Artichoke Portobello Soup

This creamy vegetarian soup is packed with nutrients and flavor! In fact, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven—it’s that good! It got rave reviews from the many people who tested this recipe in preparation for this post. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Artichoke Portobello Soup

  • Servings: 4–6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) onion, diced (or green onions)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, chopped (or 6 crimini mushrooms)
  • 3 Tbsp. (23 g) flour
  • 4 cups (1 liter) chicken broth
  • 1 jar (4–6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 tsp. (220 mg) cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop black pepper essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, and allow it to melt a little. Add onion, carrots, and celery; sauté until the vegetables start to caramelize.
  2. Add chopped mushrooms, sauté 3–4 more minutes, and then sprinkle with flour and stir for 1–2 minutes to allow the flour to cook in the butter. Add broth, artichokes, bay leaf, and cayenne pepper. Simmer for 15–20 minutes.
  3. Scoop soup into a blender, and pulse 5–10 times (this step can be skipped if you like larger chunks in your soup).
  4. Pour the soup back into the large saucepan, and stir in the heavy cream, salt, and essential oils. Cook 3–5 minutes, or until slightly thickened and heated through.

Essential Oil Ravioli Hearts

These noodles are so cute and fun to make, and they make a perfect Valentine’s Day dinner! The recipe is a little complicated, but this ravioli is to die for, making it worth every minute! It’s so fun that all the kids will want to join in and help you cut out the noodles! The hardest part will be sharing these tasty raviolis with the rest of the family.

Homemade Ravioli

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Difficult
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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • 1–2 Tbsp. (15–30 ml) water (as needed)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water
  • Cheese mixture (recipe below)
  • Marinara sauce (recipe below)
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

Instructions:

  1. Combine flour, 2 eggs, and salt in a food processor, and process until well mixed.
  2. If necessary, slowly add water until the mixture forms a firm dough.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth. Check the dough by cutting it with a knife. Once there are no air bubbles in the middle, and the outside is smooth, the dough is ready.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 4 portions, and roll out to about 1/16″  (1.5 mm) thickness using a rolling pin or pasta machine.
  6. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut hearts into the dough. Or cut the dough into 2″ (5 cm) squares using a knife.
  7. Combine 1 lightly beaten egg and 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) water in a bowl, and brush the dough pieces lightly with the mixture.
  8. Place a small spoonful of the cheese mixture (recipe below) in the middle of the dough, leaving enough space around the edges to seal the dough.
  9. Lay the second piece of dough on top, and use your fingers to press the edges down around the cheese so they stick together.
  10. Bring a pot of saltwater to boil, and gently drop the ravioli into the boiling water. Cook 1/4 of the ravioli at a time to avoid the noodles sticking together. Cook for 5–10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the noodles), or until tender.
  11. Using a slotted spoon, remove the ravioli from the water, and place on a serving dish.
  12. Top with marinara sauce (recipe below) and parmesan cheese.

Notes:
If your noodles are thick, they will take longer to cook.
If you have leftover cheese filling, it makes a great topper for the finished pasta for an added cheesy kick.

Basil and Oregano Cheese Filling

  • Servings: Yield=2 cups (500 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (125 g) ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) shredded gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp. (125 mg) dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 toothpick oregano essential oil
  • 1 toothpick basil essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine cheeses, parsley, salt, and pepper.
  2. Dip a toothpick in the oregano and basil oils, and run the toothpicks through the cheese mixture to combine.
  3. Taste, and add more salt, pepper, and/or essential oil as needed.

The taste may be a little strong, but once the noodles are boiled, the flavor will be much milder.
You can use just about any kind of cheese in this recipe, not just the ones listed. If you have other cheeses, experiment to find out which ones give the best flavor for you!

Marinara Sauce

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (9 g) salt
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz. each)
  • 1 drop oregano essential oil
  • 1 drop rosemary essential oil
  • 1 drop thyme essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place the olive oil and chopped onion in a saucepan, and sauté over medium heat until the onions are tender.
  2. Add the garlic in with the onions, and continue cooking for an additional minute, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the salt and crushed tomatoes to the saucepan. Stir everything in the saucepan together, and continue cooking until warmed through.
  4. Turn off the heat, and stir in the oregano, rosemary, and thyme essential oils.
  5. Serve over your choice of noodles.

