, Tangerine, Lemon and Lime.
  6. Replace the herb with an oil in most recipes, eg. use Orange oil instead of Orange rind in an Orange and Poppy seed cake, or use Rose oil instead of Rosewater in a dessert
  7. Melt some organic chocolate, and add Orange oil with crushed roasted almonds, Lime oil with coconut flakes, Peppermint and Spearmint oil combined (the spearmint softens the potency of the peppermint oil), or Cinnamon Bark and Ginger oil
  8. Spice up your smoothies with raw cacao, banana and Nutmeg oil

12 AromaLicious Essential Oil Snacks

1.      Coriander, Chilli & Lemon Myrtle Pesto

I love pesto, and a couple of weeks ago I had the inspiration to add a drop of Young Living’s Lemon Myrtle oil to the mix.

“This is soooooo delicious! The Lemon Myrtle oil comes as a wonderful surprise right at the end….it’s subtle, and will delight your taste buds!”

Try a dollop on avocado & toast, and on top of salads, grilled vegetables, and pasta. Once I have all the ingredients ready, this takes me 2.5 minutes to make in a good quality blender like a Thermomix®. Given my busy lifestyle, this is perfect.

  • 45g Pine nuts
  • 5 whole raw Macadamia nuts (or 10 halves)
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1 large red chilli (the non-hot variety), with seeds removed
  • 80g fresh coriander
  • 30g fresh dill
  • 1/8th teaspoon of salt
  • 100ml/g extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 drop Young Living Lemon Myrtle oil

 Blend the pine nuts, macadamia nuts, garlic and chili at high speed in your blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients and blend until desired consistency is reached. If using a Thermomix, blend at speed 7 for 30 seconds for a smooth texture. Season with additional salt, pepper and oil if desired. Serve immediately, or cover and store in a glass jar in fridge.


  1. Raw Almond Hommus

This delicious raw almond hommus is packed full of flavour and nutrients, is easy to make, and is great as a dip or added to a salad.


  • 1 cup dry almonds (soaked in water overnight)
  • Optional: 1 large red chilli (the mild variety)
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 5 tablespoons of hulled Tahini
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice = juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
  • 15 drops of Young Living Lemon oil
  • 4 drops of Young Living Black Pepper oil
  • 2 drops Young Living Coriander oil



  1. Blend or finely chop the garlic and chilli.
  2. Add the soaked almonds, which will now be more than a cup due to absorbing the water. Blend on high speed until finely chopped.
  3. Add the essential oils to the olive oil to disperse them, then add the oil-infused olive oil to the mix.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, and blend on high speed until smooth in consistency.
  1. Smashed Avocado with Lime, Black Pepper and Citrus Fresh oils

This is a simple recipe, but so yummy, compliments of Anne Simpson.

  • 1 ripe avocado, roughly mashed
  • 1 drop Lime oil
  • 1 drop Black Pepper oil
  • 1 drop Citrus Fresh oil blend
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Pinch of Celtic or Himalayan sea salt to taste

This pairs perfectly with a crunchy seed cracker, or carrot and celery sticks.

  1. Rosemary and Lemon Cashews

This recipe was first published on the Young Living blog, and it’s turned out to be a total hit!


  • 500g (16 oz) of raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves
  • The peel of 1 lemon, pith removed
  • 4 drops Rosemary oil
  • 2 drops Lemon oil
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse sea salt


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the nuts on a baking sheet and roast for about 8–10 minutes, until warm and lightly golden. Warm the olive oil, rosemary leaves, and lemon zest in a small skillet over medium heat until it begins to sizzle and smells fragrant. Add the roasted cashews and stir to coat completely. Remove from heat, and stir in the Rosemary and Lemon o

  1. Ginger and Honey Popcorn

 This recipe is so delicious, you will want to make it over and over again! It’s one of my impromptu creations, and only takes 5 to 10 minutes to make. (This recipe makes a large serving for 2 – 4 people, or a good sized taster for 8 -10 people).


  • 1 cup popcorn
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 160g butter (substitute coconut oil for a vegan version)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 to 8 drops of Ginger oil (if making for children or sensitive palates, use 6 drops, for adults use 8 drops)


Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the popcorn into the oil and stir, then put a lid on the saucepan. The corn will begin popping once the oil becomes hot. You want it hot enough to pop, but not so hot that it burns. It’s a fine balance, so keep a close eye on the pot. Turn off the heat once the popping has stopped, or if it starts burning, and pour the contents into a large bowl

While the popcorn is cooking, in a second saucepan gently melt 100g of butter or coconut oil and honey, making sure it doesn’t boil. Once melted, turn off the heat and add 4 drops of Ginger oil, and pour over the popcorn. Mix well, then immediately serve.

Peppermint Bliss Balls

In a Thermomix® or Food Processor, combine:

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao
  • 12 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 cup of dessicated coconut
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder or essence
  • 4-5 drops of Young Living Peppermint Oil

Shape into balls. Roll in some extra dessicated coconut. Store in the fridge. Delicious!!!!

7. Coconut Raspberry Gummies

Anne Simpson has given us this wonderful recipe, thanks Anne! It’s so easy to make, and tastes amazing! For a vegetarian version, substitute agar-agar instead of gelatin (you’ll need to search online for the conversion ratios).

