Published: November 8, 2017
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Most people associate essential oils with health solutions and relief–helping stomach discomfort, reducing a skin irritation, or soothing sore muscles. But what many people don’t realize is that essential oils are as valuable in the kitchen as they are in the bathroom cabinet. In small doses, essential oils can add a blast of concentrated flavor to your next cookout. Intrigued? Here’s just a few of the flavors that you can introduce to your barbecue grill.
Yes, you can eat lavender! In recent years, the taste and fragrance of lavender has made this flower a popular ingredient in experimental dishes. The earthy, floral taste makes it perfect for a spring cookout. Add a hint of lavender oil to your dishes and delight your guests with a taste sensation like no other.
If you’ve got a recipe that calls for lemon zest, try swapping out the lemon with a dash of lemon oil. The concentrated flavor packs quite a punch, so use sparingly. But with a light touch, this oil can add a delicate citrus flavor to your dishes. If you don’t like the taste of lemon, lime oil can also add a sharp, zesty flavor to your meats and side dishes.
If you’re a chef, you probably already have a stock of black pepper in your kitchen. Save time by infusing your meats and marinades with a dash of black pepper oil. Strong and spicy, you’ll have your guests begging for the recipe after this barbecue.
Most people think of cinnamon as a spicy flavoring for cookies, cakes, and brownies. But this sharp, tangy oil can add an exciting dash of flavor to your next barbecue. Do a little experimenting and see what pairs well with cinnamon. Just be sure not to use too much–like peppermint, cinnamon is incredibly strong, and can be overpowering when overused.
Did you run out of thyme, rosemary, or oregano? No need to rush to the store–your stock of essential oils is the perfect substitute. Herb essential oils can take the place of fresh herbs in your recipes, and even add a boost of concentrated flavor. Add a little rosemary or oregano to your grilled chicken or burgers and enjoy the sharp, earthy taste.
Essential oils can be a valuable cooking ingredient. But when you start shopping, make sure you’re buying the real thing–not a bottle of products masquerading as fruit extract. Many essential oil brands offer safe, flavorful oils made with natural ingredients. Browse wisely, and remember: don’t be afraid to get creative!
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