Essential Oil Spotlight: Basil


Basil essential oil (Ocimum basilicum CT linalool) is steam-distilled from the leaves, stems, and flowers of the basil plant. This oil is characteristically known for its herbaceous, spicy, anise-like, camphorous, and lively aroma.

Anciently, basil was used to treat respiratory problems, digestive and kidney ailments, epilepsy, poisonous insect or snake bites, fevers, epidemics, and malaria. The French have historically used basil to help aid migraines, mental fatigue, and menstrual periods.

Today basil is most commonly used for autism, bee/hornet stings, bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, cramps (abdominal), earache, hiatal hernia, incisional hernia, infertility, mouth ulcers, muscular dystrophy, ovarian cyst, and viral hepatitis. This essential oil primarily affects the cardiovascular system, muscles, and skeletal system.

Basil contains antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic (powerful), antiviral, decongestant (veins, arteries of the lungs, prostate), diuretic, disinfectant (urinary/pulmonary), energizing, stimulant (nerves, adrenal cortex), and uplifting health properties.

Other possible uses of basil oil include anxiety, chills, concentration, digestion, fainting, insect repellent, chronic mucus, vomiting, and whooping cough.

Applications of Basil Essential Oil and Safety Data:

Topical Application: Basil can be applied neat (with no dilution) directly to the area of concern and reflex points. Dilute with a carrier oil when using on sensitive skin or children (see safety data below).
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma directly. The aroma of basil helps one maintain an open mind and increases clarity of thought.
Internal Application: Basil is recognized as safe for internal consumption by the FDA and may be used as a food flavoring agent or taken in capsules.
Safety Data: Basil is not to be consumed internally by children under 6 years old and should be used with caution and in greater dilution for children 6 years old and older. The use of this oil should be avoided during pregnancy. Basil should not be used by people with epilepsy. This oil may also irritate sensitive skin; test by applying to a small area before continuing application.

5 Ways to Use Basil Essential Oil:

1. Massage
There’s nothing like a simple soothing massage with some of your favorite essential oils to calm your mood. Try these massage blends to help boost your mental health and aid carpal tunnel syndrome.

Mental Fatigue Massage Blend
4 drops basil essential oil
4 drops lemon essential oil
4 drops juniper essential oil
2 Tbsp. (25 ml) carrier oil or butter
Combine essential oils with your favorite carrier oil or butter, and lightly massage into your neck, hands, and feet.
Carpal Tunnel Massage Oil
3 drops basil essential oil
3 drops marjoram essential oil
2 drops lemongrass essential oil
2 drops cypress essential oil
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Blend oils together, and massage gently into your arm from your shoulder down to your fingertips. You can also make this massage oil in a roll-on bottle for easier application.

2. Earache
Basil is great for helping to dull painful earaches. Add 1 drop each of basil and melaleuca to a cotton ball, and hold over the ear canal for 30 minutes. Do not place directly into the ear canal.

3. Diffuse
Basil’s aroma can have an amazing influence, as it helps one maintain an open mind and increases clarity of thought. Try out some of these diffuser blends to help you focus and engage better in all your endeavors.

4. Bath
Bath salts are perfect for relaxing, but they are also a great way to soak up the benefits of essential oils. Try out the following recipe to help calm your anxiety and energize your body. Remember that basil may irritate sensitive skin, so be careful and dilute further if necessary.

Calm the Anxiety Bath Salts
2 cups (500 g) Epsom Salt
1/2 tsp. (2 g) baking powder
1 tsp. (5 ml) Sweet Almond Oil
3 drops lime essential oil
2 drops basil essential oil
16 oz. PET Jar
Combine salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix essential oils with almond oil. If desired, mix in a few drops of food coloring. Slowly stir oils into the salt mixture, and blend well. Allow the salts to sit for a couple hours in order for the salt to soak up the scent. Add 1/2–1 cup (125–250 g) of salt mixture to your bath under the running tap.

5. Cooking
Basil essential oil is a great ingredient to add to your kitchen. This oil can add rich flavor to any of your recipes with just a drop or less. When adding basil essential oil to your food, start with a toothpick dipped in the oil and stirred into the mixture, and add more until you reach the desired taste. Keep in mind that cooking (or heating) the oil tones down the bold flavor. Here are some of our favorite recipes with basil essential oil!

