Peppermint Chocolate Bites

We all love the dinner mints given out at fancy restaurants, but they only give you one! We decided to try our hand at chocolatiering, and we fell in love with this simple recipe. You can use your favorite dark chocolate (the darker the healthier), and the peppermint essential oil adds a nice flavor that will make it hard to stop eating these little gems.

Chocolate Peppermint Bites

  • Servings: 36–48
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients:

  • 2 packages (10 oz. each) dark chocolate melting wafers
  • 1 package (10 oz.) white chocolate melting wafers
  • 6–8 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops green food coloring (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C).
  2. Place the chocolate into 3 oven-safe bowls (1 package in each bowl), and warm in the oven for 20 minutes or until fully melted.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper, making sure it covers the sides as well.
  4. Remove one of the bowls of dark chocolate from the oven, and leave the others in to keep them melted.
  5. Pour the first bowl of dark chocolate across the wax paper, spread the chocolate out with a spatula, and shake the pan to help create an even layer.
  6. While that layer is drying, remove the white chocolate from the oven, and add peppermint oil and food coloring.
  7. Wait just until the first layer of chocolate changes from glossy to matte, then pour the white chocolate on top quickly, spreading it out and shaking the pan to flatten.
  8. Once that layer has turned matte, remove the last bowl of dark chocolate from the oven, and spread it across the top in the same manner as the other 2 layers.
  9. Allow the chocolate to dry, then cut into squares with a sharp knife.

The trick to this recipe is knowing exactly when to pour the layers on top. If the chocolate is too wet, the layers will mix. If the chocolate is too dry, the layers won’t stick together. Watch the chocolate as it dries; it will change from glossy to matte, and at this point, you can quickly top the next layer. If they do mix a bit, no big deal! It will still taste delicious!

These chocolate bites are so good, you won’t be able to keep the kids away! They also make great snacks for your essential oil classes. Make up a tray, and give them to your attendees to demonstrate the use of essential oils in cooking.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Lime

Lime (Citrus aurantifolia) essential oil is cold-pressed from the peel of the fruit. Lime oil is distinguished by its sweet, tart, intense, and lively aroma. This oil contains antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, restorative, and tonic health properties.

Historically, lime was used as a remedy for dyspepsia. It was also often used in place of lemon for fevers, infections, sore throats, and colds. This essential oil is known for its powerful effect on the digestive, immune, and respiratory systems.

This oil is commonly used to help with bacterial infections, fever, gum/grease removal, and skin (revitalizing). Other possible uses of lime essential oil include anxiety, blood pressure, dissolving cellulite, improving clarity of thought, energy, gallstones, lymphatic system cleansing, nails (strengthening), nervous conditions, sore throats, water and air purification, and promoting a sense of well-being.

Application of Lime Essential Oil and Safety Data:

Topical Application: Can be applied neat (with no dilution) directly to the area of concern or to reflex points. It makes an excellent addition to bath and shower gels, body lotions, and deodorants.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma directly. Lime essential oil has a lively fragrance that is stimulating and refreshing. The aroma can help you to overcome exhaustion, depression, and listlessness.
Internal Application: Lime oil is recognized as safe for human consumption by the FDA and makes a great flavor addition to food and drinks.
Safety Data: Lime oil is known to cause photosensitivity, so it is advised that you avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after topical application.

Ways to Use Lime Essential Oil:

1. Diffuse
The sweet yet tart aroma of lime essential oil makes it a nice addition to diffuser blends. You can diffuse it alone, or combine it with some of your other favorite oils. Here are a few diffuser blends we like!

2. Cooking
Lime is common flavor in both sweet and savory dishes. Since this essential oil comes from the peel of the fruit, it serves as a replacement for lime zest. You can substitute 1 tsp. (2 g) zest with 1 drop of lime oil in any recipe. Here are some of our favorite recipes using lime essential oil.

3. Hair Pomade
There are so many great uses of lime essential oil. In this recipe, lime oil adds to the amazing aroma, but it also helps to revitalize your scalp. The best part is that this hair pomade also serves as an amazing lotion for your hands and lips. Click here for the recipe!

4. Flavored Water
The health properties of lime essential oil are incredible and can even help to purify your water. We also can’t forget about how good lime-flavored water tastes, so we’ve made up a few flavored water ideas for you to try out! These make a perfect refreshing drink for summer activities and parties.

5. Bath Salts
Essential oils add a nice touch to a warm, soothing bath. We’ve created a few blends for you to add to your next bath. Just add the blend to 1/2 cup (125 g) epsom salt, stir well, and add under the running tap. Swish your hand through the bathwater to help it disperse properly.

Wake Up Refreshed
2 drops peppermint
2 drops orange
1 drop lime
1 drop grapefruit
1 drop lemon
Uplifting Mood
2 drops lime
2 drops orange
3 drops neroli
Focused Energy
1 drop lime
1 drop eucalyptus
1 drop grapefruit
1 drop lemon
1 drop orange
Invigorating Focus
1 drop lime
1 drop frankincense
1 drop peppermint
1 drop rosemary
1 drop orange

Source:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, p. 87.

