Essential Oil Spotlight: Basil


Basil essential oil (Ocimum basilicum CT linalool) is steam-distilled from the leaves, stems, and flowers of the basil plant. This oil is characteristically known for its herbaceous, spicy, anise-like, camphorous, and lively aroma.

Anciently, basil was used to treat respiratory problems, digestive and kidney ailments, epilepsy, poisonous insect or snake bites, fevers, epidemics, and malaria. The French have historically used basil to help aid migraines, mental fatigue, and menstrual periods.

Today basil is most commonly used for autism, bee/hornet stings, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, cramps (abdominal), earache, hiatal hernia, incisional hernia, infertility, mouth ulcers, muscular dystrophy, ovarian cyst, and viral hepatitis. This essential oil primarily affects the cardiovascular system, muscles, and skeletal system.

Basil contains antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic (powerful), antiviral, decongestant (veins, arteries of the lungs, prostate), diuretic, disinfectant (urinary/pulmonary), energizing, stimulant (nerves, adrenal cortex), and uplifting health properties.

Other possible uses of basil oil include anxiety, chills, concentration, digestion, fainting, insect repellent, chronic mucus, vomiting, and whooping cough.

Applications of Basil Essential Oil and Safety Data:

Topical Application: Basil can be applied neat (with no dilution) directly to the area of concern and reflex points. Dilute with a carrier oil when using on sensitive skin or children (see safety data below).
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma directly. The aroma of basil helps one maintain an open mind and increases clarity of thought.
Internal Application: Basil is recognized as safe for internal consumption by the FDA and may be used as a food flavoring agent or taken in capsules.
Safety Data: Basil is not to be consumed internally by children under 6 years old and should be used with caution and in greater dilution for children 6 years old and older. The use of this oil should be avoided during pregnancy. Basil should not be used by people with epilepsy. This oil may also irritate sensitive skin; test by applying to a small area before continuing application.

5 Ways to Use Basil Essential Oil:

1. Massage
There’s nothing like a simple soothing massage with some of your favorite essential oils to calm your mood. Try these massage blends to help boost your mental health and aid carpal tunnel syndrome.

Mental Fatigue Massage Blend
4 drops basil essential oil
4 drops lemon essential oil
4 drops juniper essential oil
2 Tbsp. (25 ml) carrier oil or butter
Combine essential oils with your favorite carrier oil or butter, and lightly massage into your neck, hands, and feet.
Carpal Tunnel Massage Oil
3 drops basil essential oil
3 drops marjoram essential oil
2 drops lemongrass essential oil
2 drops cypress essential oil
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Blend oils together, and massage gently into your arm from your shoulder down to your fingertips. You can also make this massage oil in a roll-on bottle for easier application.

2. Earache
Basil is great for helping to dull painful earaches. Add 1 drop each of basil and melaleuca to a cotton ball, and hold over the ear canal for 30 minutes. Do not place directly into the ear canal.

3. Diffuse
Basil’s aroma can have an amazing influence, as it helps one maintain an open mind and increases clarity of thought. Try out some of these diffuser blends to help you focus and engage better in all your endeavors.

4. Bath
Bath salts are perfect for relaxing, but they are also a great way to soak up the benefits of essential oils. Try out the following recipe to help calm your anxiety and energize your body. Remember that basil may irritate sensitive skin, so be careful and dilute further if necessary.

Calm the Anxiety Bath Salts
2 cups (500 g) Epsom Salt
1/2 tsp. (2 g) baking powder
1 tsp. (5 ml) Sweet Almond Oil
3 drops lime essential oil
2 drops basil essential oil
16 oz. PET Jar
Combine salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix essential oils with almond oil. If desired, mix in a few drops of food coloring. Slowly stir oils into the salt mixture, and blend well. Allow the salts to sit for a couple hours in order for the salt to soak up the scent. Add 1/2–1 cup (125–250 g) of salt mixture to your bath under the running tap.

