Pink Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

This delicious cake was loved by all who tried it—including those who don’t normally like grapefruit! The cake is a perfect balance of tart and sweet with an incredibly moist texture. It is sure to be a hit at your next dinner party, essential oil class, bridal or baby shower, or wherever you choose to share it.

Pink Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Time: 30 minutes active; 2 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200 g) pure cane sugar
  • 6–8 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) plain greek yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) flour (all-purpose or pastry ground white whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tsp. (8 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) salt
  • 1/3 cup (64 g) coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled

Grapefruit Syrup Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1–2 Tbsp. (12.5–25 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 drop grapefruit essential oil

Grapefruit Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup (45 g) powdered sugar
 (more, if needed)
  • 2–3 Tbsp. (30–45 ml) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 drop grapefruit essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease baking dish* with coconut oil, and dust lightly with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sugar and grapefruit essential oil together until thoroughly combined. Add yogurt, eggs, and vanilla extract, and stir until incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt; stir together.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix just until flour is incorporated.
  5. Add the coconut oil, and stir until it is fully mixed in.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish. Bake* until your cake tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center.
  7. While the cake is cooking, combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, and whisk over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add essential oil, and set aside.
  8. Make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit essential oil. We found it best to sift the powdered sugar into the grapefruit juice and continue adding sugar until it thickens to a good consistency. If it is too thick, add a little more juice; if it is too runny, add more sugar.
  9. When the cake is done baking, remove the cake from the cake pan, and place on a cake platter. Poke little holes into the cake with a toothpick. Spoon the grapefruit syrup over the cake, and let it soak in while it cools to room temperature.
  10. Once the cake is cool, drizzle the glaze over the cake, and let it run down over the sides. Garnish cake with a grapefruit spiral or slices, if desired.

*Note: You can use a bread pan, a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan, or another baking dish. We used a 7-inch (18 cm) glass heat-proof bowl. If you use a bread pan, the cake will need to cook for 50 minutes. In a cake pan, it will need to bake for 25–30 minutes. Our cake took 65 minutes to finish cooking.

Basil-Infused Pasta Primavera

This tasty dish allows your fresh spring and summer veggies to shine, compliments of a hint of basil essential oil!

Basil-Infused Pasta Primavera

  • Servings: 4–6
  • Time: 20–30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. farfalle pasta (or other pasta cut)
  • 4–6 drops basil essential oil
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for topping
  • 2 Tbsp. minced, fresh basil for topping

Instructions:

  1. Boil water for pasta. Add 4–6 drops of basil essential oil to the water. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute broccoli until just tender, about 7–10 minutes.
  3. Combine pasta, broccoli, spinach, and cherry tomatoes in a serving bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Squirt the pasta primavera with lemon juice to taste, and then top with grated Parmesan cheese and minced, fresh basil. Serve immediately.

Pet Odor Spray

Keep your house smelling fresh and free of pet odors with an all-natural spray! This nontoxic spray will take care of odors without hurting your pet.

Pet Odor Spray

  • Servings: Yield=1 cup (240 ml)
  • Time: 5 minutes active
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) witch hazel
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 10–15 drops of essential oil such as lemon, lavender, orange, or eucalyptus

Instructions:

  1. Pour ingredients into an 8 oz. glass spray bottle.
  2. Shake before each use. Spray in areas of your home that are overrun by pet odors.

 

Essential Oil Spotlight: Lemon

Lemon essential oil (Citrus limon) is cold expressed from the rinds of the fruit. In order to get a kilo (2.2 lbs) of oil, 3,000 lemons are required.

Lemon essential oil has many uses since it has the following properties: anticancer, antidepressant, antiseptic, antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, astringent, invigorating, refreshing, and tonic.

It is used primarily for air pollution, anxiety, atherosclerosis, bites/stings, blood pressure (regulation), brain injury, cold sores, colds (common), concentration, constipation, depression, digestion (sluggish), disinfectant, dry throat, dysentery, energizing, exhaustion, fever, flu, furniture polish, gout, greasy/oily hair, grief/sorrow, gum/grease removal, hangovers, heartburn, intestinal parasites, kidney stones, lymphatic cleansing, MRSA, overeating, pancreatitis, physical energy, postpartum depression, purification, relaxation, skin (tones), stress, throat infection, tonsillitis, uplifting, varicose veins, and water purification. See Modern Essentials for many other uses for lemon essential oil.

