Sunday, January 11, 2015

How to Make and Use Infused Oils

Ingredients for infusing oils

Whenever I travel to Italy, or far more often, visit an Italian grocery, one of the products I always bring home are infused olive oils. Infused oils lend fantastic flavor and sophistication to recipes and now I found they are really easy to make at home! Besides providing a huge reduction in cost, infusing your own oils allows you to make sure you have the freshest possible oil.

Citrus Infused Olive Oil ingredients

Long ago I tried to make my own infused olive oil by patiently growing lemon balm in my yard, then harvesting it, then heating it in olive oil and lemon peels on the stove several times, then cooling the oil and lemon peel and herb mixture and allowing it to steep in my dark pantry for months. Finally the day came to strain the oil and decant it into pretty bottles to give as gifts. I opened the jar and sniffed expectantly, and...NOTHING! The oil didn't smell or taste at all like lemon. I was so disappointed! And I had to run out and buy already-infused oils to give as gifts. I read the label of the oil I purchased and saw they actually added lemon essential oil to the olive oil.

Fast forward to the present, and I found I had used all but a couple drops of my peppermint essential oil that came in my Young Living starter kit. I recently read a Pinterest pin that recommended soaking your empty oil bottles in your bath to use up the residue, as enough remains to scent bath water. I wondered, if an empty bottle can scent a whole bath, could a drop or two infuse olive oil with scent and flavor? The answer is, YES! I decided to fill my peppermint oil bottle with grapeseed oil, since it has no flavor of its own to interfere, and I've used it for all kinds of things. We rubbed it on the chests of my coughing niece and nephew and it cleared their cough and sinuses right up. I flavored whipped cream with it, and also used it to scent homemade shaving cream. I used up my lemon and Citrus Fresh oils from my kit and filled those bottles with olive oil. This time it did work and I gave the infused oils as gifts. Citrus-infused olive oil is great for flavoring fish dishes and baked goods.

Basically, all you do is add 1-2 drops of edible essential oil per each 5 ml (about .17 ounces) olive or grapeseed oil (or whatever oil you'd like) and stir. So to make 8 ounces, or 1 cup, of infused oil you'd use 8 ounces of oil and 16 drops of essential oil. Then use as you would any flavor extract, like lemon extract or almond extract, as flavoring. Young Living makes it really easy to tell if an oil or blend can be taken internally: the oil's label will say "Dietary Supplement" and give you a dosage right there! If the oil can be diffused and inhaled the label will say "Aromatic" and give instructions, and if the oil can be applied topically the label will read "Topical" with instructions. Oils that can be used all ways will have instructions for each right on the label! Most essential oils are not edible because they aren't therapeutic or food grade, so it's important to use oil from a trusted company and follow the instructions. Lemon, lime, citrus fresh, and peppermint are just a few essential oils from Young Living that are edible and highly scented enough to make them wonderful for making infused oils.

Frankincense Face Oil
In trying to glean every possible drop of oil from my kit, I saved my Frankincense oil bottle when it had only a drop or so left and filled it the rest of the way with grapeseed oil. Then I replaced the dropper top with the Young Living roller ball fitment and cap. Voila! My own anti-aging face oil! Frankincense is a wonderful oil for skin care. There are many before and after photos online of skin cancer lesions supposedly cured by the application of Frankincense oil. I can't attest to that, but I've been using Frankincense infused grapeseed oil on my face for about a month now and my skin looks brighter and less lined. I feel like my skin tone is more even as well, with less redness. I use my face oil under my regular Lancome face cream. I chose grapeseed oil because it is famous for its anti-aging properties. Grape seeds are high in polyphenol content. These antioxidants help you look younger, and grape seeds' high anti-inflammatory content help knock out redness and acne. Grapeseed oil is actually higher in antioxidants than red wine, berries, and green and black teas! So here's the super-simple recipe for my face oil:

Mandy's Fabulous Face Oil
1-2 drops Young Living Frankincense essential oil
5 ml (.17 oz) Grapeseed Oil
Young Living roller ball fitment and bottle

 Remove the dropper insert from the bottle. If using a new bottle, add the Frankincense oil. Otherwise just use your Frankincense oil bottle when it's nearly empty. Fill with grapeseed oil. Add the Young Living roller ball fitment and cap. Shake well. Roll on face morning and evening, concentrating on fine lines and pigmentation differences, bumps, moles, etc. Use alone or under your regular face cream.

The Young Living roller ball fitment

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