Origin: a Latin derivative
meaning "Gift of the Earth."
In this episode we sit down with Samantha Lewis to discuss using essential oils in cooking. She'll let us know some tips if you're new to cooking with essential oils, some of her favorite oils to use, as well as her favorite summer recipes.
doTERRA: When summertime comes, you can almost guarantee it brings two things with it: delicious food and summer parties. If you are looking for new recipes to bring to your next summer shindig, we've got you covered. Today, we'll share how to incorporate essential oils into your summer recipes.
Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field. If you like what you hear today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. We always appreciate hearing from you.
Today, we're excited to talk to Samantha Lewis about how you can use essential oils in your cooking to create delicious summer recipes. Samantha, thank you so much for being here with us today.
Samantha Lewis: Thanks so much for having me!
doTERRA: So cooking with essential oils is something that maybe not a lot of people are familiar with. So if I am new to cooking with essential oils, what are some of the things I need to know?
Samantha: Cooking with essential oils—my take on it is mostly for flavor unless you're not heating up the oils. Because like with everything, each essential oil has a flashpoint, which means they all have a temperature that they basically burn off at, which can remove potential benefits. But it does leave a flavor behind.
doTERRA: Hmm. That's really interesting!
Samantha: So if you're planning on putting essential oils in raw foods, you'll definitely get the benefits and the flavor. But if you're deciding to cook with it, you're just looking for the flavor to replace the dry herbs that you probably use.
Cooking with essential oils is also an easy, clean, and honestly less expensive way to season a dish because you want to use them sparingly. Essential oils are concentrated versions of the plant, so you don't need much. You can always add more, but you can't take anything away. I start with a toothpick-sized amount and slowly increase it from our flavor.
doTERRA: Can you let us know what some of your favorite recipes are? I think a lot of people might want to use essential oils in different recipes but might not know where to start. So first, what is your favorite recipe to use citrus oil in?
Samantha: Absolutely! Really with citruses, any type of drink, but also desserts, interestingly enough. I love Wild Orange or even Tangerine in chocolate cakes, brownies. It really brightens up those richer desserts and you can even add them into frostings.
Or if you're going for more like a summery dish, you can add a little bit into a salsa. And my favorite drink to do with Wild Orange is making lemonade with some freshly squeezed lemons, your favorite sweetener, and then just a drop of Wild Orange and maybe a drop of Tangerine. And you have this bright, unique, fresh lemonade to hopefully cool you off during the hot summer months.
doTERRA: All of those ideas sound amazing. So what about herb oils? What types of recipes could I use those in?
Samantha: I love cooking with herb oils. Honestly, I think they’re easiest to use as well. You can do meat marinades, sauces, dips. The possibilities are endless. My favorite way to use herbs in the summer is a bit of Cilantro essential oil in fresh pico de gallo and guacamole. It really brightens up that dish and adds, like, a bite—almost a fresh bite they really don't get from even the fresh herb, let alone the dry herb.
doTERRA: That is very interesting. That's not one that I would have thought of. So finally, our next category that I think is big in cooking, but people might be afraid of are floral oils. How could I use those? And could you give us an example?
Samantha: Florals definitely can be intimidating when it comes to cooking. I really like florals in drinks and desserts, similar to citruses. They give a brightness that you can't get anywhere.
My favorite way to use Lavender, which is one of our most popular floral oils, is by making lavender lemonade. So you again take freshly squeezed lemons, a bit of your favorite sweetener, and a drop or two of Lavender, which creates a refreshing drink that you really can't beat. And for me, it's super nostalgic. I love it. I think it's a blast.
doTERRA: Well, Samantha, you've definitely given me a lot of ideas of how to use my oils in cooking. We really appreciate you being here today.
Samantha: Yeah, thanks for having me!
doTERRA: A beautiful summer’s day beckons to be enjoyed. The sun shines and you’re ready to spend all of your time outside. One thing that you don’t want to forget? Your TerraShield®! No matter where your summer adventures take you, you’ll want to have TerraShield on hand. This incredible blend of Citronella, Lemongrass, Peppermint, Thyme, Cedarwood, and Geranium is ready to become your new summer favorite.
Today we’re going to talk about some internal historical uses for some of these plants, but we want to remind you that the TerraShield blend is for aromatic or topical use only. Any internal benefits discussed for the individual oils in the blend are not applicable to aromatic or topical use.
Also, though the historical uses of these oils may cover many applications, the newly reformulated TerraShield blend has only been specifically tested against mosquitoes and is an effective mosquito repellent.
Citronella is a plant that you’re probably used to hearing about in relation to the outdoors. It’s a grass plant that is commonly mistaken for or even sometimes referred to as Lemongrass, because they are so similar in appearance, growth, and processing methods. However, the two plants simply belong to the same plant family, more like cousins.
Citronella is popular for many different applications, including as an insect repellent, a fragrant candle ingredient, and is utilized in perfumes, deodorants, skin lotions, and soaps.
The fragrant grass has earned the name citronella from the French word meaning “lemon balm.” And the trademark clean lemon-like aroma of citronella becomes especially apparent when the plant is crushed. Many people find that dried citronella grass is an excellent addition to potpourri.
For centuries, citronella has been a natural remedy and a food ingredient all over the world, in places like China, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. It’s used for everything, from flavoring culinary dishes to lending its scent to natural cleaning products and pest-repelling candles.
Next, we have Lemongrass. Lemongrass is native to tropical regions such as Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Oceania and is an important ingredient in many traditional Asian cuisines. This herb is especially important in the cuisines of Vietnam and Thailand, where it provides both the base and added flavorings for numerous soups. In countries such as India, China, and Thailand, it has been used as a flavoring agent in beverages and desserts.