Historically, lemon has been used to fight food poisoning, malaria and typhoid epidemics, and scurvy. (In fact, sources say that Christopher Columbus carried lemon seeds to America—probably just the leftovers from the fruit that was eaten during the trip.)

Application Methods for Lemon Essential Oil and Safety Data

Aromatic: Use a diffuser or put a few drops of lemon essential oil on a cloth, tissue, nasal inhaler, or the palms of your hands to breathe it in. Lemon oil promotes health, healing, physical energy, and purification when used aromatically. Its fragrance is invigorating, enhancing, and warming.

Topical: Lemon essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution) when used topically. Apply directly on area of concern or to reflex points. Lemon oil can sensitize the skin to ultraviolet light within 12 hours of use. So exercise caution here, and avoid direct sunlight for up to 12 hours after using on skin.

Internal: Lemon essential oil can be taken internally, and it is often used as a flavoring in cooking. Put 1–2 drops of lemon oil under the tongue or in a beverage. It can also be taken in capsules.

5 Ways to Use Lemon Essential Oil

1. Aromatic
The aroma of lemon essential oil can help you get energized in the morning—try a few drops in the corner of your shower stall to circulate with the water vapor. Lemon aroma can also help relieve anxiety or lift a depressive mood. Diffused lemon helps disinfect the air to prevent the spread of sickness, and it facilitates recovery from colds. Try diffusing lemon essential oil alone or in one of the following recipes:

Here are a few other diffuser blends that use lemon essential oil:

2. Topical
A drop of lemon oil can relieve pain from insect bites or stings. It can also zap formation of cold and canker sores, plus speed tissue recovery from them. Rub lemon on the neck over a sore throat. Use on broken capillaries, spider veins, and varicose veins to reduce and repair. Massage over sore joints. Lemon oil also helps nourish nails and cuticles. Try a healthy nails serum!

Lemon essential oil is helpful in cleansing the lymphatic system. One of the biggest signs that your lymphatic system needs cleansing is cellulite. If you have cellulite, try massaging the following oil blend over affected areas before doing aerobic exercise.


Cellulite Reduction Massage
5 drops rosemary
5 drops ginger
5 drops coriander
5 drops lemon
4 tsp. carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil


3. Internal and Food Recipes
Add a drop of lemon oil to a teaspoon of honey for internal sore throat relief. Put a few drops in a glass or metal water bottle, shake, and drink—this purifies the water and aids digestion and detoxification. (The citric acid in lemon may break down some plastic water bottles.) Add several drops to a bowl of water for washing fruits and vegetables before food preparation, or use this produce spray.

Lemon essential oil is easy to add to your favorite recipes. Just substitute 1 drop of lemon oil for 1 tsp. of lemon zest. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to help you get started:

4. Household Cleaning Products
Lemon oil is a natural replacement for many disinfecting cleaning products that may contain harmful chemicals. Neutralize odors in the air with several drops of lemon in a spray water bottle. (Shake frequently during use or use this emulsifier to help mix the oil and water.) Use that same spray bottle to clean and disinfect countertops, cutting boards, and fixtures. Add a few drops of lemon to the dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer to deodorize. Remove adhesives, grease, or gum from hands, hair, and other surfaces. Try using lemon oil with these cleaning recipes:

5. Body Care Products
Because lemon essential oil is known to be antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral, it is great to add to body care products such as hand sanitizer, breath spray, and soap. Try using lemon oil in the following recipes:

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, pp. 81–82.
Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller & David Schiller

Frozen Yogurt Breakfast Bites

If you need a grab-and-go breakfast, give these Frozen Yogurt Breakfast Bites a try! You’ll also give your breakfast a boost in flavor and health benefit by adding a drop of essential oil. For easier eating on the run, just insert a wooden craft stick into each bite before freezing.

Frozen Yogurt Breakfast Bites

  • Time: 5–10 minutes active; 2 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt, plain or flavored
  • Fruit (such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, sliced strawberries, or diced mangoes)
  • Granola (try Mango Coconut Granola)
  • Essential oil (such as lime, lemon, orange, or grapefruit)
  • Silicone mold or ice cube tray

Instructions:

  1. Mix 1 drop of essential oil with 3/4–1 cup of yogurt.
  2. Place a little dollop of yogurt in each section of the silicone mold or ice cube tray.
  3. Sprinkle a little granola and a layer of fruit on top of the yogurt, and then cover with more yogurt. (Optional: Add a toothpick or wooden craft stick to each mold.)
  4. Place silicone mold or ice cube tray in the freezer for 2 hours or more until frozen.