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 38–39.
Aromatherapy Blends & Remedies by Franzesca Watson
Organic Beauty With Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo

Honey Suckers for Soothing Little Throats

One of the most helpful things for a sore throat is a spoonful of honey! A couple years ago we posted a recipe for Soothing Throat Lozenges, and we thought we could adapt the recipe a little to make it suitable for children. The result? Honey Suckers.

Honey Suckers

  • Servings: 30–40
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) honey
  • 1 Tbsp. (12 g) coconut oil
  • 2–3 drops essential oil (good oils to use include lemon, lime, or orange)
  • Candy thermometer
  • Silicone sucker mold with sticks or parchment paper and popsicle sticks

Instructions:

  1. If you don’t have a silicone sucker mold, place a sheet of parchment paper on the counter, then place popsicle sticks a couple inches apart on the sheet. You’ll need about 30–40 popsicle sticks.
  2. Place honey and coconut oil in a pot. Bring to a boil.
  3. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat and simmer.
  4. Using a candy thermometer, allow the mixture to reach a temperature of 300°F (150°C), and then remove the mixture from the stove.
  5. Stir in essential oils.
  6. Pour the mixture into sucker molds, or drop spoonfuls on parchment paper over the popsicle sticks. You will need to work fast, since the mixture hardens quickly and will become hard to pour.
  7. Allow the suckers to harden (you can stick the sucker mold in the refrigerator for an hour). Cut strips of parchment paper, and fold them over the suckers to keep them from sticking together. Store in the refrigerator.


Essential Oil Spotlight: Rosemary

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) essential oil is steam-distilled from the flowering rosemary plant. It is known for its herbaceous, strong, camphoraceous odor, with woody-balsamic and evergreen undertones. The aroma of rosemary can stimulate memory and open the conscious mind.

Historically, the rosemary plant was regarded as sacred by many civilizations and was used to protect against infectious diseases. Today, rosemary essential oil is most commonly used for addictions (alcohol), arthritis, cancer, cellulite, constipation, diabetes, fainting, flu (influenza), inflammation, lice, low blood pressure, sinusitis, and vaginal infections.

Rosemary affects the immune, respiratory, and nervous systems and contains the following health properties: analgesic, antibacterial, anticancer, anticatarrhal, antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and expectorant.

Other possible uses of rosemary essential oil include bronchitis, colds, nervous exhaustion, immune system (stimulate), preventing respiratory infections, and stress-related illnesses.

Applications of Rosemary Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Rosemary essential oil can be applied neat (with no dilution), or dilute 1:1 (1 drop essential oil to 1 drop carrier oil) for children and those with sensitive skin.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale aroma directly. The aroma of rosemary stimulates memory and opens the conscious mind.
Internal Application: Take in capsules, or place 1–2 drops under the tongue. Rosemary can also be used as a flavoring in cooking.
Safety Data: Avoid using rosemary during pregnancy. Not for use by people with epilepsy. Avoid if dealing with high blood pressure. Not to be used internally for children under 6 years old; use with caution and greater dilution for children 6 years old and over.

5 Ways to Use Rosemary Essential Oil

1. Diffuser Blends
With the incredible properties of rosemary essential oil, you can’t resist trying it in this “Study Buddy” diffuser blend to aid you in your studies or whenever you need a mental boost. Also try some of these other blends with rosemary to enhance your life!

2. Roll-ons
Rosemary is extremely valuable when it comes to roll-ons. These great roll-on blends are sure to help with constipation and joint soreness. Just add these oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle, and fill the remainder of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil or another carrier oil of your choice.

Constipation Relief
1 drop rosemary
1 drop lemon
1 drop peppermint
1 tsp. (5ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Apply to stomach and back, and gently massage in. This is a 4% dilution, so it is safe to use daily or as needed.
Sore Joint Relief
3 drops eucalyptus
3 drops peppermint
3 drops rosemary
1 tsp. (5ml) Fractionated Coconut Oil
Apply on location, and then apply an ice pack on top. This is a 10% dilution, so it should not be used daily. If you would like to use this roll-on daily, add the same amount of essential oils to 2 tsp. (10 ml) of fractionated coconut oil in a 10 ml roll-on bottle.

