I was too.... until I discovered you can use essential oils! I'm not much of a chef, really, I don't cook much at all....which is why I needed somethin' simple to make what little I know how to throw together taste good....and it's easier than ya think!
Essential oils add an incredible boost of flavor to dishes. They can really take your dish up a notch with literally no effort!
Another benefit of using essential oils is that (unlike dried herbs) they last for years when stored properly (dark colored glass, upright, out of direct sunlight and heat). It is recommended that every 6 months you change out your dried herbs due to mold and potency loss.
Because they are so potent, (there are 75 lemons in a 15ml bottle of Lemon essential oil) a little gos a long way, making them super cost effective.
I usually end up throwing out much of the fresh herbs I buy since you have to buy so much and then you use so little. It's also convenient to not have to wash and chop fresh herbs.
Some guidelines for use:
Use stainless steel, ceramic, or glass utensils and cookware as essential oils degrade plastic.
Add the essential oils to salts, other seasonings, or liquid ingredients first to make sure they are distributed evenly throughout the dish.
When possible, such as using in a sauce, add the oils after heating. Essential oils add instant flavor so there is no need to let the"flavor develop". Heating decreases the therapeutic benefits, but don't worry, you will still have all of the flavor if you are baking or unable to add after heating.
A super easy way is to infuse salt or olive oil with essential oils and then use in your dishes as you would use normal salt or oil.
Guidelines for amount:
There is definitely some trial and error involved, so In most cases, you will want to start out with a toothpick swirl. Since the oils are so potent, it is much better to try a little at a time, and add more if needed but you can't take it back if you add a drop and its too much.
Simply insert the end of a clean toothpick thru the hole in the orifice reducer and then swirl in your dish. I like to think of this amount as a dash, so I would use this method if the recipe calls for a dash.
1 drop in general is equal to 1 tsp of extract. The more you add oils to your dishes, the more you will get an idea of how much 1 drop flavors the food.
In general 10 drops is the equivalent to the juice or zest of 1 citrus fruit.
Remember, start slow, you can always add more but once you've added too much, there is no turning back.
Also only use high quality essential oils labeled for supplement use or ingestion. (I use Young Living"s Vitality™ Line which includes 47 essential oils and blends specifically for dietary use.)
I've put together a bundle of my favorite Vitality™ essential oils I use for my dishes and you can grab them HERE!. (This is an affiliate link and I earn a small commission from your order at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my small business! I'm so excited to help you get started, that I'll connect with you once you order and send you something special!)
Ready to spice up your food? Click HERE for my e-book "Boost Your Flavor" , it'll start ya out right with guidelines for adding essential oils, amounts, substitutions, and a few of my favorite simple recipes all in one handy place!