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.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Cardamom

Cardamom essential oil (Elettaria cardamomum) is steam-distilled from the seeds of the plant. It has a sweet, spicy, balsamic scent with floral undertones.

It has antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, decongestant, diuretic, expectorant, stomachic, and tonic properties.

Anciently, cardamom was used for epilepsy, spasms, paralysis, rheumatism, cardiac disorders, all intestinal illnesses, pulmonary disease, fever, and digestive and urinary complaints. It is said to be able to neutralize the lingering odor of garlic.

If you are acquainted with Indian food, you may associate the flavor and smell of this oil with sweet Indian dishes such as rice pudding, as the cardamom spice is a common ingredient in this dish and gives it a cool, minty aroma and taste. It may be that rice pudding is often served at the end of the meal because of cardamom’s ability to neutralize lingering odors that cause halitosis.

Today cardamom is commonly used for coughs, digestive support, headaches, inflammation, muscle aches, nausea, and respiratory ailments. Cardamom may also help with appetite loss, bronchitis, colic, debility, dyspepsia, flatulence, halitosis, mental fatigue, heartburn, sciatica, ulcers, and vomiting. It may also be beneficial for menstrual periods, menopause, and nervous indigestion.

Cardamom is most known for supporting the digestive and respiratory systems of the body.

Applications of Cardamom Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Cardamom essential oil is safe to use without dilution, but it can also be diluted as needed. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale cardamom essential oil directly. The aroma of cardamom is uplifting, refreshing, and invigorating. It may be beneficial for clearing confusion.
Internal Application: Cardamom essential oil can be taken internally and is often used as a flavoring in cooking. Put 1–2 drops of cardamom oil under the tongue or in a beverage. It can also be taken in capsules.

5 Ways to Use Cardamom Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Try these blends in your diffuser to increase your mental alertness, open your airways, and enjoy the scent of autumn leaves:

2. Use in Roll-on Blends

Cardamom essential oil is helpful to the respiratory and digestive systems. It can also help relieve a headache. Rub the respiratory blends (below) on the chest, throat, back, and/or sinuses to help open airways and clear coughs. Rub the digestive blends on the abdomen to help reduce flatulence, bloating, belching, hiccups, and heartburn. Cardamom is a safe essential oil to use with children, so it is a great choice over peppermint to open their little airways and support their digestive systems.

Respiratory Support (6+ years):
5 drops eucalyptus
5 drops peppermint
5 drops lemon
3 drops cardamom
2 drops rosemary
2 drops melaleuca
(20% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
10% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
Little Lungs Respiratory Support (Children):
1 drop cardamom
1 drop frankincense
(2% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
1% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
Digestive Support (6+ years):
5 drops cardamom
3 drops ginger
3 drops peppermint
(10% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
5% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
Tiny Tummies Digestive Support (Children):
1 drop cardamom
1 drop orange
1 drop fennel
(3% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
1.5% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
Headaches:
4 drops peppermint
3 drops cardamom
3 drops rosemary
(10% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
5% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)

Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle or 10 ml roll-on bottle depending on desired dilution percentage. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil. Common carrier oils for use in a roll-on bottle include Fractionated Coconut OilSweet Almond Oil, and Jojoba Oil.

3. Use in a Bath or Shower:

Cardamom essential oil is excellent as a bath oil. Combine one of the following oil blends with 1/4–1/2 cup (60–120 g) epsom salt, and evenly disperse throughout the tub. Alternatively, you can add these essential oil combinations to these bath bombs.

Muscle Aches:
2 drops cardamom
1 drop peppermint
1 drop clove
1 drop copaiba
Congestion Bomb:
2 drops eucalyptus
2 drops peppermint
2 drops cardamom
2 drops Douglas fir (or another fir oil)

If you prefer taking showers, try adding the Congestion Bomb blend or cardamom essential oil to these shower disks. The steam from the shower and the cardamom essential oil can be beneficial to clearing congestion.

4. Use in Breath Mints

Cardamom is beneficial in helping halitosis (bad breath) and is said to be able to neutralize the odor of garlic. Try adding cardamom essential oil to homemade breath mints, or use in a breath spray.

5. Add to Cooking Recipes

Cardamom essential oil is often used in Indian cooking, but it is great to add to any of your favorite recipes. It pairs well with chocolate, rice, honey, coconut oil, spices like cinnamon and clove, and works in both savory and sweet dishes. This oil can taste strong, so start with a toothpick and add more to taste. Here are some of our recipes that use cardamom essential oil:

Sources: Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, p. 45.

