Why People Are Turning To Essential Oils for Cooking & Baking

Due to the many mental, emotional, and physical health benefits, the therapeutic use of essential oils (aromatherapy) is a well-known practice for medicinal purposes. 

But what about using essential oils (EOs) in the kitchen? 

Although this might not seem like a familiar concept the truth is that global food and beverage industries have been using EOs as flavoring agents for over 100 years. 

For example, of the tens of millions of pounds of spearmint production in the U.S., it’s estimated that about 30% is used for chewing gum and 10% for candy. (1) 

If you walk down any grocery store aisle you’re sure to find one or more processed foods whose natural flavors are derived from EOs. 

It’s also known that some EOs are used as food preservatives. (2) 

It’s true that for certain circumstances you can reap more therapeutic benefits from inhaling or topically applying EOs rather than from ingesting them.

And it’s also true that safely cooking and baking with EOs can add to your overall well-being too. 

Why? 

Because using EOs in the kitchen adds flavor, nutritional support, and fragrance intensity to anything from flavored water, smoothies, soups, bread, marinades, and sauces. 

Plus, flavoring your food with organic essential oils is far better than ingesting artificial flavorings and preservatives. 

Four benefits of using high-quality EOs safely for cooking & baking: (3)

EO Cooking Safety Concerns & Controversy 

Orally consuming oils seems to be a source of controversy amongst the EO community. 

Some claim that it simply isn’t safe to ever ingest EOs. 

Others say that it’s okay to take EOs orally as long as they are used safely and with direct supervision of a knowledgeable health professional.

And others believe that if you do your due diligence, research every high-quality EO you’re looking to ingest, and are aware of the contraindications, then you can proceed with caution and use the oils for internal purposes. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a comprehensive list of EOs that are considered generally recognized as safe(GRAS) for ingestion provided the oils are undiluted, solvent-free, and consumed in an appropriate quantity and as described. (4) 

This list is not exhaustive. 

The FDA doesn’t regulate EOs so it’s on you to do your own research and make up your own decisions when looking to purchase any oil. 

It’s important to keep in mind that EOs are potent concentrated natural oils derived from plant material.

These oils contain hundreds of active compounds that can influence the body’s function. 

They must be treated with care and respect and caution. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that cooking and baking with EOs in minimal amounts is not the same as using EOs for therapeutic internal use. 

Here are some key safety points to keep in mind before you start using EOs orally: 

The 10 Best Essential Oils For Cooking & Baking 

The first and foremost rule of thumb for cooking with essential oils is this: 

Less is more. Always use them in moderation. 

You can categorize EOs into four groups for the kitchen: 

(Note: It is your responsibility to thoroughly check every company and label of EOs you’re using. Calm With Yoga is not responsible for any misuse or possible adverse effects.) 



Herbs

Peppermint oil (Mentha piperita) 

This cooling herb is a powerful pain reliever, digestion aid, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. 

You can add peppermint essential oil to your chocolate smoothie to give it a mint-chip twist, add it to chocolate ice cream to create mint chocolate ice cream, or add a drop or two to the next batch of brownies you make. 

You can also try adding a drop or two to your own DIY toothpaste recipe. 

Alternatively, you can keep it simple and just add a drip to 1 tsp of raw organic honey and add to any cup of tea. 

Contraindications: children under 6 years old, high blood pressure, pregnant and breast-feeding women

Rosemary oil (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary’s fragrant and flavorful profile adds a wonderful depth to a variety of dishes from roasted potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, to broiled chicken. 

Simply add 1-2 drops to avocado oil, ghee, or vegan butter to dilute it and marinade your preferred dish. 

The active compounds in this oil make it a potent antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and pain reliever. 

Contraindications: Pregnant women, epilepsy, high blood pressure, can be toxic if ingested in large quantities. 

Oregano oil (Origanum vulgare)

Oregano oil contains a high amount of carvacrol, an active compound that offers potent antibacterial healing properties that can defend against various infections. 

It’s a potent anti-inflammatory that’s also very flavorful. 

You can add 1-2 drops to marinara sauce the next time you’re craving pasta or lasagna. 

Contraindications: Pregnant and breast-feeding women, if you’re taking multiple medications. 



Spices

Black pepper oil (Piper nigrum)

Black pepper is an anti-inflammatory that also supports good circulation and can help respiratory conditions. 

When taken orally it can help to improve digestion. 

Again, remember that a little goes a long way so only use 1 drop per recipe. 

You can use it to season organic, grass-fed, sustainably, and humanely raised meats or you can add it to marinades and sauces. 

