Mint Chocolate Lava Cakes

“I lava you, and you lava me too!”

Nothing says, “I lava you!” more than these mint chocolate lava cakes! Give them a try—you won’t regret it.

Mint Chocolate Lava Cakes

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 10 minutes active; 10 minutes inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp. (57 g) butter
  • 8 oz. (227 g) chocolate (semisweet or mixture of semisweet and dark)
  • 2/3 cup (83 g) powdered sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
  2. Spray 6 muffin tins (or a silicone mold) with nonstick cooking spray, and place on a cookie sheet.
  3. Microwave chocolate and butter (or use a double boiler) for about 1 minute until butter is melted. Remove from heat, and whisk until the chocolate is also melted.
  4. Stir in sugar until well blended.
  5. Whisk in eggs one at a time.
  6. Stir in flour. Then add essential oil.
  7. Divide mixture between 6 muffin cups.
  8. Bake for 10–12 minutes until sides are firm and center is soft (but not gooey). Let stand 2–3 minutes.
  9. Place the cookie sheet on top of the cakes, and carefully flip both over. Transfer cakes to individual serving dishes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve with fresh fruit or whipped cream.

Coconut Peppermint Patties

If you are a fan of Almond Joys, Mounds, or Bounty bars, you are sure to love these sweet treats! We added peppermint essential oil to this well-loved and healthy recipe, and these taste just like peppermint patties! For an extra special twist, you could even try cinnamon essential oil instead! If your significant other likes healthy treats, this may be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift for him or her.

Coconut Peppermint Patties

  • Servings: 12–15
  • Time: 20 minutes active; 2+ hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups (160 g) unsweetened shredded coconut*
  • 1 Tbsp. (12 g) coconut oil
  • 2–3 Tbsp. (30–45 ml) maple syrup*
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp. (750 mg) salt
  • 2–4 drops peppermint essential oil (or 1–2 drops cinnamon essential oil)
  • Organic dark chocolate

Instructions:

  1. Place 1 cup (92 g) shredded coconut and 1 Tbsp. (12 g) coconut oil in a food processor; blend on high speed, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture resembles a butter consistency.
  2. Add the maple syrup, coconut milk, vanilla extract, salt, and peppermint essential oil; blend again until combined.
  3. Add 3/4 cup (68 g) shredded coconut, and continue processing until combined.
  4. Press the coconut mixture into a silicone mold. If you don’t have a silicone mold, you can also shape the coconut mixture into 1″ balls, bars, or patties, or press into a small cookie cutter and set on a plate.
  5. Place in the refrigerator until firm (preferably overnight).
  6. Once the coconut mixture has firmed up, melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler. (You can create a double boiler by placing a glass bowl or measuring cup over a pan holding an inch of simmering water.)
  7. When the chocolate is melted, dip each coconut shape into the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to harden by placing the pieces back in the refrigerator for 5–10 minutes.
  8. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

*Note: If you use sweetened shredded coconut, omit the maple syrup and add just a little more coconut milk.

Rosemary Artisan Sourdough Bread

Do you love the smell of fresh baked bread? We do too! This recipe is incredibly simple and easy to make, especially if you prepare it the day before baking it! You could speed up this recipe by increasing the amount of yeast, but we recommend letting it sit overnight and taking advantage of the benefits of sourdough fermentation.

Did you know sourdough bread is healthier for you than even commercial whole grain breads? Here’s why: The outer coating on wheat kernels (also known as the bran) contains a substance called phytic acid. These phytic acid molecules do 2 things:

  1. They inhibit enzymes that are needed for the breakdown of proteins and starches in the stomach. The lack of these enzymes in our stomachs often causes digestive issues (including a wheat or gluten intolerance).
  2. They bind with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, which makes these important nutrients unavailable to us.