3. Bath
Baths have always been regarded as a simple way to relax, calm nerves, and energize the body. Try some of these easy bath ideas using rosemary essential oil for a nice pick-me-up. Just combine the ingredients, and dissolve 1/2 cup (120 g) of salt mixture under the running tap for a soothing warm bath.

Hangover Pick-Me-Up
5 drops grapefruit
2 drops rosemary
1 drop juniper berry
1 cup (240 g) Epsom Salt
Good Morning Bath
2 drops lemon
2 drops lavender
2 drops rosemary
1/2 cup (120 g) Epsom Salt

4. Massage
Massage is a great way to use rosemary because of its anti-inflammatory properties and how it affects the nervous system. Try this massage blend for a soothing and stress-relieving massage.

Stress-Release Massage Oil
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) Sweet Almond Oil
3 drops bergamot
2 drops rosemary

5. Cooking
Rosemary is a popular flavor, and the herb can be easily substituted with essential oil for the same rich flavor. Start by dipping a toothpick in the oil and stirring that into your food, and add more until you achieve the desired flavor. Here are some delicious recipes for you to try using rosemary essential oil:

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 94–95.
Organic Beauty with Essential Oil by Rebecca Park Totilo

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

Veggie Wraps with Avocado White Bean Spread

These veggie wraps make a healthy and light meal that is perfect for helping you achieve your health goals. Use a large leafy green or a tortilla as your wrap, depending on your preference or health goals. If you have any leftover Avocado White Bean Spread, try using it as a veggie dip—it’s delicious!

Veggie Wraps

  • Servings: 2+
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • Chard, collard greens, or tortilla wraps
  • Avocado White Bean Spread (recipe below)
  • Carrots, julienned or sliced with a vegetable peeler
  • Red cabbage, shredded
  • Sprouts (broccoli, alfalfa, or bean)
  • Sweet bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • Cucumbers, cut into matchsticks or sliced with a vegetable peeler
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your vegetables, and make the Avocado White Bean Spread (see recipe below).
  2. If using the chard or collard green leaves as the wrap, cut along the stem on the large leaf so you end up with 2 pieces.
  3. Spread the Avocado White Bean Sauce over the middle of the chard leaf, collard green leaf, or tortilla wrap. Layer on the sliced vegetables over the sauce. Starting at one end, begin rolling as you hold down the filling to tightly roll up the wrap. Lay seam-side-down on a serving platter or plate. Enjoy!


This avocado spread is great to use in a veggie wrap or as a vegetable dip!

Avocado White Bean Spread or Dip

  • Servings: 2+
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1–2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) great northern white beans
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. (1.5 g) salt
  • 1 drop lemon essential oil
  • 1 toothpick black pepper essential oil
  • 1 toothpick basil essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until all combined.
    You may need to scrape down the sides a few times.
  2. Enjoy on the veggie wraps (recipe above), or dip with vegetable sticks!

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.

Peppermint Whipped Cream Cubes for Hot Chocolate

These frozen whipped cream cubes make hot chocolate a fun experience and add a little minty flavor to your cup as well! This recipe can be a healthier alternative to adding marshmallows to your hot chocolate, especially if you follow the substitutions to make this a healthy non-dairy topping!

Peppermint Whipped Cream Cubes

  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream (or coconut cream)
  • 2 Tbsp. (17 g) powdered sugar or 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) maple syrup
  • 2–3 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Using an electric mixer, whisk together the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and peppermint essential oil until it thickens and forms stiff peaks.
  2. Cover a dish with parchment paper, and spread the whipped cream on the parchment paper. You’ll want it at least 1/2″ (1 1/4 cm) thick.
  3. Freeze the cream until solid (about an hour).
  4. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes in the cream, and place them in hot chocolate.

Extra Ideas:

  • A chocolate stirring spoon makes the drink more decadent. You can even add a drop of peppermint to the chocolate before pouring into the spoon mold for a little extra mintiness!
  • Forget freezing and just use it as cream. It’s delicious either way!
  • Make “ice cream sandwiches” by placing this cream in between your favorite cookies.