Tangerine Lemon Cheesecake

Do you have a pressure cooker? We love the way pressure cookers cook dishes faster and more “hands off.” Although cheesecake is often viewed as time consuming and a little tricky, cooking a cheesecake in the pressure cooker makes it fairly easy to get just right every time. The nice thing about using a pressure cooker is that it creates a built-in water bath that prevents cracking and gives the cheesecake a creamier texture.

We used an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot®) and a 6″ × 3″ push pan. You can use a springform pan or even small (4–8 oz.) widemouthed mason jars for individual servings. If you have a stovetop pressure cooker, then heat it until you have low pressure and cook for 35 minutes; then remove from heat and allow the pressure to release naturally.

We know that not everyone has a pressure cooker, but they are a growing trend for a reason! If you don’t have a pressure cooker, just add 2 drops of citrus essential oil to your favorite cheesecake recipe, and bake it as normal. You’ll love the hint of citrus the oils add to the dish!

Tangerine Lemon Cheesecake

  • Servings: 6–8
  • Difficulty: Moderate–Difficult
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Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 pack (136 g) graham crackers or digestive biscuits
  • 2 tsp. (8 g) sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. (28 g) butter, melted

Filling Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. (454 g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 2 tsp. (5 g) all-purpose flour or 1 Tbsp. (10 g) potato starch (optional, but makes a denser texture)
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 drop tangerine or orange essential oil
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature

Sweet Cream Topping

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. (8 g) sugar (more if using greek yogurt)
  • 1 toothpick tangerine essential oil (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Prepare a 6″ (15 cm) cheesecake pan by greasing it and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Crust: To make the crust, place crackers and sugar in a blender, and pulse until small crumbs form.
    Add the melted butter, and pulse until combined.
  3. Firmly press the mixture in the bottom of the pan and up 1″ (2.5 cm) of the side of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer while you work on the filling.
  4. Filling: For the filling, blend together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla extract, and essential oils in an electric stand mixer or with a sturdy hand mixer. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, lightly mixing until just combined with each egg. Be careful not to overmix the eggs.
  6. Pour the filling on top of the crust (make sure to cover the crust completely).
  7. Pat the sides to get out as many air bubbles as possible. This can take a few minutes. You can also pop the air bubbles that come to the surface with a pointy knife or fork.
  8. Cover the cheesecake with a paper towel, and then secure the paper towel with aluminum foil. Make sure none of the paper towel is visible (it can act as a wick and bring moisture to the surface of the cheesecake). Place the cheesecake in the middle of an aluminum sling (a long section of aluminum foil folded in thirds lengthwise).
  9. Pour 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) of water into the pressure cooker, and place the trivet in the pot. Lift the cheesecake using the aluminum sling, and gently place it in the pressure cooker. Fold the sling over the cheesecake and secure the lid in place. Make sure the pressure valve is sealed.
  10. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, and allow the pressure to release naturally for 18 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure.
  11. After all the pressure has been released, gently lift the cheesecake out using the aluminum sling. Remove the foil and paper towel. Tilt the cheesecake pan, and dab off any liquid from the side of the pan. The center of the cheesecake should be a little jiggly, but not wet. Note: If it doesn’t look cooked enough (i.e., it looks too wet), return cheesecake to pressure cooker, and cook for 5 minutes with an 18-minute natural pressure release.
  12. Sweet Cream Topping: Mix up the sweet cream topping by whisking the sour cream and sugar together until combined. Stir in a toothpick of tangerine essential oil if you want a little extra citrusy flavor. Spread the mixture on top of the cheesecake. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour.
  13. Lightly cover, and chill in the refrigerator. The pan can be removed easily after an hour in the refrigerator. If you want to eat it by that point, no one will blame you! However, the texture will improve significantly if it can chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

Extra Ideas:

  • If you don’t have a cheesecake pan, you can use small mason jars for single servings—just divide the ingredients among each of the jars. For 4 oz. widemouthed jars, cook for 4 minutes with a 15-minute natural pressure release. For 8 oz. widemouthed jars, cook for 7 minutes with a 15-minute natural pressure release.
  • If you have a stovetop pressure cooker, heat it until you have low pressure, and cook for 35 minutes; then remove from heat, and allow the pressure to release naturally.
  • Try experimenting with different cookies for the crust. Chocolate sandwich cookies, Biscoff®, vanilla wafers, ginger snaps, or other crispy cookies can be used.
  • This cheesecake tastes especially yummy when topped with this Lemon Curd or our Lemon-Berry Sauce (recipe below).