The scent of lemongrass is fresh and light with a hint of lemon citrus even though it’s grass. It belongs to a family known as Gramineae, the same family that citronella and palmarosa belong to. Its pleasing scent makes it very useful in perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics.
In Hoodoo, lemongrass is the primary ingredient of van van oil, one of the most popular oils used in conjure. Van Van oil is an old hoodoo formula designed to clear away evil and provide magical protection, open the road to new prospects, change bad luck to good, and empower amulets and charms. It is the most popular of the New Orleans hoodoo recipes. Lemongrass is used in this preparation and on its own in hoodoo to protect against evil, spiritually clean a house, and to bring good luck in love affairs.
In addition to cooking and personal care products, lemongrass has also been used throughout history. In India, it has long been used in traditional practices, and in Latin America, they would often brew a tea with the grass to take advantage of its beneficial properties. The leaves of the grass were also chewed, or the sap would be made into a compress to utilize in various health situations. Today, lemongrass continues to be used in Cuba and the Caribbean as part of natural wellness solutions.
Did you know that some of the earliest mentions of peppermint appear in Greek mythology, by Roman philosophers, the Christian Bible, and by Monks in the Middle Ages? There are even Ancient Egyptian medical texts, dating as early as 1550 BC, that include peppermint.
Pliny, a Roman scientist, and historian recorded that the Greeks and Romans used peppermint to flavor sauces and wines. Sprays of peppermint also adorned their tables.
Ancient Greek physicians used two different species of mint in their practices, and there’s also evidence that the Egyptians cultivated peppermint, and dried leaves were even discovered in several pyramids.
But it wasn’t until the middle of the 18th century that peppermint was cultivated for its properties in Western Europe and England.
One herb that you might only think about in regards to cooking is thyme. Wild thyme grows in the Levant, a term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia, where we think it might have first been cultivated.
Experts in language tell us that thyme's name was derived from the Greek word thumus, meaning courage. And thyme’s history has long been intertwined with the idea of courage. The ancient Greeks used time in their baths and burnt it as incense in their temples, believing it was a source of courage. In Europe in the Middle Ages women would give gifts to knights and warriors that included leaves from a thyme plant. It was believed that these gifts would bring them courage in battle.
Thyme also has, throughout history, been associated with funerary rites. Ancient Egyptians used thyme during their embalming process, and in the Middle Ages, thyme was used as incense and placed on coffins during funerals—the belief being that it would assure the deceased passage into the next life.
Throughout history, thyme has also been used in traditional medicinal practices. Hippocrates, who is known today as the “father of Western medicine” recommended thyme for a variety of uses. In the Victorian Era, nurses would also often utilize thyme. And in the Middle Ages, it was also often placed underneath pillows to ward off nightmares.
Red cedar, Virginian juniper, and aromatic cedar—all these are names for Juniperus virginiana, the beautiful, fragrant tree.
Red cedar is a strong, resilient tree that’s able to withstand extreme climates and can tolerate most soil types. It’s also what’s known as a pioneer species. A pioneer species is one of the first species that return to a cleared, eroded, or otherwise damaged land. Among pioneer species, red cedar is unusually long-lived, with the potential to last over 900 years. In fact, the oldest red cedar reported was in West Virginia, and it was 940 years old!
During the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, farmers were encouraged to plant lines of red cedar called shelterbelts. Shelterbelts protect farms or fields from strong winds that cause erosion. Since the red cedar thrives in harsh and diverse conditions, it was an ideal tree for creating a natural windbreak.
Among many Native American cultures, the smoke of burning red cedar is traditionally used to drive away evil spirits prior to conducting certain ceremonies. For numerous tribes, red cedar symbolizes the tree of life and is burned in sweat lodges and purification rites. Native American tribes also used poles of juniper wood to mark their hunting territories. In fact, French traders noticed such poles and named one area of Louisiana Baton Rouge, which means “red stick.”
Red cedar has also been used in traditional folk. People would crush the leaves and apply them to the skin. Others boiled a mixture of nuts, twigs, and leaves and breathed in the steam.
Finally, we have Geranium. The Latin name for the flowering geranium is Pelargonium graveolens. Pelargonium comes from the Greek pelargos, meaning stork. In fact, another name for pelargoniums is stork-bills, due to the shape of their fruit. And the graveolens refers to the strong-smelling leaves. Geranium is a native of South Africa, where more than 250 wild species of the plant still grow. The first geraniums did not come to Europe until the 17th century. But, the geranium is not actually a member of the Geranium family. To any gardener or botanist, geranium actually refers to a winter-hardy perennial shrub. They refer to the popular summer flower as pelargoniums. The naming problem came about in the 17th century when the first pelargoniums were brought to Europe. They were called geraniums, due to their similarity to the perennial plant. The name stuck and has been used ever since!
Several European countries consider geranium an integral part of their culture and a symbol of their homeland. The Swiss have even elected this easy-care blooming beauty as their national flower.
Geranium has had many uses throughout history. It found popularity as a flavoring, with the flowers and leaves being used in cakes, jams, jellies, ice creams, sorbets, salads, sugars, and teas.
And the indigenous people of South Africa utilized the roots of the geranium and to this day the roots are the main ingredient of the natural remedy Umckaloabo.
Certain scent-leaved geraniums have even been found to naturally repel insects. At the slightest breeze or the lightest touch, these plants release their perfume. And what may be a pleasant smell to us humans, doesn't smell so good to the insects and keep them away.
Whatever you're up to this summer, TerraShield is ready to stay right by your side. Try it and we know it will become a staple in your home.
Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. Also, if you want to try any of the products you learned about, go to doterra.com or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.