However, as wheat flour and water sit, a reaction called fermentation occurs, and the wild yeast and lactobacillus (lactic acid bacteria) in the leaven neutralize the phytic acid, as the bread proves through the acidification of the dough. This prevents the effects of the phytic acid and makes the bread easier for us to digest. The sourdough bacteria pre-digest the flour, which releases the micronutrients and makes them available to us. This whole process takes place as you let the bread sit on your counter for several hours. Sourdough bread also has a low glycemic index and takes longer to digest, so it won’t affect your blood sugar like ordinary bread.

The rosemary essential oil in this recipe is enough to provide a delightful hint of the herb in every bite. Feel free to add the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and black pepper if you want more of a savory taste.

Rosemary Artisan Sourdough Bread

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

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. (6 g) salt
  • 1/2 tsp. (1.5 g) active dry yeast (increase to 2 1/4 tsp. (7 g) if you don’t want to wait all night)
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) warm water
  • 3–4 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 1/4 tsp. (200 mg) Italian seasoning (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. (800 mg) garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. (500 mg) black pepper (optional)
  • Fresh rosemary, roughly chopped, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, stir the flour, salt, and yeast together. Add warm water and rosemary essential oil, and stir to combine. It’s fine if it looks like a shaggy mess or on the dry side.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set at room temperature for 8–24 hours (it is done sitting when it looks wet and bubbly and has doubled in size).
  3. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, and gently pull it into a squarish shape. Sprinkle on Italian seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, and fresh rosemary. Fold the corners in like an envelope; then flip the dough over and shape it into a ball. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, put your baking dish with high sides (we used a dutch oven) in the oven, and preheat to 450°F (230°C).
  5. After the 30 minutes are up, flip the bread over (seam side up) or cut an “x” in the dough, sprinkle with fresh rosemary, and carefully place it in the hot dutch oven. Cover with the lid, and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid and continue cooking, uncovered, for 10–20 minutes, or until bread is golden brown.

This bread pairs well with our Italian Dipping Oil or this Healing Soup with Cilantro and Ginger.

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!
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Healthy No-Bake Cookie Bites with Coconut Oil

  • Servings: 20–24
  • Time: 10–15 minutes active; 30 minutes inactive
  • 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.

DIY All-Natural Face Mask

The skin on your face is delicate and should be pampered with healthy ingredients. The harsh chemicals in many skin products destroy the natural balance of the oils in your skin and can cause peeling or acne. Try this simple homemade mask at home to clean your skin and restore a healthy glow to your face!

facemask

DIY All-Natural Face Mask

  • Servings: Yield=1 mask
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (60 g) plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) raw honey
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Mix ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Using fingertips, spread the mask over your face, avoiding eyes.
  3. Leave on for 5–10 minutes before gently rinsing with warm water and a cloth.

Pamper yourself by having a wonderful at-home spa night using this face mask and taking a warm bath with your favorite essential oils.

 

Carrot-Cardamom Dip

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Carrot-Cardamom Dip

  • Servings: Yield=2 cups (480 ml)
  • Time: 15 minutes active
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 toothpick cardamom essential oil, or to taste (up to 2 drops)*
  • 1 cup (100 g) coarsely grated carrot
  • 1 cup (225 g) plain greek yogurt
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Dukkah or toasted sesame seeds for garnish
  • Toasted pita triangles for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil.
  2. Add the garlic, and cook over low heat, stirring, until fragrant.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Let cool, and stir in cardamom oil.
  5. Add the carrot and yogurt, and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil, top with dukkah or toasted sesame seeds, and serve with pita triangles.

*Note: We found that the cardamom oil can be overpowering. Start with a toothpick of cardamom swirled into the dip, and continue adding to taste.

Recipe submitted by Debra Allen on Facebook.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Frankincense


frankincenseFrankincense essential oil is steam-distilled from the resin of trees and shrubs in the Burseraceae family. The aroma helps to focus energy, improve concentration, and enhance meditation.

Historically, frankincense was used in the Middle East as an ingredient in holy incense for sacrificial ceremonies and to improve communication with the Creator. The French use it for asthma, depression, and ulcers.