5. Cooking
Basil essential oil is a great ingredient to add to your kitchen. This oil can add rich flavor to any of your recipes with just a drop or less. When adding basil essential oil to your food, start with a toothpick dipped in the oil and stirred into the mixture, and add more until you reach the desired taste. Keep in mind that cooking (or heating) the oil tones down the bold flavor. Here are some of our favorite recipes with basil essential oil!

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 38–39.
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies by Franzesca Watson
Organic Beauty With Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo

Honey Suckers for Soothing Little Throats

One of the most helpful things for a sore throat is a spoonful of honey! A couple years ago we posted a recipe for Soothing Throat Lozenges, and we thought we could adapt the recipe a little to make it suitable for children. The result? Honey Suckers.

Honey Suckers

  • Servings: 30–40
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) honey
  • 1 Tbsp. (12 g) coconut oil
  • 2–3 drops essential oil (good oils to use include lemon, lime, or orange)
  • Candy thermometer
  • Silicone sucker mold with sticks or parchment paper and popsicle sticks

Instructions:

  1. If you don’t have a silicone sucker mold, place a sheet of parchment paper on the counter, then place popsicle sticks a couple inches apart on the sheet. You’ll need about 30–40 popsicle sticks.
  2. Place honey and coconut oil in a pot. Bring to a boil.
  3. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat and simmer.
  4. Using a candy thermometer, allow the mixture to reach a temperature of 300°F (150°C), and then remove the mixture from the stove.
  5. Stir in essential oils.
  6. Pour the mixture into sucker molds, or drop spoonfuls on parchment paper over the popsicle sticks. You will need to work fast, since the mixture hardens quickly and will become hard to pour.
  7. Allow the suckers to harden (you can stick the sucker mold in the refrigerator for an hour). Cut strips of parchment paper, and fold them over the suckers to keep them from sticking together. Store in the refrigerator.


Essential Oil Spotlight: Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oil is steam-distilled from the flowering rosemary plant. It is known for its herbaceous, strong, camphoraceous odor, with woody-balsamic and evergreen undertones. The aroma of rosemary can stimulate memory and open the conscious mind.

Historically, the rosemary plant was regarded as sacred by many civilizations and was used to protect against infectious diseases. Today, rosemary essential oil is most commonly used for addictions (alcohol), arthritis, cancer, cellulite, constipation, diabetes, fainting, flu (influenza), inflammation, lice, low blood pressure, sinusitis, and vaginal infections.

Rosemary affects the immune, respiratory, and nervous systems and contains the following health properties: analgesic, antibacterial, anticancer, anticatarrhal, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and expectorant.

Other possible uses of rosemary essential oil include bronchitis, colds, nervous exhaustion, immune system (stimulate), preventing respiratory infections, and stress-related illnesses.

Applications of Rosemary Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Rosemary essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution), or dilute 1:1 (1 drop essential oil to 1 drop carrier oil) for children and those with sensitive skin.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale aroma directly. The aroma of rosemary stimulates memory and opens the conscious mind.
Internal Application: Take in capsules, or place 1–2 drops under the tongue. Rosemary can also be used as a flavoring in cooking.
Safety Data: Avoid using rosemary during pregnancy. Not for use by people with epilepsy. Avoid if dealing with high blood pressure. Not to be used internally for children under 6 years old; use with caution and greater dilution for children 6 years old and over.

5 Ways to Use Rosemary Essential Oil

1. Diffuser Blends
With the incredible properties of rosemary essential oil, you can’t resist trying it in this “Study Buddy” diffuser blend to aid you in your studies or whenever you need a mental boost. Also try some of these other blends with rosemary to enhance your life!

2. Roll-ons
Rosemary is extremely valuable when it comes to roll-ons. These great roll-on blends are sure to help with constipation and joint soreness. Just add these oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the remainder of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil or another carrier oil of your choice.

