Using Young Living Essential Oils in Cooking

Written by Distributor Rep

Food grade essential oils can be used in cooking and beverages – enhancing flavor and providing a boost to health. All of Young Living's essential oils are high quality and those essential oils which come from edible plants (such as lemon, basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, orange, Mountain Savory, etc.) are safe to use internally.

The easiest way to begin cooking with Young Living aromatherapy oils is to substitute the essential oils in recipes that call for dried herbs, spices or fruit juices. Simply replace these ingredients with the companion essential oil.

At first glance, using Young Living Essential Oils in cooking may seem complex, on the contrary, it is very easy once you learn the basics. The most important thing you need to remember is that these are undiluted and super pure essential oils, as such they are extremely potent – far more potent than any other ingredient you've ever used in the kitchen before. And particularly more potent than any other brand of essential oil you have used before.

For instance, 1/2 a drop or one drop may be enough to adequately flavor a big pot or bowl of your fovorite recipe. With that in mind, continue reading the basics…

Essential Oils are More Potent Than Dried and Fresh Herbs

Being concentrated, the essential oils contain virtually all of the plants healing nutrients, oxygenating molecules, amino acid precursors, coenzyme A factors, trace minerals, enzymes, vitamins, hormones and more. And because they are concentrated, Essential Oils are from 50 to 70 times more therapeutically potent than the herbs or plants they are derived from. Unlike dried herbs, which lose up to 90% of their healing nutrients and oxygen molecules, essential oils do not. Best of all, 100% pure, therapeutic food grade Essential Oils are freely available and safe for cooking and home use.

There are approximately 60 drops of essential oil per teaspoon while this may not seem like much it is important to remember this example – just “one” drop of peppermint oil equals about 28 cups of peppermint tea.

I have been using fresh and dried herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes since I was 15 and when I discovered this information about essential oils an entire world opened its door to me. This also explained why my herbal preparations and herbal supplements for healing purposes would take so long before I would see results – it's because there is so little essential oil in the dried herb, or I would have to consume enormous amounts of a fresh herb to equal one drop of Young Living essential oil.

So while this was great news and music to my ears, I still needed to spend a little time understanding how to substitute the essential oil for the dried or fresh herb.

How Not to Waste Your Young Living Oils or Ruin your Recipe

Always, start off using a single drop so as to not waste your Young Living essential oil, you can always add another drop if needed.

Dried Herb / Essential Oil Measurement Guideline

When a recipe calls for less than a teaspoon of an herb or spice, dip a toothpick in the center of the dripper cap and then swirl the toothpick in your recipe or beverage.

Always use the “Toothpick Method” for cinnamon bark oil, clove oil, ginger oil and nutmeg oil because the YL aromatherapy oils are much stronger that their companion spices.

Citrus Zest or Juice Measurement Guidelines

When using a YL essential oil in place of the zest of “one” lemon, orange or tangerine – you can use 8 to 14 drops of its companion essential oil.

  • Always use the “Toothpick Method” for cinnamon bark oil, clove oil, ginger oil and nutmeg oil because the YL aromatherapy oils are much stronger than their companion spices.
  • Citrus Zest or Juice Measurement Guidelines
  • When using a YL essential oil in place of the zest of “one” lemon, orange or tangerine – you can use 8 to 14 drops of its companion essential oil.

Example: Zest of “one” lemon, orange or tangerine = 8 to 14 drops of its companion essential oil.

Spices / Essential Oil Measurement Guidelines

  • One Tablespoon dried spice/spicy herb = 1/2 to ‘one' drop of Young Living essential oil.
  • Hot or spicy herbs are: marjoram, oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, fennel, dill, black pepper, or coriander.

Interesting Fact

Essential oils have a chemical structure that is similar to human cells and tissues. This makes essential oils compatible with human protein and enables them to be readily identified and accepted by the body.

Essential Oil Cooking Tips

Which oils are safe to use for cooking?

  • Rule # 1 – Only use therapeutic-grade / food grade essential oils, we only recommend Young Living Essential Oils.
  • Rule # 2 – Read the list of GRAS & FA List, found below, as not all plants and their essential oils are for internal or cooking purposes.

