Have you ever found yourself in the middle of cooking dinner and you realized the spice you needed to make the recipe complete was empty? Me too!

Fortunately, there are essential oils that can be substituted for many spices, seasonings, and extracts in your cabinet. So, not only are you getting a powerfully potent, safe, natural way to flavor your food, you are receiving some amazing health benefits as well! (I just want to preface this blog with the fact that I only use doTERRA essential oils because I know they ONLY supply 100% Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Oils, which makes the essential oils that are considered safe for internal use, ACTUALLY SAFE for internal use because there are no synthetics, fillers or any harmful substance in any of their essential oils.)

Essential oils are a great way to flavor the food and drinks we consume throughout the day, as well as boost our immune system.

All citrus oils, including Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon and Lime are bright, sweet, tangy and refreshing flavors that can be added to beverages like tea, water, or smoothies, and can brighten up any recipe for baked goods like scones, muffins, or cookies, all while boosting your immune system.

I love adding a marinade to my chicken or fish before it’s grilled or baked. But really, an essential oil-infused marinade works well on most meats or veggies. Here’s a couple of great marinade recipes:

Chili Lime Marinade: 1 ½ tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped, 2 tablespoons honey or agave, 2 tablespoons water, 8 drops Lime essential oil, 1 clove garlic, minced, 1 tablespoon chili flakes, 1 ½ tablespoons ginger, 2 tablespoons coconut oil.

Sweet and Sour Marinade:  ½ cup balsamic vinegar, ½ cup honey, ½ cup light brown sugar, packed ¼ cup low-sodium tamari sauce, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 6–8 drops Wild Orange essential oil.

Spice oils, such as Black Pepper, Cassia, Cinnamon, Coriander, Ginger and Fennel are useful for enhancing natural flavors, vegetables, meat marinades, and sweet and savory dishes. Keep in mind that all of these spicy essential oils are extremely potent, so only a tiny bit of oil will be needed to add powerful flavor to your dish. Many of the spice oils maintain gastrointestinal health or promote digestion when taken internally, and support and strengthen the immune system.

If you have a sweet tooth, here’s a great recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies that uses the well-known, doTERRA On Guard Protective Blend. Give it a try, they are delicious!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies: 1 box Spice Cake Mix, 1 15oz can Pumpkin Puree, 1 cup (or more) Dark Chocolate Chips, 1 Tbsp Applesauce (optional), 10 drops OnGuard. Mix ingredients together. Spray cookie sheet with Coconut Oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes.

Herb oils, such as Basil, Cilantro, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary and Thyme are useful for substituting dry or fresh herbs, Italian dishes, meat marinade, soup, bread, pasta, and potatoes. Like dry or fresh herbs, you can also use several of these herbal essential oils in a single dish to make a lovely bouquet of flavors. Herb oils support healthy digestion, healthy respiratory function, healthy immune function, blood flow, and gastrointestinal health. Just add a drop or two to whatever meal you’re making, or try making your own Infused Olive Oil to flavor your favorite dishes: Just put ½ cup olive oil in a jar with 1-5 drops each of 2-5 of your favorite herb oils. Shake and pour.

Mint oils, such as Peppermint and Spearmint have a minty, cool, and refreshing, sweet flavor and are useful for flavoring beverages, desserts, salads, and certain meats. Mint is a popular flavoring agent in the cooking world, and mint essential oils can be extremely useful when making mint-flavored desserts and candies, or for any time you want to add a cool, refreshing element to your recipe. Peppermint essential oil promotes healthy respiratory function, clear breathing and digestive health when taken internally. Peppermint is an easy oil to incorporate in baking during the holiday season.

When cooking with volatile essential oils, you’ll cook differently with hot dishes because heat can destroy these fragile oils. Once you’ve finished cooking your dish, stir in your diluted essential oil. For your baked dishes, you’ll simply lose a bit of the properties, but not much is to be expected. Another important thing to keep in mind is diluting your oils in some form of lipid—like olive, coconut, or another oil alike. Diluting makes it safe to consume the essential oil, but also helps with dispersing it throughout the dish for better flavor.

Here are some of my most favorite and common ways I have added essential oils into my daily regimen to keep my body functioning at its best!

For breakfast, I either make a chocolate-strawberry smoothie and add 1-2 drops of Wild Orange, Tangerine or Grapefruit to it. These citrus oils possess stimulating and purifying qualities, making it ideal to support healthy immune system function. In my oatmeal or Ezekiel cereal, I simply add 1-2 drops of Cinnamon Bark oil to a basic serving and top with berries. Cinnamon Bark benefits the body by supporting healthy metabolic function, helping sustain healthy blood sugar levels while also maintaining healthy immune function, PLUS it just makes me HAPPY!!

Throughout the day I add citrus oils to my water like lemon, grapefruit, tangerine, or lime! Not only does it add a powerful flavor, but it helps cleanse the toxins in my body, aid in digestion and keep my immune system strong.

For lunch I might have a salad and add a dressing that I’ve made with essential oils or take a dressing I already have and add a drop of lemon or lime for additional benefits. I also love to add cilantro and lime to dips I make, including salsa or bean and salsa dips, as well as chili, or soups and tacos!

At dinner time I might throw in some oregano or basil oil in to marinara sauce for spaghetti or lasagna ( I uses spaghetti squash or zoodles), add any of the herb or citrus oils to my chicken or turkey burger PLUS all of my cooked veggies.

Additional favorites are Cinnamon, doTERRA On Guard Protective Blend, Clove or Wild Orange to muffins or specialty breads, especially during this time of year!

Really, recipes using essential oils are endless. It’s easy to just type “doTERRA essential oils and food recipes” into google and find so many options. Or the doTERRA website offers an array of choices that have been tried, tested, and recommended.

Just don’t be scared to give it a try!

You’ll be giving your taste buds a real treat, upping your cooking and baking skills to an all new level, and doing some good for your immune system too!

By tweaking our diets and lifestyles to boost our immunity, we will not only improve our wellness greatly but will also notice and experience the following unexpected benefits: more energy, better sleep, a reduction in aches and pains, clearer thinking, clearer skin, greater productivity, weight loss if needed, a reduction in belly fat and bloat, natural hormone-balancing, improved mood, looking and feeling younger, and a happier outlook on life.

*If you would like to purchase any of the oils talked about in this post, you can shop them HERE.

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