Flavor Suggestions:

  • Strawberry-Lime: Mix 1 drop lime essential oil with 1 cup plain, berry-flavored, or neutral-flavored yogurt (like vanilla or honey). Add strawberry slices.
  • Lemon-Berry: Mix 1 drop lemon essential oil with 1 cup plain, berry-flavored, or neutral-flavored yogurt (like vanilla or honey). Add raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and/or blackberries.
  • Coconut-Grapefruit: Mix 1 drop grapefruit essential oil with 1 cup plain or neutral flavored (like honey or vanilla) yogurt. Add coconut flakes.
  • Orange-Mango: Mix 1 drop orange essential oil with 1 cup plain or neutral flavored (like honey or vanilla) yogurt. Add diced mangoes.

An Essential Oil-Filled Easter

Easter has become a commercialized holiday, often involving candy-filled, plastic eggs. Many parents don’t want so much candy but still want a fun and meaningful Easter. If that’s you, take a look at these ideas for a healthier holiday!

Easter Eggs and Easter Baskets

Easter Food

Try some of these delicious dishes for your Easter dinner:

Try making these dessert recipes into Easter-egg shapes for a fun treat:

Easter Egg Decor

This holiday project makes a great Easter decoration: Essential Oil Transfer on Easter Eggs.

These candles are a fun family project, and they make a beautiful Easter centerpiece!

Easter Egg Beeswax Candles

  • Time: 45 minutes active; 2+ hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Supplies:

  • Awl/Knife
  • Eggs
  • White Vinegar
  • Boiling Water
  • Food Coloring
  • Beeswax Pellets
  • Essential Oil
  • Waxed Candle Wicks with Metal Base (available at most craft stores)

Instructions:

  1. Start by poking a tiny hole in the top of your egg with a sharp object, such as an awl or paring knife. Then carefully chip away the top of the egg until you have a nice, wide opening.
  2. Wash out the inside of the eggs and let them dry while preparing the dye.
  3. Combine 2 Tbsp. of white vinegar, 1 cup of boiling water, and 10–20 drops of your desired food coloring in a disposable paper or plastic cup (or other container that you don’t mind getting dye on). Submerge the eggs in the dye 1–20 minutes until you obtain your desired color.
  4. Let the eggs dry. We dried our eggs in the sun on bamboo skewers in a vase, as pictured to the right.
  5. While the eggs are drying, melt the beeswax in a double boiler on the stove. A heat-proof glass measuring cup in a pot of boiling water works great for this (and the measuring cup makes it easy to pour the beeswax later). You will need about 1 oz. of beeswax for each egg you make.
  6. Mix a few drops of essential oil into the melted beeswax (1–2 drops for each candle). If you want to vary the type of essential oil you use in each candle, you can add the essential oil after you pour the beeswax into the eggshells.
  7. Carefully pour the beeswax into the dried eggshells. Then place your wick in the middle of the eggshell and let the beeswax harden. You can put your egg candles back in the egg carton to stabilize them while you pour the beeswax and insert the wick.
  8. Once the beeswax has hardened completely, move your egg candles to egg cups or any decorative container that will hold them upright.
  9. Enjoy your beautiful Easter creation! These eggshell candles look great as a table centerpiece or on a mantle or shelf.

Mango Coconut Granola

Cold cereal is a go-to breakfast for a lot of people. Mango Coconut Granola is an easy way to keep the convenience of breakfast cereal while increasing nutritional value to start your day. You’ll love the tropical flavors enhanced by essential oils in this tasty granola!

Mango Coconut Granola

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Time: 20 minutes active; 25 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (or substitute 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey)
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, divided
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup mango nectar* (can substitute peeled, pitted, and pureed fresh mango)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1–2 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 1 drop ginger essential oil
  • 3/4 cup dried mango, finely chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. and lightly grease a large jelly roll pan or cookie sheet with sides.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, sugar (or substitute), almonds, wheat germ, and 1/2 cup shredded coconut.
  3. In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil and maple syrup or honey. Remove from heat and add mango nectar (or fresh mango), vanilla extract, and essential oils. Stir the liquid ingredients in with the dry ingredients and toss well to coat.
  4. Spread mixture evenly onto prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 25–30 minutes, stirring frequently (every 5–10 minutes), or until golden brown and crisp.
  6. Remove from the oven and stir in dried mango and the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded coconut.
  7. Enjoy dry as a snack, served over Greek yogurt, or in a bowl with milk.

