Essential Oil Spice Mixes for Savory Dishes

Essential oils can add a lot of flavor to cooking, but sometimes even a drop is too much for the dish. These spice mixes are an easy way to add a hint of additional flavor to your cooking with the help of essential oils! You may even enjoy adding a little to your plate if you like to salt your food.

AromaTools sells empty spice jars that are perfect for these spice mixes in 2 sizes: 1 oz. glass and 4 oz. plastic. Most of these recipes include ingredient lists for both sizes, so you can make these recipes in either jar. If you would like to try them out before making a larger batch, just follow the 1 oz. recipe.

One important thing to remember when using these spices—use them like you would salt. If you want more of the essential oil flavor, add more oils to the salt mixture, or add a toothpick or a drop of essential oil to the dish after cooking it.

Another tip: Make sure to use a slightly coarse salt (kosher salt and Himalayan sea salt are recommended). Do not use table salt—it will make these taste too salty. Also avoid the really coarse salt if you plan on adding more to your dish just before eating (unless you happen to like biting into large chunks of salt full of essential oil flavor . . . which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

With Father’s Day just around the corner, try making these as a gift for the man who loves to cook!
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Falafel Hummus Dip

Are you ready for a new flavor of hummus? Try out our falafel hummus dip! We accidentally discovered this dip when we were coming up with our recipe for baked falafel. If you love hummus, you need to give this recipe a try!

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Hasselback Herb Potatoes with Essential Oils

Have you tried hasselback potatoes yet? They are a lot like baked potatoes, but rather than piercing the potatoes with a fork, you cut slices in them with a knife, then fill the slices with yummy ingredients either before or after baking them. When making hasselback potatoes with essential oils, it’s best to add the oils after baking the potatoes so you don’t lose the health benefits of the oils.

Start by slicing the potatoes, drizzling them with olive oil, and sprinkling salt and pepper on top before baking them. While they bake, mix up the herb butter by melting butter and stirring in the essential oils. If you happen to taste the herb butter, you may find the essential oils to be a bit strong. Just trust us, though—the final product tastes delicious!

When the potatoes are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, pull them out of the oven. Then, while they are still hot, drizzle on the herb butter. Make sure to get it in between the slices.
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Essential Oil Spotlight: Black Pepper

black-pepperBlack pepper essential oil is steam-distilled from the berries of a tree in the Piperaceae family. Its odor is spicy and musky with herbaceous undertones.

Some properties of this oil include analgesic, anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, aphrodisiac, expectorant, laxative, rubefacient, and stimulant (nervous, circulatory, and digestive).

Pepper has been used for thousands of years to treat malaria, cholera, and other digestive problems. It is currently also used to increase cellular oxygenation, support digestive glands, stimulate the endocrine system, increase energy, and help rheumatoid arthritis. Black pepper essential oil may also help with loss of appetite, catarrh, chills, colds, colic, constipation, coughs, diarrhea, dysentery, flatulence (combine with fennel), flu, heartburn, nausea, neuralgia, poor circulation, poor muscle tone, sprains, and vertigo.

Research has found that inhaling black pepper essential oil can reduce cravings for cigarettes and symptoms of anxiety in smokers.

Applications of Black Pepper Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Dilute black pepper essential oil with a carrier oil for children and those with sensitive skin. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma of black pepper essential oil directly. The aroma of black pepper is comforting and stimulating.
Internal Application: Black pepper essential oil can be used as a flavoring in cooking.

5 Ways to Use Black Pepper Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Here are a couple great diffuser blends to help you get energized and motivated:

2. Use in a Massage Oil

Black pepper essential oil is beneficial for warming cold or stiff hands. Try this Hand Rejuvenator recipe—massage into the hands starting at the fingertips, then work your way up the arm to the shoulder.