The Topping:

  • 1 tin 400ml coconut cream
  • 3 tablespoons of gelatine (I used the “I Quit Sugar” brand)
  • 4 drops of Young Living Tangerine oil

The Base:

  • 1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons of gelatine
  • 1 60ml sachet of NingXia Red
  • 2 drops of Young Living Orange oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of natural sweetener (eg. honey, maple syrup, coconut nectar or rice malt syrup)



  1. Add the gelatine to 100ml of coconut cream to soften the gelatine.
  2. Empty the remaining coconut cream into a saucepan on low heat. After 5 minutes, add the gelatine mixture to the saucepan and stir until it’s well combined and heated.
  3. Cool the mix, then add the Tangerine essential oil.
  4. Stir thoroughly and pour the mixture into moulds, or into a 10cm x 15cm dish. Place it in the fridge while making the base.


  1. Add the gelatine to water to soften the gelatine.
  2. Place the raspberries and natural sweetener into a saucepan over low heat, and stir until the berries have softened, and the mixture is heated through.
  3. Add the NingXia Red juice, and puree the mix with a hand-held blender. Stir in the softened gelatine and Orange essential oil.
  4. Make sure the topping is already firm. Pour the base mix over the topping, and place it back into the fridge.

If you can manage to keep these treats away from all the hungry paws, this recipe will keep in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week.

8. Raw and Dreamy Orange Caramel Slice
by Amy Joyous, reproduced from An Aromatic Life by Jen Gallagher, Amy Joyous, et. al. with permission


3 Layers of LOVE:


  • ½ cup of dates (pitted and soaked if not medjool dates)
  • 1 ½ cups of almonds or cashews soaked (or any of your favourite nuts)
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract

Gooey Sauce:

  • 1 cup dates (pitted and soaked if not medjool dates)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • Dash of natural vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked for at least 3 hours
  • Pinch of sea salt

Orange Choc top:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 4 tbs of cacao powder
  • 4 tbs of Blue agave or maple syrup or coconut nectar
  • 4 – 6 drops of Orange essential oil

Directions for the Base:

  • Blend the dates and nuts together in a food processor until it’s at a fine consistency. Add the natural vanilla extract and blend once more. Grease a slice tin with coconut oil and spread the base layer out on the bottom. Freeze for about an hour.

Directions for the gorgeous gooey sauce:

  • Blend all of the ingredients together until it’s nice and creamy. Pour over frozen base. Place back in freezer for about 30 minutes.

Directions for the last layer of yummy orange chocolate:

  • Melt the coconut oil, then mix in the cacao powder, essential oil and sweetener of choice. Whisk until it’s at a nice velvety creamy texture and pour over the two layers. Place back in the freezer for an hour.

 Remove from freezer, cut into slices and enjoy!

  1. Peppermint Cream Slice

This delicious non-dairy slice will melt in your mouth! Thanks Fiona Russell for sharing the recipe with us.


Biscuit Layer:

  • 100g almond meal
  • 3 medjool dates (pitted)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of dessicated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Line a pan with baking paper. Process the ingredients on high speed in your Thermomix® or food processor, then press into the pan. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to solidify.

Creamy Peppermint Layer:

  • 60ml (1/4 cup) coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut butter (optional)
  • 4 drops Peppermint oil

Coconut oil becomes solid at cooler temperatures, so if needed you can warm it on low heat until it liquifies. Then simply blend these ingredients in your Thermomix or food processor, and spread over the biscuit base. Pop it back into the freezer while you make the chocolate layer, just to give the creamy peppermint layer a chance to solidify.


Chocolate Topping:

  • 60g of raw cacao butter (grated or finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup of raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of your preferred natural sweetener (eg. coconut nectar)
  • a small pinch of salt (eg. celtic sea salt or himalayan salt)

Place your cacao butter and coconut oil together into a stainless steel bowl, and sit in a pan of simmering water. Stir until it melts. OR stir these together in a Thermomix at 37 degrees for 5 minutes until they melt. Add remaining ingredients, whisk or blend at high speed. Allow it to cool for approximately 15 minutes, then pour over the top of the creamy peppermint layer.

10. Cookies of Joy

The following recipe was reconstructed from Saint Hildegard of Bingen’s circa 1157 treatise “Physica: Liber Simplicis MedicinÔ. 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.

 11. Chocolate & Nutmeg Smoothie

This is another one of my creations – enjoy!


  • 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
  • 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!

  1. Jaffa Iced Chocolate


For each person, mix the following ingredients together, then heat and blend:

  • 1 cup (250ml) of almond or cow’s milk
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of raw cacao powder
  • 5 to 2 teaspoons of coconut nectar, honey or maple syrup (this provides light sweetening – add more to taste if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon of Coconut Butter or Coconut Paste (not cacao butter). When put through a high speed blender, the coconut butter creates a creamy froth on top of the hot chocolate.
  • 3 drops Tangerine oil



Warm the ingredients first until just below simmering, then put through a high speed blender. If using a Thermomix®, set to 80 degrees for 5 minutes on speed 1 to heat, then blend for 90 seconds on high speed (speed 9) to froth. Alternatively if you have a cappuccino maker, you can froth the almond or cow’s milk separately, and add to the hot cacao mix at the end.


Refrigerate until cool, then serve with ice.

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