Constipation Relief
1 drop rosemary
1 drop lemon
1 drop peppermint
1 tsp. (5ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Apply to stomach and back, and gently massage in. This is a 4% dilution, so it is safe to use daily or as needed.
Sore Joint Relief
3 drops eucalyptus
3 drops peppermint
3 drops rosemary
1 tsp. (5ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Apply on location, and then apply an ice pack on top. This is a 10% dilution, so it should not be used daily. If you would like to use this roll-on daily, add the same amount of essential oils to 2 tsp. (10 ml) of fractionated coconut oil in a 10 ml roll-on bottle.

3. Bath
Baths have always been regarded as a simple way to relax, calm nerves, and energize the body. Try some of these easy bath ideas using rosemary essential oil for a nice pick-me-up. Just combine the ingredients, and dissolve 1/2 cup (120 g) of salt mixture under the running tap for a soothing warm bath.

Hangover Pick-Me-Up
5 drops grapefruit
2 drops rosemary
1 drop juniper berry
1 cup (240 g) Epsom Salt
Good Morning Bath
2 drops lemon
2 drops lavender
2 drops rosemary
1/2 cup (120 g) Epsom Salt

4. Massage
Massage is a great way to use rosemary because of its anti-inflammatory properties and how it affects the nervous system. Try this massage blend for a soothing and stress-relieving massage.

Stress-Release Massage Oil
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) Sweet Almond Oil
3 drops bergamot
2 drops rosemary

5. Cooking
Rosemary is a popular flavor, and the herb can be easily substituted with essential oil for the same rich flavor. Start by dipping a toothpick in the oil and stirring that into your food, and add more until you achieve the desired flavor. Here are some delicious recipes for you to try using rosemary essential oil:

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 94–95.
Organic Beauty with Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo

Fat-Busting Fat Bombs and Shakes (Keto Friendly)

Why Fats are Fab

Contrary to conventional wisdom, researchers have lately discovered that fat doesn’t make you fat. In fact, your body actually requires healthy, natural fats for proper hormone production and metabolism. It’s the quick-release carbohydrates in sugars and grains that the body coverts to fat stores.

That’s why the ketogenic diet has caught fire. (In a nutshell—and nut fats are in—eating keto means getting 60–70% of daily calories from fat, 15–30% from protein, and 5–10% from carbohydrates). The goal is to get your body to burn fat instead of glucose for energy.

The main problem with drastically cutting those naughty sugars and grains is nagging carb cravings. So whether you’re strictly eating keto or just cutting back on carbs for weight control, satisfying fat bombs and shakes can be a diet saver. Flavoring them with essential oils just ups the overall body benefits.

Fat Bomb Basics

Ingredient Categories

  • Healthy fat foundation: such as coconut oil, cacao butter, ghee, or avocado oil. Also heavy whipping cream, milk, butter, and cream cheese, if you consume dairy products.
  • Protein-infused texture: nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, walnuts), natural nut butters (no sugar added), shredded coconut (unsweetened), chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.
  • Low- or no-sugar flavoring: very dark chocolate, powdered cacao or cocoa*, vanilla extract, erythritol, stevia, essential oils, etc.

Easy Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together, after melting solid fats only as needed.
  2. Form balls on a baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Delectable Diet Desserts

Vegan Cinnamon-Coconut Bombs (with Chocolate-Peppermint Variation)

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cups (225 g) coconut butter (not oil) or almond butter
  • 1 cups (240 ml) coconut milk (full-fat)
  • 1 cup (95 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) stevia powder, or to taste (or 2–3 Tbsp. [30–45 ml] raw honey, if a few extra carbs are okay)
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Soften coconut butter (not melt), and then mix with all the other ingredients.
  2. Form balls on baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Chocolate-Peppermint Variation:

  • Add 1/4 cup (30 g) cacao or cocoa powder
  • Substitute 1 drop peppermint essential oil for cinnamon oil.

Vegan Chocolate-Coconut-Pecan Bombs (with Dairy Variation)

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (170 g) no- or low-sugar very dark chocolate chips** (or chopped baker’s chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup (70 g) unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup (85 g) finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp. (1.5 g) powdered stevia, or to taste
  • 1 drop essential oil: peppermint, cinnamon, or orange

Instructions:

  1. Mix coconut oil with all the other ingredients.
  2. Form balls on a baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.