Tuscan Pasta Salad with Essential Oils

If you’re looking for a fun new spring dish, this is the one for you! This pasta salad is super simple but delicious and filling. It makes a lot, so you can eat it as the main dish, take it as a side salad to parties, or save the leftovers for lunch the next day. And the best part? It uses essential oils! Now you can enjoy the flavor of basil and oregano in this tasty salad while enjoying the health benefits of essential oils at the same time.

Tuscan Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Salad:

  • Two 19 oz. packages cheese tortellini pasta
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) sliced olives
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) artichoke pieces
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) mini pepperoni or salami
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) chopped red peppers (roasted or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup (25 g) diced tomatoes (sundried or fresh)
  • 1 cup (20 g) arugula or spinach

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. (50 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. (3 g) minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. (3 g) salt
  • 1/4 tsp. (500 mg) black pepper
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 1 toothpick basil essential oil
  • 1 toothpick oregano essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Following the instructions on the packaging, cook the pasta, drain, and set aside to cool.
  2. While the pasta is cooling, combine all the dressing ingredients in a shaker bottle or glass jar, and shake well to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients, pour the dressing on, and toss to combine.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (to taste), and serve!

No-Bake Chocolate Fruit Pizza

Finding healthy snacks that everyone will enjoy can be challenging. Here’s a healthy alternative to your traditional cookie-crust fruit pizzas! This fruit pizza is tasty and healthy, and you can top it with your favorite fruit to make your own special masterpiece. Better yet, have the kids decorate it for a fun activity to cure boredom!

No-Bake Chocolate Fruit Pizza

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup (140 g) whole almonds
  • 15 medium pitted dates
  • 2 Tbsp. (24 g) coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. (8 g) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla

Filling

  • 1/2 cup (120 g) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (140 g) plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) sugar or honey
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 ml) vanilla
  • 2–3 drops orange, lemon, or lime essential oil

Toppings

  • 1/4 cup (40 g) strawberries
  • 1 clementine or mandarin orange
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) blueberries
  • 1/4 cup (40 g) blackberries

Instructions:

  1. Begin by making the crust by blending the almonds in a food processor until they reach a rough flour-like consistency.
  2. Add in the dates, melted coconut oil, cocoa powder, and vanilla, and blend again in the processor until well combined.
  3. Press the mixture into a circular tin or tart dish, and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese and greek yogurt until well combined.
  5. Add the honey or sugar, vanilla, and essential oil, and combine thoroughly.
  6. Once the crust has set, move to a plate, and spread on the filling.
  7. Decorate the pizza with the fruit, making your own design!

You can use any fruit you would like, not just the ones listed. Other fruits you can add include grapes, kiwi, apples, raspberries, etc. Find the fruits you like and be creative!

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
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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

Essential Oil Spotlight: Orange

Orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis) is cold expressed from the rinds of the fruit. It is very easy to extract—if you have ever peeled an orange, you have likely ended up with essential oil on your hands. The oil is deep golden yellow with a characteristic orange peel aroma.

Orange essential oil is used primarily for anxiety, digestion (sluggish), fear, heart palpitations, insomnia, menopause, nervousness, uplifting, and withdrawals.

Oranges have historically been used for palpitations, scurvy, jaundice, bleeding, heartburn, relaxed throat, prolapse of the uterus and the anus, diarrhea, and blood in the feces. This essential oil may also help appetite, rickety bones, bronchitis, colds, colic (dilute for infants; helps them sleep), dermatitis, digestive system, fever, flu, lower high cholesterol, mouth ulcers, muscle soreness, obesity, sedation, tissue repair, water retention, and wrinkles.

Some of the properties of orange essential oil include anticancer, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, digestive, sedative, and tonic.

Applications of Orange Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Orange essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution) when used topically. Apply directly on area of concern or to reflex points. Avoid direct sunlight for up to 12 hours after using on skin.
Aromatic Application: Orange essential oil can be diffused or inhaled directly. Orange oil is calming and uplifting to the mind and body when inhaled.
Internal Application: Orange essential oil can be taken internally and is often used as a flavoring in cooking. Put 1–2 drops of orange oil under the tongue or in a beverage. It can also be taken in capsules.

5 Ways to Use Orange Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Orange essential oil is effective to help influence emotions. It is often used for balancing emotions, confidence, happiness/joy, loss, counteracting negative emotions, feeling overburdened/overwhelmed, pity (especially self-pity), and uplifting the mind. Try diffusing orange essential oil alone or in one of the following recipes:

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

2. Add to a Massage Oil or Bath
Try adding one of the following blends to 1 1/2 Tbsp. massage oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil. You can also use these blends in a diffuser or a bath (combine with 1/4 cup epsom salt to evenly disperse throughout the tub).