Mini Pumpkin & Apple Candles

These mini pumpkin and apple candles make cute autumn decorations that double as essential oil diffusers. You’ll also love the sound of a real fire crackling and snapping as the wooden wicks burn!

Pumpkin & Apple Candles

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Mini pumpkins, gourds, squash, or apples
  • Wooden candle wicks (these can be found on amazon.com)
  • Beeswax Pellets
  • Essential oils (see blend suggestions below)
  • Small autumn-shaped cookie cutters (optional)
  • Sharp paring knife and/or pumpkin-carving tools

Instructions:

  1. Melt 1/3 cup (25 g) of beeswax pellets in a microwave, or use a double boiler. A DIY double boiler can be made by placing a heat-proof glass measuring cup in a pan of water. Place the beeswax pellets in the measuring cup, and heat over medium heat.
  2. While the beeswax is melting, cut out a hole in the pumpkin, gourd, squash, or apple. We used small autumn-shaped cookie cutters to start the cutting process and give the holes some character. We found pumpkin-carving tools helpful for carving holes in the mini pumpkins.
  3. Once you have the holes cut out, set up the wood wicks inside, and cut to about 1/2″ (1 cm) above the pumpkin or apple. You’ll want to double up the wood wicks (2 per candle) for the best continuous flame.
  4. Once your wicks are cut, soak them in the melted beeswax for 5–10 minutes as you keep the beeswax hot.
  5. Pull out the candle wicks, and place them on a paper plate. Match up the pairs (according to size) and place them in the candle wick holders that came with the wicks. Then place them in the pumpkins/apples, and pack beeswax pellets around them to hold them in place and fill the holes.
  6. Add 15 drops of essential oil to each candle (see blend suggestions below). Then pour the melted beeswax into each candle until all have been filled.
  7. Allow candles to cool before using.

Essential Oil Blend Suggestions:

Pumpkin Spice:
6 drops cinnamon*
4 drops ginger
4 drops clove
2 drop cardamom
Autumn Zest:
6 drops orange
4 drops lemon
3 drops cinnamon*
3 drops clove
Spiced Cider:
6 drops orange
5 drops cinnamon*
3 drops ginger
Spicy Citrus:
4 drops orange
4 drops cinnamon*
3 drops lemon
2 drops bergamot
2 drops clove
Stress Less:
4 drops lemon
4 drops orange
4 drops clove
4 drops cedarwood
Holiday Glow:
3 drops cinnamon*
7 drops fir
5 drops orange

*Cassia can be used instead of cinnamon.
You can also use the essential oil autumn blends we used in our room sprays. Just double the recipes for use in the candles.

Safety Note: Make sure to keep an eye on these candles while they are burning or place them in a heat-proof (or candle-approved) glass container while burning.


Tasty Kitchen Fun with Essential Oils

Today, we have Madeline Eyer sharing some of her culinary tips using essential oils. Madeline is the author of Essential Green Smoothies and Essential Sauces, Dips & Dressings. Both books include recipes that use essential oils in everyday cooking. You can purchase these books on AromaTools.com.


Have you considered using your high-quality essential oils in your culinary creations but aren’t really sure where to begin? With just a few basic tips and guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a pro.

Quality Counts

Not all essential oil brands deliver the same level of purity. Be sure to choose therapeutic-grade oils from a trusted source that have been organically grown and properly distilled. And when adding them to your recipes, make sure they contain a supplement label indicating that they are safe and appropriate to ingest.

Less Is More

Essential oils are extremely concentrated, so a little goes a long way. When deciding how much to use in a recipe, think in terms of drops or toothpick measurements. A drop or two is plenty to flavor most dishes. Some of the thinner oils tend to come out of the bottle quickly, so dripping it onto a spoon and stirring it into your recipe at the end will help you avoid using too much and overpowering your dish. Start with a drop, and add more as needed. You can also pour some oil into a small sample size bottle, which dispenses it in half-drop increments.
The toothpick method is achieved by dipping a toothpick into your desired bottle of essential oil and then swishing it around in your recipe. This method is especially helpful when making food in small batches or when using some of the stronger-flavored oils such as basil, cassia, cinnamon, dill, marjoram, oregano, or thyme.