Hand Rejuvenator:
5 drops grapefruit
5 drops black pepper
5 drops spearmint
5 drops ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. (23 ml) fractionated coconut oil
(or other carrier oil)

Black pepper is also really great at helping to relax muscles and relieve aches and pains. Here is a recipe for a Sore Muscles Salve. You can also try one of the following massage recipes:

Muscle Relaxer
Massage Blend:

10 drops ginger
10 drops cypress
5 drops juniper berry
5 drops black pepper
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) Sesame Seed Oil
(or other carrier oil)
Aches & Pains
Massage Blend:

4 drops black pepper
4 drops Roman chamomile
4 drops marjoram
2 drops lavender
2 Tbsp. (24 g) Coconut Oil
(or other carrier oil)
Sore Muscles
Massage Blend:

15 drops ginger
9 drops ylang ylang
6 drops black pepper
2 Tbsp. (30 ml) Sesame Seed Oil
(or other carrier oil)

3. Roll on for Constipation Relief
Black pepper essential oil has been used for helping with digestive problems, including constipation. Try rolling this blend on your lower back and lower abdomen to help get things moving.

Constipation Blend:
1 drop black pepper
1 drop lavender
1 drop marjoram
1 drop fennel
1 tsp. (5 ml) carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil
Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, or double the recipe if using a 10 ml roll-on bottle. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil.


4. Add to a Warm Bath
Black pepper can help you warm up when cold. Try this warming bath when you feel particularly cold.

Warming Bath Salts:
2 drops black pepper
5 drops juniper berry
5 drops lavender
1 cup (240 g) epsom salt
Mix ingredients together. Add 1/4–1/2 cup (60–120 g) of bath salts to the bathtub as it fills up with water.

5. Add to Cooking Recipes
Black pepper essential oil can be added to any of your favorite cooking recipes. Just use 1 drop of black pepper oil for every 1/4–1/2 tsp. (0.5–1 g) of ground black pepper. For recipes that call for less black pepper, try dipping a toothpick in the oil and stirring it into the mixture. These are a few of our recipes that include black pepper essential oil:

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 43.

Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol & David Schiller

Baked Falafel with Essential Oils

This Middle Eastern dish tastes fantastic with the addition of essential oils! Falafel is normally deep fried, but you can also pan fry it or even bake it as a healthier alternative. Falafel can be eaten plain, with Lemon Tahini Sauce (see recipe below), on a salad, or in a pita with tomatoes and cucumbers.

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Sore Muscles Salve

Give your sore muscles some relief with this salve. The essential oils in this recipe may not only help soothe muscle pains, but they also create a warming/cooling effect that makes this salve extra special!
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Stuffed “Pumpkin” Peppers

These Halloween-themed stuffed bell peppers are perfect for your autumn dinner party! Not only are they delicious, but be prepared for laughs and lots of “oh, how cute” comments!

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Stuffed 'Pumpkin' Peppers

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Time: 30–40 minutes active; 30 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients:

  • 6–8 orange bell peppers
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs. (567 g) lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 Tbsp. (17 g) taco seasoning* (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup (75 g) diced white or yellow onion
  • 1 tsp. (5 g) minced garlic
  • 1 can (14.5 oz./411 g) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz./227 g) tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups (278 g) cooked rice
  • 1 can (4 oz./113 g) diced green chiles, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz./425 g) black beans, drained
  • 1 cup (136 g) frozen corn (no need to thaw)
  • 1/4 tsp. (.5 g) crushed red pepper, optional
  • 1 1/2–2 cups (170–226 g) shredded cheese (cheddar, jack, or Mexican blend)
  • 1 drop cumin essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • Optional toppings (sour cream, sliced green onion, chopped avocado, olives, chopped cilantro, diced tomato, salsa)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Wash peppers. Cut the top off each pepper, and scrape out the insides. If desired, use a small paring knife to cut out a jack-o-lantern face on one side of each pepper.
  3. Place peppers in a large baking dish, and add about 1″ (2.5 cm) of water. Cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes while you make the filling.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ground meat and cook, stirring and breaking up large chunks, until browned and cooked through. Drain off as much grease as possible.
  5. Return pan to heat, and add taco seasoning, onion, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until soft. Reduce heat to medium. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, rice, green chiles, black beans, corn, crushed red pepper, and 1 cup (113 g) of cheese. Stir to combine, and cook until cheese is melted.
  6. Remove from heat, and stir in the essential oils.
  7. Remove peppers from the oven, and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F (190°C). Move the peppers to a plate or cutting board. Pour out the water from the pan.
  8. Add the filling to each pepper, and place peppers back in the baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake for 25–30 minutes. Remove foil, and top each pepper with additional cheese. Return peppers to the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  9. Add desired toppings, and enjoy!