Uplifting Massage
5 drops juniper berry
3 drops orange
3 drops lime
Invigorating Massage
3 drops cypress
2 drops bergamot
2 drops orange
Relaxing Massage for Men
5 drops sandalwood
4 drops orange
2 drops vetiver

3. Combine in a Roll-on Blend
Orange essential oil is known for helping heart issues, stimulating sluggish digestion, relieving insomnia, and turning frowns into smiles. If you need help with any of these conditions, try making a blend and rolling it on the area of concern or on the bottoms of your feet. Just add the recommended number of drops to a 10 ml roll-on bottle, and then fill the rest of the bottle with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil. These recipes are formulated at a 5% dilution ratio.

Circulation Roll-on
7 drops orange
3 drops ylang ylang
2 drops lavender
Digestive Roll-on
(eases constipation)

7 drops orange
3 drops black pepper
2 drops peppermint
Insomnia Roll-on
6 drops orange
6 drops lavender
Happy Roll-on
4 drops orange
4 drops lavender
4 drops ylang ylang

4.  Put in a Natural Mouthwash
Try putting orange essential oil in a coconut oil mouthwash. Just add 1 drop each orange and lemon essential oil to 1 tsp. coconut oil. Swish the solution around in your mouth, and then swallow or spit into the garbage. (Don’t spit into the sink because coconut oil can solidify in the pipes.)

5. Use in Cooking Recipes
Orange essential oil is easy to add to any of your favorite recipes. Just substitute 1 drop of orange oil for 1 tsp. of orange zest. Here are a few of our favorite recipes to help you get started:

Other Ideas Using Orange Essential Oil

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, p. 94.
Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol Schiller & David Schiller

Mini Lasagnas

lasagna

This delicious and light recipe comes in a great portion size for a healthy luncheon!

Mini Lasagnas

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. (340 g) ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup (150 g) chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup (38 g) chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. (6 g) salt
  • 1/4 tsp. (1 g) pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15 oz./425 g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. (3 g) chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tsp. (2 g) chopped fresh basil
  • 1 1/2 cups (372 g) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop basil essential oil
  • 24 small square wonton wrappers
  • 1 1/2 cups (170 g) shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. (190° C.).
  2. Over medium heat, cook the ground turkey, onions, mushrooms, salt, and pepper until the turkey is browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and half the chopped oregano. Simmer on low for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta with the remaining chopped oregano and the basil. Drop in the essential oils. Stir to mix well.
  5. Coat a standard-sized muffin tin with olive oil. Firmly press 1 wonton wrapper into each of the 12 cups.
  6. Divide half of the ricotta mixture among the 12 muffin cups.
  7. Using half of the turkey-tomato sauce, spoon it evenly over each of the ricotta-filled cups, and sprinkle each with mozzarella.
  8. Lay another wonton wrapper on top of the mozzarella layer. Repeat the layering process with the second half of the ricotta mixture and sauce, finishing with mozzarella cheese on top.
  9. Bake 10–12 minutes, until the wonton edges are crispy and the cheese has melted.
  10. Let the cups cool a bit before removing from the pan.

Serve with a fresh tossed green salad and some homemade vinaigrette!

Teriyaki Chicken Bowls with Ginger

Teriyaki-chicken

Teriyaki Chicken Bowls with Ginger

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) peanut oil
  • 1 lb. (455 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut up into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup (120 g) carrots, julienned
  • 1 cup (65 g) snow peas
  • 1 cup (90 g) red peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • Teriyaki Sauce (see recipe below)
  • 3 cups (450–600 g) cooked rice

Teriyaki Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp. (8 g) cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) cold water
  • 3 Tbsp. (18 g) stevia
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 drops ginger essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add your chicken to the pan until fully cooked, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken from the pan, and add more oil if needed.
  4. Add the carrots, snow peas, peppers, and bean sprouts to the pan. Stir every few minutes until the color has brightened and the veggies have cooked slightly.
  5. Remove the cooked vegetables to a separate bowl; cover to keep warm.
  6. Make the Teriyaki Sauce in the same pan. Begin by whisking together the cornstarch and cold water in the pan until it is smooth and there are no lumps.
  7. Whisk in the stevia, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and ground black pepper.
  8. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce and simmer until it thickens.
  9. Add the chicken back in the pan with the teriyaki sauce.
  10. Add ginger essential oil, and stir well to incorporate it.
  11. Serve chicken and vegetables on a bed of rice.

Chocolate-Peppermint Mini Mud Pies

Do you need a fun dessert idea for an upcoming holiday party or essential oil class? Try these delicious mini mud pies infused with pure peppermint essential oil! The shot glasses add a creative element to the dessert and also make a great party favor for your guests to take home afterward. If you are serving these at an essential oil class, you can give your guests this handout that we put together that lists 15 great ways to use the shot glass with essential oils.

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Homemade Lasagna with Essential Oils

Impress your family with delicious, feel-good food––without compromising health! This lasagna is simple to make, tastes amazing, and incorporates the benefits of pure essential oils.

Lasagna

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