Brown Cow “Cookie Dough” Bombs

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (225 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (135 g) natural almond or peanut butter (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup (85 g) no- or low-sugar very dark chocolate chips** (or chopped baker’s chocolate)
  • 1/3 cup (65 g) erythritol
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 drop cinnamon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Form balls on a baking sheet, or use silicone molds. A small cookie scoop coated with cooking spray may help.
  3. Solidify, and store in the freezer or refrigerator.


Bonus Chocolate Bomb Shake

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) coconut milk (full-fat)
  • 2 Tbsp. (31 g) almond butter (peanut butter works but may overwhelm essential oil flavoring)
  • 2 Tbsp. (15 g) cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. chia and/or ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) stevia powder
  • 1 cup (150 g) ice cubes (or a little cold water)—or more for desired consistency
  • 2 drops peppermint, cinnamon, or orange essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or BlenderBottle®, and blend or shake until smooth.

Orange-Berry Variation

  • Substitute 1/2 cup (85 g) berries for nut butter—strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
  • Use 2 drops orange essential oil

*Strictly speaking, raw cacao powder is cold-pressed from unroasted cocoa beans, while cocoa powder is cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures. Raw cacao possesses over 3 times the antioxidant capacity of processed cocoa.
**Many grocery chains carry Guittard 63% cacao very dark chocolate chips (6 g sugar per 15 g by weight). Health food stores may carry sugar-free very dark chocolate chips.

Sources:
http://www.businessinsider.com/eating-fat-wont-make-you-fat-gain-weight-says-doctor-2017-11

The real difference between cacao and cocoa

Veggie Wraps with Avocado White Bean Spread

These veggie wraps make a healthy and light meal that is perfect for helping you achieve your health goals. Use a large leafy green or a tortilla as your wrap, depending on your preference or health goals. If you have any leftover Avocado White Bean Spread, try using it as a veggie dip—it’s delicious!

Veggie Wraps

  • Servings: 2+
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Chard, collard greens, or tortilla wraps
  • Avocado White Bean Spread (recipe below)
  • Carrots, julienned or sliced with a vegetable peeler
  • Red cabbage, shredded
  • Sprouts (broccoli, alfalfa, or bean)
  • Sweet bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • Cucumbers, cut into matchsticks or sliced with a vegetable peeler
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your vegetables, and make the Avocado White Bean Spread (see recipe below).
  2. If using the chard or collard green leaves as the wrap, cut along the stem on the large leaf so you end up with 2 pieces.
  3. Spread the Avocado White Bean Sauce over the middle of the chard leaf, collard green leaf, or tortilla wrap. Layer on the sliced vegetables over the sauce. Starting at one end, begin rolling as you hold down the filling to tightly roll up the wrap. Lay seam-side-down on a serving platter or plate. Enjoy!


This avocado spread is great to use in a veggie wrap or as a vegetable dip!

Avocado White Bean Spread or Dip

  • Servings: 2+
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1–2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) great northern white beans
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil
  • 1 toothpick black pepper essential oil
  • 1 toothpick basil essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until all combined.
    You may need to scrape down the sides a few times.
  2. Enjoy on the veggie wraps (recipe above), or dip with vegetable sticks!

Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken (Flavored with Essential Oils!)

Butter chicken is simple to make and commonly liked, even by those who don’t normally like Indian food. This version of butter chicken uses essential oils to achieve the exotic flavor of the dish. We used a pressure cooker (Instant Pot®) for this recipe, but you could let it simmer on the stove with similar results.