*Note: You can use any kind of taco seasoning you have on hand, or try replacing the taco seasoning altogether with 1 Tbsp. (8 g) chili powder, 1 tsp. (6 g) sea salt, and 1–2 drops cumin essential oil. See our Taco Seasoning recipe below that we put together in an empty spice jar.

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Taco Seasoning

  • Servings: Yield=7 Tbsp. (60 g)
  • Time: 5 minutes active
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. (16 g) chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. (12 g) ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. (5 g) paprika
  • 2 tsp. (12 g) sea salt
  • 2 tsp. (5 g) fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. (3 g) garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. (1 g) crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. (2 g) dried oregano

Instructions:

Homemade Mayonnaise

Making your own condiments can be cheaper and healthier. It also allows you to customize the flavor to your preference. Try this mayonnaise with an added essential oil flavor such as basil, rosemary, lemon, or black pepper!
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Asian Lemongrass Chicken Marinade

Need a chicken marinade this summer that works well on the grill? This marinade uses essential oil flavors that are often used in Asian cooking to create a new and exciting dish for your family this summer!

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Asian Lemongrass Chicken Marinade

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Time: 15 minutes active; 1–24 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. (about 1 kg) chicken pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil
  • 6 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 3 drops lime essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil
  • 2 drops black pepper essential oil
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) shallots, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) honey
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) sriracha sauce, optional
  • 2 tsp. (6–10 g) kosher salt
  • Lime juice

Instructions:

  1. Pour the olive oil in a glass bowl, and mix in the essential oils.
  2. Add the shallots, garlic, honey, fish sauce, sriracha sauce, and salt to the oil mixture, and mix to combine ingredients.
  3. Massage this mixture over the chicken pieces, and place in a glass dish. Cover and refrigerate for 1–24 hours before cooking.
  4. Grill, bake, broil, or slow cook as desired until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 165° F. (74° C.).
  5. Once the chicken is cooked through, drizzle lime juice over the chicken pieces, and serve immediately.

Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Essential Oils

You will be delighted with this savory and flavorful pulled pork sandwich that incorporates the benefits of thyme, rosemary, and black pepper essential oil!

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Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • Servings: 10–12
  • Time: 1 hour active; 4 1/2–10 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients:

  • 4 lb. (1.8 kg) pork shoulder roast
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) chicken broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups  (360 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) ketchup
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. (23 ml) worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. (23 ml) dijon mustard
  • 2–3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) salt
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil
  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil

Additional Ingredients

  • Hamburger buns or rolls
  • Coleslaw or broccoli slaw

Instructions:

  1. Cut off excess fat from the pork, and divide roast in 2–4 pieces.
  2. Rub with vegetable oil, and brown each pork piece a little over the stove.
  3. Place pork, broth, onions, and essential oils in slow cooker; cover, and cook on low for 9–10 hours or on high for 4 1/2–5 hours.
  4. Once the pork is finished cooking, whisk together the sauce ingredients (except essential oils) in a medium saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat; then reduce to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly (about 20–25 minutes). After the sauce has thickened a little, stir in the essential oils.
  5. While the sauce is cooking, remove pork from the slow cooker, and place it on a cutting board. Use two forks to pull the meat apart into shreds, discarding any fat or bones. Strain out the onions; discard the broth. Return the meat and onions to the slow cooker.
  6. Add the sauce to the slow cooker, and stir everything together until all the meat is covered in the sauce.
  7. Cover, and cook for another 30 minutes on low.
  8. Serve on hamburger buns or rolls with broccoli slaw or coleslaw.

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