This oil acts as an antidepressant, anticancer, antiseptic, and sedative. It is commonly used to treat allergies, bronchitis, colds, headaches, sores, strep throat, and typhoid. Frankincense is generally recognized as safe for consumption by the FDA and can be used topically, diffused, or taken orally.

To learn more about frankincense essential oil and many other pure essential oils, see the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 63.

Essential Oils For Him

Some men don’t always take the best care of themselves. However, even a busy man can find easy ways to slip healthy habits into his daily routine. Getting a good night’s rest and regular exercise can be a challenge but can be achieved by planning ahead and prioritizing time. Eating well and taking supplements are also important components to a healthy lifestyle, as well as eliminating toxic chemicals from commonly used body care products.

man

Essential oils are naturally beneficial and are a wonderful alternative to harsh chemicals, fillers, and perfumes that are in many of the products men use daily. DIY body care can be healthier and save you money!  Here are some links to great essential oil recipes and tips that men can try:

Shaving Cream and Aftershave

Body Wash

Deodorant

Lip Balm

Essential Oils for Sports

Hand Degreaser

Hand and Foot Salve

Dry Shampoo

These would also make fantastic holiday gifts to show the men in your life that you care!

Learn more about how you can use essential oils for body care in the book Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition.

 

 

Essential Oil–Spiced Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without pumpkin pie! The essential oils in this recipe give a great flavor to the pie, and you will love adding the cinnamon whipped cream to your slice!

pumpkinpie

Essential Oil–Spiced Pumpkin Pie

  • Servings: 16–18 (makes 2 pies)
  • Time: 30–40 minutes active; 1–4 hours inactive
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients:

Pumpkin Pie Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) melted butter or coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup (160 g) brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. (11 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. (.5 g) nutmeg
  • 4 drops clove essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil
  • 3 drops cinnamon or cassia essential oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 can (12 fl oz./360 ml) low-fat evaporated milk
  • 1 large can (29 oz./822 g) pumpkin purée
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 (9-inch/23 cm) uncooked pie crusts

Cinnamon Whipped Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 pint (480 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (31 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1–2 drops cinnamon essential oil (If you don’t love a lot of cinnamon flavor, add a toothpick at a time until you reach the right amount for you.)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. In mixer bowl, combine butter or oil, sugars, flour, nutmeg, and essential oils. Blend until mixed.
  3. Add eggs and egg white. Blend on high speed for 1 minute. Reduce mixer to low speed, and gradually add evaporated milk. Mix until well blended.
  4. Add pumpkin purée and vanilla extract. Mix again until blended. Pour into unbaked pie shells.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F (175°C); without opening oven door, bake for an additional 50–60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Note: If crust is getting too brown, carefully cover with a foil tent 45 minutes into baking.
  6. Cool pies for 2–3 hours. If you like your pumpkin pie cold, store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  7. For the cinnamon whipped cream, whisk the heavy cream until it starts to form stiff peaks. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and cinnamon essential oil, and whisk for a few seconds to incorporate into the cream. Taste, and stir in more cinnamon essential oil as needed.
  8. Serve each pie slice with a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream, and enjoy!

Here are a few other recipes to round out your Thanksgiving meal:

Essential Oil–Infused Italian Dipping Oil

Treat your guests well at your dinner party with this classic Italian appetizer—now infused with essential oils! Aside from the amazing flavor these oils bring to this dish, they also provide added health benefits.

This appetizer also makes a great refreshment at an essential oil class! Just pre-slice the bread, and add the essential oils to the olive oil; then allow your guests to add a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and other additions to condiment cups to accompany their slice of bread.

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Essential Oil–Infused Italian Dipping Oil

  • Servings: 4–8
  • Time: 2–5 minutes active; 1 hour inactive
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 drop basil essential oil
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil
  • Optional additions: crushed garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a glass dish.
  2. Let sit for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend.
  3. Dip french bread or sourdough bread in the Italian Dipping Oil, and enjoy!