Butter Chicken with Essential Oils

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Initial Ingredients:

  • 1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 5–6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. (3 g) turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) paprika
  • 1 tsp. (6 g) salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) garam masala
  • 2 lbs. (1 kg) boneless chicken thighs (see substitution note below)

Final Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) coconut oil or butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut milk or heavy cream
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 drops cumin essential oil
  • 1–2 drops coriander essential oil
  • 1 drop cardamom essential oil
  • 1 drop cassia essential oil
  • 1 drop clove essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • 1 drop ginger essential oil
  • 1/4–1/2 cup (15–30 g) fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Place all the initial ingredients into the pressure cooker. Mix the sauce well, and then place the chicken on top of the sauce.
  2. Seal the pressure cooker, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before quickly releasing the remaining pressure.
  3. Remove the chicken, and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
  4. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender with care—the liquid is really hot!), blend up the sauce.
  5. Allow the sauce to cool a little before adding the butter, coconut milk, cilantro or parsley, nutmeg, and essential oils. If you add these items while the sauce is too hot, it will be a thin sauce. Just place it in the fridge for a little bit to help it thicken.
  6. Cut the chicken into chunks before adding back into the sauce.
  7. Serve over rice or zucchini noodles or with a side of naan.

Notes/Substitutions:

  • You can substitute some or all the chicken with tofu, steamed vegetables, or shrimp. Just add 1/4 cup (60 ml) water to the sauce before cooking, then add the substituted ingredients after cooking and heat until warm or cooked through.
  • You can use frozen chicken. Just push it into the sauce before cooking and add 1–2 minutes to the cook time.

Trick Your Sweet Tooth with Flavored Toothpicks

Instead of grabbing that sweet treat that you are craving, try sucking on an essential oil–flavored toothpick instead. Studies have shown that grapefruit essential oil can reduce appetite and sweet cravings and may even help with addictions. Cinnamon essential oil can be a great alternative to your favorite cinnamon candy and supports the immune system. Peppermint, spearmint, fennel, and cardamom can all help freshen your breath, support your digestive system, and keep your mouth occupied so you don’t eat something you’ll regret later.

Essential Oil Toothpicks

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Place fractionated coconut oil in the shot glass. Add essential oils, and stir to combine.
  2. Place desired number of toothpicks in the shot glass standing up.
  3. Let sit for several hours or until all the oil has been soaked up.
  4. Spread the toothpicks out on parchment paper, and allow them to dry.
  5. Once dry, place the toothpicks in the spice jar.
  6. When you need a little something sweet or want to freshen your breath, simply suck on one of the toothpicks!

Source:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition.

Peppermint Whipped Cream Cubes for Hot Chocolate

These frozen whipped cream cubes make hot chocolate a fun experience and add a little minty flavor to your cup as well! This recipe can be a healthier alternative to adding marshmallows to your hot chocolate, especially if you follow the substitutions to make this a healthy non-dairy topping!

Peppermint Whipped Cream Cubes

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream (or coconut cream)
  • 2 Tbsp. (17 g) powdered sugar or 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) maple syrup
  • 2–3 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Using an electric mixer, whisk together the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and peppermint essential oil until it thickens and forms stiff peaks.
  2. Cover a dish with parchment paper, and spread the whipped cream on the parchment paper. You’ll want it at least 1/2″ (1 1/4 cm) thick.
  3. Freeze the cream until solid (about an hour).
  4. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes in the cream, and place them in hot chocolate.

Extra Ideas:

  • A chocolate stirring spoon makes the drink more decadent. You can even add a drop of peppermint to the chocolate before pouring into the spoon mold for a little extra mintiness!
  • Forget freezing and just use it as cream. It’s delicious either way!
  • Make “ice cream sandwiches” by placing this cream in between your favorite cookies.

Essential Oil–Flavored Sugar

Have you ever used flavored sugar to sweeten your tea, sprinkle on toast, or use in your baking? Vanilla-flavored sugar is common and quite popular in European desserts, but you can easily make different flavors when you use essential oils. Try making some and using it to flavor toast, pancakes, french toast, crème brûlée, cereal, fruits, or milk and other beverages.
Gift idea: add your flavored sugar to 4 oz. glass salve jars, attach a little plastic spoon and a gift tag, and give it away as a unique neighbor gift.