Timing Is Important

In addition to flavoring your food, essential oils offer a variety of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits. In order to reap these benefits, it’s a good idea to add your oil at the end of the cooking process whenever possible. This will ensure that the heat from cooking doesn’t diminish any of these additional benefits.

Guidelines, Tips, and Suggestions

General guidelines to replace herbs and spices:

2 Tbsp. fresh herbs = 1 drop essential oil
2 tsp. dried herbs = 1 drop essential oil
2 Tbsp. spices = 1 drop essential oil

Additional tips and suggestions:

Citrus oils are a great place to start using essential oils in your recipes, because they are very forgiving, unlike some of the stronger oils. It’s hard to go wrong with Wild Orange, for example, with its pleasant, fresh, and uplifting flavor.

Smoothies are one of my favorite ways to use essential oils and, after lots of trial and error, I have come to rely more on the citrus oils like bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, lime, and Wild Orange.

Making guacamole? Try adding 1 drop each of lime, black pepper, and cilantro.

Salad dressing also marries well with essential oils—particularly basil, oregano, and thyme. Remember to go easy on these, as they are on the stronger side.

Making a marinade? Add in some ginger and/or lemongrass oil.

When using turmeric in a recipe, such as the popular Ayurvedic beverage known as golden milk, add in 1 drop of black pepper, which works synergistically with turmeric to boost its effectiveness.

Nothing quite compares to the flavor and freshness of homemade non-dairy milk, made without any of the usual additives found in the store-bought varieties. Almond and brazil nut milk are favorites around our house, and adding cardamom or cinnamon essential oil delivers an exceptionally tasty result. Want to give it a try? Here’s a quick and easy recipe.

Cardamom Brazil Nut Milk

  • Servings: Yield=4–5 cups (about 1 liter)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (140 g) brazil nuts (or almonds), soaked overnight to remove the phytic acid and make the nuts more digestible
  • 4 cups (1 liter) purified water
  • 2 drops cardamom essential oil
  • Maple syrup, stevia, monk fruit, or other sweetener of your choice, to taste (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Place half of the water (2 cups or 1/2 liter) in a high-speed blender with the nuts, and blend well. Note: The nuts blend better when you start off with less water. Next, add in the remainder of the water, and blend again briefly.
  2. Pour the mixture through a strainer or filter through a nut milk bag, reserving the nut meat for another recipe.
  3. Put the milk back in the blender, add your cardamom, and blend again, just enough to mix. If you want to add a small amount of sweetener, this is a good time to do that.

Note: I rarely use sweetener and don’t really recommend it unless you plan to drink the milk plain. It’s not really necessary if it’s being added to a smoothie or enjoyed over a bowl of granola or some other recipe that already contains an element of sweetness.

About the Author


Madeline Eyer is a certified integrative nutrition health coach, a holistic health coach, and an essential oil enthusiast. She is the author of two books, Essential Green Smoothies and Essential Sauces, Dips & Dressings, bridging essential oils and healthy eating. Her joy and passion is in empowering families to enjoy the many benefits of eating a clean, nutrient-rich diet that is delicious and fun, with a special fondness for supporting families in feeding their children food that nourishes their growing bodies and minds.

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. We also designed some labels that you can print onto our blank label sheets (large blank label sheet or small blank label sheet):
Large Labels (fit the larger jars)
Small Labels (fit either jar size)

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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Healthy No-Bake Cookie Bites with Coconut Oil

If you are one of the many people who make a resolution to eat healthier this new year, then you should give this recipe a try! Even though these cookie bites are so delicious, they are also packed with protein and a variety of nutrients to give you a little burst of energy. Just pop one in your mouth when you need a snack or when you have a craving for something sweet!
at_no-bake_cookiebites

Healthy No-Bake Cookie Bites with Coconut Oil

  • Servings: 20–24
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups (158 g) oats (quick or rolled)
  • 1/3 cup (54 g) chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup (24 g) cocoa or cacao powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
  • 1/2 cup (96 g) coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup (139 g) cooked quinoa*
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2–5 drops peppermint essential oil (you could also use orange, cinnamon, or cardamom essential oil, but you may want to start with less)

Instructions:

  1. Combine oats, chia seeds, cocoa or cacao powder, and sea salt in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine almond butter, honey, and coconut oil. Mix well, and then add cooked quinoa. Stir until well combined.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together, and mix well. You may need to use your hands to mix.
  4. Stir in a drop of peppermint essential oil. Taste; then add another drop if needed. Repeat until you like the flavor.
  5. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or in a silicone mold.
  6. Place in the refrigerator until firm.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

*Note: To cook quinoa, place 1/4 cup (43 g) quinoa and 1/2 cup (120 ml) water in a small pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and continue cooking for 5 more minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. You can also cook the quinoa in a rice cooker as you would cook regular white rice.