GRAS and FA Certified Essential Oils List

GRAS: Generally regarded as safe
FA: Food Additives

A list of Essential Oils Certified as GRAS and Food Additives by the FDA:

  • Angelica
  • Basil
  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile, Roman
  • Chamomile, German
  • Cinnamon Bark
  • Citrus rind (all)
  • Clary Sage
  • Clove
  • Coriander
  • Dill
  • Eucalyptus globulous
  • Frankincense
  • Galbanum
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Hyssop
  • Juniper
  • Jasmine
  • Laurus nobilis
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass
  • Lime
  • Melissa (Lemonbalm)
  • Marjoram
  • Myrrh
  • Myrtle
  • Nutmeg
  • Orange
  • Oregano
  • Patchouli
  • Pepper
  • Peppermint
  • Petitgrain
  • Pine
  • Rosemary
  • Rose
  • Savory
  • Sage
  • Sandalwood
  • Spearmint
  • Spruce
  • Tarragon
  • Tangerine
  • Thyme
  • Valerian
  • Vertiver
  • Ylang Ylang

For stronger spice oils – such as basil, cinnamon, marjoram, nutmeg, oregano and thyme – dip a toothpick in a bottle of essential oil and stir it in the recipe after cooking. It is an excellent way to flavor food. Remember, only 2 drops of an essential oil is equivalent to a full bottle (2 oz size) of dried herbs.

Toothpick Method

To have better control over the amount of essential oil you're putting in a recipe. For a more subtle flavor and/or those smaller portions: remove the inserted plastic dripping cap off the bottle of essential oil and dip a tooth pick into it, then swirl the essential oil dipped tooth pick in your food.

Diluting Essential Oils Before Cooking (recommended)

Essential oils should be diluted/mixed in vegetable oil, Blue Agave syrup, almond or rice milk prior to ingestion and/or in recipes as this helps to disperse the essential oil more effectively. As a general rule, dilute 1 drop of essential oil in 1 teaspoon of honey, Blue Agave Syrup, or in 2 ounces of a beverage. (Honey should not be given to children under 2 years of age.)

Essential Oils and High Heat

Essential oils used in recipes: Add the essential oil right before serving. The heat will evaporate essential oils with the steam. With a few oils that are too strong – such as basil, oregano and rosemary – simmering will produce a wonderfully subtle bouquet that is wonderful.

Essential Oils for Weight Control: The sense of smell is responsible for 90% of our taste. Research has found that by inhaling a culinary scent, such as an essential oil regularly throughout the day, especially when hungry, can help suppress our desire to taste and therefore eat. By inhaling an aroma 6 times in each nostril, the epistat in our brain that controls hunger gets switched off. For best results, change oils daily for variety. Warning: If a culinary aroma is inhaled only briefly, the reverse effect can occur; appetite can be stimulated.

Isn't this interesting!? Are you feeling like I did, like an entire new world opened a new door.

Below are some of recipes that include Young Living Essential Oils, they will give you an idea how your favorite recipes can also include essential oils.

Apple Wolfberry Pie Filling

¾ c. Blue Agave

1 drop nutmeg essential oil

2 drops ocotea essential oil or cinnamon bark essential oil

4 c. organic apples, peeled and sliced (Granny Smith is preferred)

1 Tbsp. rice flour

½ c. dried wolfberries

Mix all ingredients (except rice flour) in a large skillet. Simmer until apples are soft and crisp. Add rice flour and mix until blended. Place in an unbaked pie shell and apply an egg wash around the edge of the shell. Add the pie top and pinch the edges together. Make at least four two-inch slits on top of the pie to release steam. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375˚ for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 350˚ and bake an additional fifteen minutes, or until crust is lightly browned. Makes filling for one pie.

Marinara Sauce

30 oz. tomato sauce

1 large onion, chopped

4–5 garlic cloves, minced

1 drop oregano essential oil

1–2 drops black pepper essential oil

1 drop basil essential oil

1 Tbsp. Blue Agave

1 tsp. rosemary, crushed

2 tsp. parsley, snipped

1 tsp. red pepper flakes, crushed

1 tsp. olive oil

Sauté onion in olive oil until soft, then add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for at least one hour. Makes seven cups.