Essential Oil–Flavored Sugar

  • Servings: Yield=2 cups (400 g)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Place the sugar in a glass bowl. Stir in essential oil for a couple minutes.
  2. Fill jar(s) with your flavored sugar, or use right away.

Extra Idea:

  • Scrape out the seeds of a vanilla bean and add them to your sugar along with an essential oil. You can even throw in the vanilla pod for extra flavor.
    (Remove the pod after 2–3 weeks.)

Use your flavored sugar in one of these recipes:

Alcohol-Free Glycerin Extracts

Making homemade extracts is pretty easy to do, but we’ve figured out a shortcut—essential oils—to make some extracts even easier. Normally, extracts are achieved by steeping vanilla beans, citrus peels, fresh herbs (such as peppermint leaves), dried herbs/spices (including cinnamon sticks), or coconut meat in alcohol for several months. As it steeps, the alcohol takes on the flavor of the added substance and an extract is produced. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the flavor tends to be.

We used the alcohol extract method to create this Homemade Vanilla Extract. Since then, we’ve learned that there are alternate solvents, such as vegetable glycerin, that can be used instead of alcohol. By using vegetable glycerin, we can create an extract that is alcohol-free and has a more pleasant taste. However, it is important to keep in mind that these extracts may only last about 14–24 months (whereas alcohol extracts can last 4–6 years).

Vegetable glycerin extracts usually use a glycerin/water combination and need to have at least 70% glycerin with 30% (or less) distilled water (if you are making extracts from fresh herbs, you’ll need to account for the water in the plant). The common ratio for herb to glycerin/water is 1:8.

To make most extracts, it is important to let the substance steep in the glycerin for a minimum of 4–6 weeks (preferably 10–12 weeks or more for a stronger flavor). However, we’ve found that if you use essential oils for some extracts, you can use the extract within days of steeping.

Essential Oil Glycerin Extracts

  • Servings: Yield=2 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 3 Tbsp. (45 ml) organic liquid vegetable glycerin
  • 10–15 drops essential oil (such as lemon, orange, peppermint, cassia or cinnamon)
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) distilled water
  • 2 oz. Glass Bottle with Black Lid

Instructions:

  1. Add glycerin and essential oils to the bottle. Screw the lid on, and shake to combine. Remove the lid, and add the distilled water. Replace the lid, and shake once more.
  2. Let steep for at least 24 hours before using.

Extra Idea:

  • If you would rather use alcohol for the longer shelf life, just add the essential oils to the bottle and fill it up with vodka (80-proof).


You can also use glycerin to make other extracts such as vanilla, almond, and coconut extracts.

Glycerin Extracts

  • Servings: Yield=4 oz.
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 vanilla beans (sliced open lengthwise and cut in half or chopped into smaller pieces),
    1/4 cup (21 g) coconut meat (freshly grated),
    OR 10 sweet almonds (skins removed and cut in half or chopped)
  • 6 Tbsp. (90 ml) organic liquid vegetable glycerin
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) distilled water
  • 4 oz. Glass Bottle with Black Lid

Instructions:

  1. Place vanilla beans, coconut meat, or sweet almonds in the bottle. Add glycerin and water to the bottle. Screw the lid on, and shake to combine.
  2. Let steep for at least 4–12 weeks before using. Shake as often as possible. The more you shake, the sooner it will be ready. (Your extract can be ready as soon as 2 weeks if you shake it at least once every day.)
  3. After 12 weeks, strain out the vanilla beans, coconut meat, or sweet almonds, and pour the liquid back into the bottle.

Extra Ideas:

  • You can make this recipe in bulk using mason jars and then place the final liquid extract in smaller bottles (such as the 2 oz. Glass Bottle with Black Lid) for gifting.
  • Check out these cute vinyl labels for vanilla extract.
  • If you would rather use alcohol for the longer shelf life, just replace the glycerin and water in this recipe with vodka (80-proof).

Don’t forget about gift giving during this holiday season! These little bottles of extract make a perfect neighbor gift!