Carrot-Cardamom Dip

If you are looking for a new dip to try with vegetable, crackers, or pita chips, give this one a try! This Carrot-Cardamom Dip has a mediterranean flare that is hard to beat!

at_carrotcardamomdip Continue reading

Class Idea: Make & Take Autumn Room Sprays

Seasons are changing, and autumn time is here. The leaves are changing colors and falling on the ground. Along with these changes, we begin to notice different smells such as apples baking, pumpkins and squashes cooking, and sweet spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger. Maybe you aren’t surrounded by those smells, but wish that you were. Well, we’ve got the solution and essential oils to make it easy for you!

You will love how these room sprays bring the autumn scents into your home! You could just make them for yourself, but why not turn it into an easy essential oil make-and-take class and share the love with others?

The idea for this class is really simple:

  1. Invite all the people you want. Make sure to remind them about the class a week before and the day before, because people really do forget.
  2. Order these items from AromaTools (aromatools.com):
  3. Gather the rest of your materials. These are the other items you will need:
    • Essential oils: cinnamon, ginger, clove, orange, cardamom, rosemary, and patchouli
    • Distilled water
    • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) measuring spoon(s)
    • Scissors (for cutting out the labels)
    • Funnels (helpful, but optional)
  4. Print off these instructions on regular paper and these labels on the blank label sheets from AromaTools.
  5. Prepare a short lesson about essential oils and their benefits. A great topic to discuss is how the essential oils in these sprays have antibacterial properties and can help purify the air and support the immune system. Remember to keep the lesson free of health claims and speak generally of supporting the immune system rather than listing specific conditions if you plan on discussing any business opportunities with an essential oil company. You can find great information for your lesson in Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils. Here are a few pages from the 8th Edition to help you get started: pp. 6–10; 28; 29; 218–19; 288.
  6. Make one of each of the sprays listed below before the class so your attendees can try them and choose a scent they would like to make.
  7. Prepare your make-and-take stations. Set up the materials so it is easy for everyone to make their room spray. It is up to you whether or not you charge your attendees for making make one or more sprays, but we suggest allowing each attendee one free spray and charging for extras if they desire more than one. Make sure to have enough instruction sheets to allow each attendee to take one home in case they would like to make any of the other sprays on their own.
  8. Offer refreshments, if desired.

This is a great class to simply give your attendees a little information about essential oils, time for asking questions, and a fun autumn-scented spray to take home with them. If you want to discuss the business side of essential oils, this class is an easy one to do that as well.

Fall Room Sprays

  • Servings: Yield=2 Tbsp. (30 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Pour glycerin and essential oil in the spray bottle; swirl to combine.
  2. Fill the rest of the bottle up with distilled water. Screw the lid on, and shake to mix. If possible, let sit overnight before using to allow the ingredients to integrate.
  3. To use, spray around the room as needed. Do not spray directly in the face.

Essential Oil Autumn Blends:

Pumpkin Spice:
3 drops cinnamon
2 drops ginger
2 drops clove
2 drops orange
1 drop cardamom
Spiced Chai:
3 drops cardamon
2 drops cinnamon
2 drops clove
1 drop ginger
Orange Pomander:
4 drops orange
2 drops clove
2 drops rosemary
Fall Leaves:
6 drops orange
1 drop patchouli
1 drop ginger
Autumn Spice:
4 drops orange
3 drops ginger
2 drops cinnamon
Snickerdoodle:
5 drops orange
2 drops cinnamon
1 drop clove

Pumpkin Spice Room Spray

The delicious smell of pumpkin spice in your home is a wonderful way to celebrate the season. This festive spray is chemical free and easy to make!

pspray2

Pumpkin Spice Room Spray

  • Servings: Yield=1/2 cup (120 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients in a glass spray bottle.
  2. Spray around the house as desired!

This all-natural autumn favorite makes a great gift, too! Here’s a cute label you can print on these label sheets. Just cut around the design before applying it to the bottle.