*Note: Mango nectar can be found in flip-top cans in the beverage aisle or refrigerated beverage section of most grocery stores.

Granola also makes a great snack/refreshment in classes and can easily be served in shot glasses.

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!

Falafel Hummus Dip

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Time: 10–15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cans chickpeas (455 g each), drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (8–10 g) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup (20 g) fresh parsley
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) kosher salt
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops cumin essential oil
  • 2 drops coriander essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Put everything except the chickpeas in a food processor, and pulse until well blended. Dump out mixture into a bowl.
  2. Add chickpeas to the food processor (you can do this in batches if needed), and blend until smooth.
  3. Add blended chickpeas to the onion mixture, and stir until well combined.
  4. Serve with toasted pita triangles or vegetable sticks.

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.

Add a little fresh parsley for a pop of color, and sprinkle on some parmesan cheese for the final touch! Don’t wait too long to get a bite of this delicious potato!

Hasselback Herb Potatoes

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Time: 10–15 minutes active; 30–40 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Potatoes:

  • 2–3 lbs. (1–1.5 kg) small potatoes
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil

Herb Butter:

  • 1/3–1/2 cup (80–120 ml) melted butter (can use olive oil or a mixture of butter and olive oil)
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops basil essential oil
  • 2 drops thyme essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Additional Ingredients:

  • Fresh minced parsley for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Slice along each potato in 1/16-inch (2 mm) intervals, making sure to only slice a little more than halfway through the potato. It is easiest to start cutting on one end, then when you get to the middle, rotate the potato and continue cutting from the other end toward the middle again.
  3. Place the sliced potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Roast the potatoes in the oven for about 30–40 minutes, until tender on the inside and crispy on the outside.
  5. While the potatoes are roasting, mix together the herb butter.
  6. Once the potatoes are done, pull them out of the oven, and brush the herb butter mixture evenly over the potatoes and in between the slices.
  7. Sprinkle potatoes with fresh parsley and parmesan cheese, if desired.
  8. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Note: The herb butter may seem pretty strong if tasted on its own, but it tastes just right when combined with the potato.

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.

Falafel with Essential Oils

  • Servings: 4–6
  • Time: 20 minutes active; 30 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2–3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (8–10 g) fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup (20 g) fresh parsley
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) kosher salt
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops cumin essential oil
  • 2 drops coriander essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil
  • 2 cans (455 g each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 cup [200 g] dried chickpeas soaked overnight in 3 cups [720 ml] of water)
  • 2 tsp. (9 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) all-purpose flour, if needed

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C), and grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Place garlic, onion, cilantro, parsley, cayenne pepper, salt, and essential oils in a food processor. Pulse until the leaves seem to blended fairly well. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl.
  3. Place about 1/3 of the chickpeas in the food processor, and pulse a few times until roughly minced. Dump the beans into the mixing bowl, and repeat with the other 2/3 (1/3 at a time) until all the chickpeas have been “minced.”
  4. Add baking powder to the mixing bowl, and stir everything together until well combined. You should be able to form small patties that hold together; if your mixture needs a little help, add some flour, a little bit at a time, just until your patties can hold together.
  5. Form small patties about 2″ (5 cm) in diameter, and place on greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 25–30 minutes, flipping patties over about halfway through.
  7. Serve immediately with Lemon Tahini Sauce.

If you are in a hurry, you can also pan fry the falafel patties. Just heat some oil in a pan over medium to medium-high heat. Add the patties. Let cook for 4–5 minutes (or until brown); then flip patties over, and cook for another 4–5 minutes (or until brown). Remove from pan, and place on a paper towel–lined plate to cool.

Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • Servings: 4–6
  • Time: 5 minutes active
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup (310 g) plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1–2 drops lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together until well combined.
  2. Serve with warm falafel—either alone, over a salad, or in a pita with tomatoes and cucumbers.