Let’s admit it – some of the spices we have in our spice rack are probably outdated and we cannot remember the last time we even used half of what is there. Or that cabinet is a straight out mess and you cannot find what you need and end up buying another of the same. It’s OK my spice cabinet is in the same condition.
It’s fun to go down the baking aisle at the market and stop at the spices and herbs. This area of the store often smells like home cooking and can make us want to go home and whip up some fantastic nicely seasoned meal for our families. Often though those spices are expensive and once purchased have already sat on a shelf for a period of time only to sit longer in your home.
Or we opt for the fresh herbs in the veggie section of the store. These herbs are often nicely packaged and smell straight from the garden just waiting to zest up our dishes. However those price tags are often hefty and the life span of the herbs once at home is very short. I know I am guilty of picking up a package of fresh something or other and then I use what I need but the rest goes to waste.
Many essential oils can be used to replace what we have in our spice racks. The lifespan of an essential oil is much longer than the typical shelf life of spices or fresh herbs and the cost is significantly less in upfront expense and waste that gets thrown out.
When you cook or bake with essential oils the amount used is very small due to the potency of the oil. Intense flavor can be realized with only a couple drops added to your dish.
Here are some oils to consider putting in your spice rack once you have it cleaned out:
Black Pepper – Can be used similar to regular ground or whole peppercorns. 1 drop is more than sufficient to season
Basil – Fresh, crisp and never wilts. This essential oil is wonderful to use in lieu of fresh or dried basil
Oregano – A very strong oil so use caution when using in cooking. When I make spaghetti sauce I add 2 drops max.
Peppermint – This oil is fantastic to use with any chocolate dish, hot cocoa or even just your morning coffee. 1 drop for beverages and a couple for dishes
Lemon – Out of lemon juice at home? Good! Pull out your lemon essential oil and get the taste of fresh lemon in your drink or dish
Lavender – Yes this lovely fragrant oil is wonderful to add to citrus flavored dishes and pairs well with chicken and fish entrees
Lime – Next time you make a Key Lime Pie, be sure to add in a couple drops of lime essential oil for the perfect zest
Cilantro – I am often guilty of buying a bouquet of fresh cilantro, making up salsa and salads and never being able to use all of the fresh herbs before it wilts. Now I add a drop of cilantro oil to my salad, salsas, and dishes
Clove – perfect for the holiday baking times in place of spending several dollars on a jar of clove that you’ll likely never use the rest of the year
Coriander – A great oil to use in place of the dried spice to experience what the spice should taste like. Often when I’ve purchased the dried version it has a smell but I never taste it in my dishes. Problem solved when I switched to the oil.
Cinnamon Bark – Lovely and pure in any baking and cooking dish that calls for this ingredient
Lemongrass – I love this oil with chicken and fish dishes. It has a milder taste than regular citrus and introduces an earthy taste
Rosemary – Wonderful oil again for chicken and fish as well as beef and turkey
Fennel – Here is a spice that I bought for one dish, made the dish and the spice sat there ever since. Now I just grab the fennel oil whenever recipes call for this ingredient
Thyme – This oil easily replaces the dried and fresh variety and provides uncontested flavor and season
With doTERRA oils if the oil bottle contains this label, it is safe to use internally.
I challenge you to include a redo of your spice rack as part of your spring cleaning plan this year. Not only will your cabinet be less of a chaotic situation but you’ll experience true flavor in your dishes while saving money next time you need to add a dash …or rather a drop… of this or that for seasoning.
Interested in more?
If you’d like to redo your spice cabinet with essential oils, please reach out to me. I’m happy to help you get the oils perfect for your cooking and baking needs.