Flavored Water: no calories!

One of my favorite ways to use my Young Living essential oils is in a glass of water, very refreshing. For those who are watching their weight, this is an excellent to get a nice flavor and no calories! Additionally, you will be getting the benefit of these powerful essential oils.

To an 8 oz. glass of water (please do not use a plastic or styrofoam cup) add “ONE” drop of any of the following essential oils:

Singles: Peppermint, Lemon, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Lemongrass, Orange, Spearmint, Frankincense.

Blends: Citrus Fresh, Thieves, EndoFlex, Di-Gize, Longevity.

Note: do not use more than one single drop, the Young Living oils that can be taken internally are extremely potent. It is said that “one” drop of Young Living pepermint essential oil is the equivalent of 28 cups of Peppermint Tea – so use a very light touch.

Garlic Bread with Mountain Savory Essential Oil

I adore a nice crusty Artisan bread with fresh garlic and Young Living Mountain Savory essential oil, just thinking about it makes my mouth water!

1 loaf Artisan Bread (sliced into 1 inch slices)

1/4 to 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Ollive Oil

3-6 cloves Garlic (pressed)

1 drop Mountain Savory essential oil

Optional: thin slices of Mozzarella Cheese to top.

Arrange slices of bread on cookie sheet.

In a small sauce pan add olive oil, garlic and essential oil – warm for a few minutes to infuse flavors. With a tablespoon, spoon olive oil mixture onto slices of bread (getting some crushed garlic on each slice).

Optional: top each slice of bread with a slice of Mozzarella.

Bake in a 300* F oven for 5-7 minutes, or until bread is warm and soft. Serve immediately.

Feta Dip Flavored with Essential Oils

Feta cheese makes an excellent dip, the addition of Young Living essential oils makes this dip nutritious and delicious!

8 oz. Feta Cheese (cow or goat)

1 drop Lavender essential oil

1 drop Thyme essential oil

1 drop Mountain Savory essential oil

2-3 cloves Garlic

In a food processor combine all ingredients, mix until smooth and creamy (you may have to add a touch of olive oil to get the consistancy you like).

Guacamole and Essential Oil Dip

I love Guacamole and this is a nice twist to an old favorite recipe.

3 large ripe Avocados

6 drops Chritmas Spirit essential oil blend

3 drops Citrus Fresh essential oil blend

2 cloves fresh Garlic

Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Serve with chips or fresh veggies. I enjoy Guacamole on veggie burgers.

EndoFlex Essential Oil Potato Salad Recipe

2 Hard boiled eggs sliced

This is a nice change from a typical potato salad recipe, delicious flavors make this an excellent sidedish with any summertime meal.

4 lbs. New Potatoes (cooked in skins)

1/4 cup Corn

1/4 cup Peas

1/4 cup Sweet Onion (chopped)

1/8 cup fresh Peppermint or Spearmint (chopped fine)

3-4 Clves of Garlic (pressed)


1/2 cup Natural Plain Yoghurt

3 TBSP Tartare Sauce

3 drops Endoflex essential oil blend

1 TBSP Wholegrain mustard

Mix dressing ingredients together and fold through other ingredients.

Serve with wedges of avocado and salad.

Orange-Cranberry Sauce

Cooking with Young Living Essential Oils is so easy and adds a delightful layer of flavor to your recipes. Impress your friends and family with this super easy and delicious cranberry sauce recipe containing Orange essential oil. Nothing tastes better than fresh homemade cranberry sauce.

3/4 cups purified water

1/2 cup Young Living Blue Agave

12 oz. fresh cranberries

2 drops Young Living Orange essential oil

Mix water and agave until dissolved. Bring to a boil, add berries, and return to a boil. Reduce heat and gently boil for 10-15 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool. Add orange oil and refrigerate for at least one hour. Makes 1 2/3 cups.

NingXia Red – Ginger Brew

This is so delicious! And an excellent way to get a lot of nutrition and antioxidants (from NingXia Red).

1 bottle of Ginger Brew Soda (found in most Health Food stores)

1-2 ounces of NingXia Red

In a tall glass with ice, add the Ginger Brew soda and 1-2 ounces of NingXia Red. The combined flavors are delicious!

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