Have I got a wonderful gift for you today! It’s a gluten-free plant-based eBook with tips on how to cook with essential oils. But first let’s go back to the beginning because I have a journey to take you on.
As a kid, my mum and grandmother were vegetarian. This meant that growing up I didn’t eat a huge about of fish and meat. The meat I remember that I did have was processed – which I don’t blame my mum for because who wants to deal with meat and cook it if you don’t eat it. The fish I had was cod from the fish and chip shop and I vaguely remember the odd sardine. You get the picture anyway. So at age 13, when I decided that I no longer wanted to eat meat or fish anymore it wasn’t a big deal to switch. I became a ovo-lacto vegetarian…. kind of sounds posh but it just means you don’t eat meat or fish or gelatin but you do eat eggs and dairy. I followed that same path until I was in my 30’s, that’s a whole 20 years!!
The shift from vegetarian to vegan or plant-based, came thanks to one little teenie weenie book in early 2010. I was about to embark on a trip to the Omega Institute, just outside of New York, for a month long yoga teacher training. We had homework before we even arrived and that was a big long reading list. I decided to start with the smallest and least imposing looking book. It was only about 100 pages and I read it in a day. That day my perspective towards my diet changed. The book was Yoga and Vegetarianism: The Diet of Enlightenment. It’s filled with stories about the wonderful things animals do and in that moment I realized that I had been so naive. It was like the light bulb had finally gone off. I didn’t eat meat and fish mainly because of the animals and yet I was still a part of the issue because I ate dairy and eggs.
Now let me just say I think that you should live and eat the way you want to. We each have to choose our own path in this life and go with what makes us happy. I’ll never shun someone because of food choices. I was pretty clear with also bringing my kids up to respect other people’s lifestyle choices too.
I have actually found that by sharing my love of cooking food I like, that in itself has inspired others to try to incorporate more plants into their diet and to give my recipes a try. Seriously though whatever diet is your preference we could also use more fibre and plants in our lives and that is a fact.
I loved cooking for so many years and frankly I love eating good food. I have ever since I was a baby when my grandfather or dad would shovel the food into my face. I savour a good meal. Friends would always ask for the recipes I was using or tips and I’d gladly share. They would also say I should write a cook book of them but I would just laugh and say where would I have time for that with two small kids and a yoga studio. (note that I don’t have either of those challenges now).
I loved cooking until I didn’t. That is likely a whole other blog post but after years of cooking for my family (especially my kids who looked like I was trying to poison them) I just stopped. I was unmotivated, uninspired and tired.
So fast forward to this last year of covid and getting vulnerable. A year of so much change and discomfort. A year where letting emotions take over and comfort eating was my thing. This, however, resulted in a few things that just were not working for me. Not only had my waistline grown a lot, my day to day attire consisted of only stretchy pants as that’s all that was fitting, I was tired all the time because convenience foods were just too convenient, I felt bloated and generally blah. To top it off with the gym being closed, little by little I retired to the life of a couch potato.
I know I’m not the only one who followed the same path but I knew the only one who could change things was me and guess what I’m in love. In love with cooking again and exploring. I’m now using my extra time at home to play and create wholesome real whole food dishes and you know what – I’m feeling 100% better – go figure.
So for those who are subscribed to our newsletter – a copy of our Real Love Cookbook is coming your way, and for those who are not please consider subscribing on the link at the start of this paragraph or the bottom of my website below, and check out this sample copy of one of the recipes in the cookbook.
If you are wondering why I use doTERRA oils to cook with, here are a few reasons that I utilize essential oils into my recipes:
- They are so cost effective and literally a few cents per drop
- They have a long shelf life which means I’m not throwing away unused herbs and fruits
- They are very convenient
- A little goes a long way
- Not only do they taste good but they have other health benefits
- Many of the essential oils we cook with also support our digestive system
- Essential oils work with many body systems to promote health and wellness
- They are the potent and pure form of the plant you would be using anyway
- doTERRA essential oils are beyond organic, you can check the testing and they have undergone almost 50 rounds of testing. Not sure my cilantro from the supermarket gets that much love.
These are some of my favourite essential oils to cook with:
- Wild orange
- Black pepper
The following oils by doTERRA can be used in your cooking:
Basil, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cassia, Cilantro, Cinnamon Bark, Clary Sage, Clove, Copaiba, Coriander, Fennel, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Marjoram, Melaleuca, Melissa, Myrrh, Oregano, Patchouli, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Roman Chamomile, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Siberian Fir, and Ylang Ylang
Some things to consider in how and when to use them:
-Essential oils evaporate especially with heat so it is best to add them at the end of cooking if you can.
-Some oils are super spicy and potent like oregano so rather than adding a whole drop all at once try putting a little on a toothpick and mixing that into your food and if it’s not enough you can always add more. If you put too much you unfortunately can not take it back out.
– Use ceramic, glass or stainless steel pots, pans and bowls when using oils. Potentially oils can break down plastic so avoid using it while cooking with oils.
– They are the concentrated form of the fresh or dried herbs and spices you might use. Add slowly and taste. Start off with one or two drops or follow a recipe that already has oils in it.
– Do not add the oil directly into your dish because its easy to lose track of how many drops went in or for extra to come of the bottle. Drop your oil onto a metal spoon and then add.
– If you are using oils like lemon or wild orange for example in a cake mixture and then baking you will want to add more drops of oil to account for the evaporation in baking.
– Remember that fruit oils like lemon, tangerine, orange, grapefruit, lime and bergamot come from the rind of the fruit so in recipes it is great for replacing the zest of the fruit, not always so easy to replace the juice of the fruit.
If you want to try the recipes in the cookbook and don’t yet have the oils you can purchase them here.
If you want to receive the entire eBook about cooking with essential oils join our email newsletter here.
Have fun my friends and let me know which recipes you use and like or share some of your own creations in the comments section below or via email to us.