Lemon-Berry Sauce

  • Servings: 8–10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 3/4 cup (~110–15 g) frozen or fresh berries
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) maple syrup, agave nectar, or honey
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil

Instructions:

  1. If using frozen berries, place all berry topping ingredients in a pan on the stovetop, and heat just until the berries have thawed.
  2. Place berry topping ingredients in the food processor, and pulse until mixed.
  3. Use hot or cold to top cheesecake—either way it is delicious!

Note: Leftover berry sauce can be used to flavor plain yogurt or kefir, or it can be used on pancakes, waffles, or crepes.

Coconut Oil Tablets for Mouthwash or Oil Pulling

These coconut oil tablets are simple to put together and make oil pulling easy—just pop one in your mouth, and swish around for 5–20+ minutes. When finished, spit out in the trash (not in a sink, as coconut oil can clog pipes).

Oil pulling is said to reduce plaque and may prevent cavities. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and can help freshen your breath by killing the bacteria that causes halitosis (and cavities). Oil pulling gets its name because as you swish, you are pulling the oil through your teeth so it can reach even the hard-to-get spots that often develop cavities. Oil pulling expert Bruce Fife says that to maximize the benefits of oil pulling, it’s best to swish the coconut oil for 20 minutes. Even if you only use these as a mouthwash (and swish for only 5 minutes), you’ll still get a lot of benefits to your oral health from these little tablets.

Coconut Oil Tablets

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Essential Oil(s) of choice (see recommendations below)
  • Candy mold or small ice cube tray

Instructions:

  1. Place 1–3 tsp. (4–12 g) of coconut oil in each section of your mold or ice cube tray.
  2. Add 1–2 drops of essential oil per 1 tsp. (4 g) of coconut oil to each section. Use a toothpick or spoon to stir the oils together. Note: If you have a favorite oil or oil combination, you can simplify the process by melting down 1/2 cup (96 g) coconut oil and adding 20–40 drops of essential oil. Then pour or scoop the oil into the molds.
  3. Place the coconut oil tablets in the refrigerator to solidify.
  4. To use, pull out a coconut oil tablet from the refrigerator, place in mouth, and swish around for 5–20+ minutes. When done, spit the oil into the trash. Note: If you don’t like the feeling of oil on your teeth when you are done, try rinsing your mouth with a little salt water.

Essential Oil Suggestions:

Any of the following oils (or a combination) can be used for everyday oil pulling: lemon, orange, grapefruit, peppermint, or spearmint.
Any of the following oils (or a combination) can be used for oil pulling when battling a sickness or infection: clove, cinnamon, tea tree, or Protective Blend.

Refreshing Citrus Cooler

This refreshing drink is perfect for a hot summer day when you need something to help cool you down. Take this to your next summer party—it will be a hit!
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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.

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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

Romantic Diffuser Blend: Love Is in the Air

Set the mood for Valentine’s Day with this romantic diffuser blend. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can get one here or turn this blend into perfume or a linen spray.

If you have rose and jasmine essential oil, try substituting 2 drops rose and 1 drop jasmine for the ylang ylang and geranium essential oils for a more exotic aroma.

Do you have a favorite diffuser blend to help bring on the romance? Please, comment below!

Essential Oil Breath Mints

Making your own breath mints is pretty easy; plus, you get to add the wonderful benefits of essential oils to them! Also, if you are looking for something to give away for Valentine’s Day, these make cute (and practical!) gifts for anyone.
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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!
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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.

Winter Blues Diffuser Blend

Here is a great diffuser blend you can use to help with depression and nervous anxiety (it may even be beneficial for those who are lonely or experience “winter blues”):

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
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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