Contraindications: Pregnant and breast-feeding women, can cause skin irritation.

Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum verum)

Cinnamon oil is rich in antioxidants that can help decrease inflammation. 

It also supports good digestion and helps to keep blood sugar balanced. 

Cinnamon is also known to aid in weight loss, boost heart health, support the immune system, and can even increase sexual arousal. 

You can add it to your coffee, cookies, cakes, or even pancakes. 

This oil is extremely potent not just in smell and flavor but in effects too. 

Use only 1-2 drops per recipe. 

Contraindications: Don’t use if pregnant or breastfeeding. May irritate the skin. Avoid if you’re using multiple medications or are on anticoagulants. 

Ginger oil (Zingiber officinale) 

Ginger oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory that supports the immune system. 

It also has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. 

You can use it as a digestive aid by adding it to hot water and lemon. 

It also makes a wonderful Asian-inspired marinade, vinaigrette, and salad dressing. 

Contraindications: Might cause skin irritation if directly applied to the skin, use a carrier oil and perform a patch test. 

Turmeric oil (Curcuma longa)

This vibrant root has been used since biblical times because of its potent healing properties. 

In Ayurveda and Chinese medicine, it’s used to stimulate circulation, improve digestion, lower blood pressure, and relieve aches and pains and inflammation. 

Mix it with cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar, and fresh lemon juice to create the Elixir of Life. 

You can also add 1 drop of this oil along with 1 drop of ginger oil to coconut milk, raw honey, and cinnamon powder to make a warm cup of Golden Milk. 

You can also use it to season and color curry dishes or vegetables. 

Contraindications: Avoid during pregnancy. Avoid if using multiple medications. May cause skin sensitivity if used topically. 



Citrus

Lemon oil (Citrus limon)

Lemon essential oil is effective at stimulating the lymphatic system, which is an important part of the immune system because it stores and transports white blood cells throughout the body via lymph fluid. 

This versatile oil is also a potent antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal. 

You can use it wherever a recipe calls for lemon zest. 

It makes an excellent addition to marinades, sauces, and vinaigrettes. 

Contraindications: Non-distilled lemon oil is phototoxic - avoid direct exposure to sunlight at least 12 hours after applying topically, may cause skin irritation (perform a patch test)

Bergamot oil (Citrus bergamia) 

Bergamot is the key ingredient that gives Earl Grey tea its zing. 

It’s a natural mood uplifter, anxiety reliever, sedative, and antidepressant. 

You can add it to black tea to make your own blend of Earl Grey, or you can add it to sauces, marinades, and vinaigrettes. 

Contraindications: Bergamot is phototoxic - avoid direct exposure to sunlight at least 12 hours after applying topically, may cause skin irritation (perform a patch test)



Flowers

Lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia) 

Lavender essential oil is an excellent option if you’re also having trouble sleeping or are experiencing increased stress and anxiety.

It’s also antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and a pain reliever. 

Use it with dried chamomile flowers to make an evening tea, add it to lemon juice to make lavender lemonade, or add 1-2 drops to pancake batter. 

Contraindications: Spike lavender (Lavandula latifolia) should be avoided during pregnancy

Others EOs that may be okay to use in cooking and baking*: 

*Again, please research the individual companies and labels prior to consuming. 



H3 The Pros & Cons of Cooking & Baking With EOs

Pros: 

Cons: 

H2 How To Choose the Right High-Quality Essential Oils For Cooking & Baking 

As mentioned, many oils out in the market are diluted, contain solvents or synthetic material, and may be very harmful to your health - especially if ingested. 

There are many smart marketers that make certain claims and use strategic words to make their products appear a certain way. 

Since the FDA doesn’t regulate essential oils you must proceed with caution and a healthy amount of skepticism when choosing oils. 

The following are 7 factors to consider when choosing safe and high grade oils and brands to purchase for cooking and baking. 

  1. Always choose 100% certified organic 

This is especially true when cooking with essential oils. 

The last thing you want is to ingest pesticides and other harmful chemicals, right? 

  1. Differentiate between ‘therapeutic grade’ vs ‘food grade essential oils’ 

The highest quality oils are certified organic and for therapeutic purposes, and indicate so on the label. 

Oils that are marketed as ‘therapeutic grade’ aren’t necessarily fit for human consumption. 

In order to determine whether a brand is safe or not look at the label to see if the GRAS status is on it. (Remember GRAS is the FDA’s Generally Recognized As Safe status). 

You can also look for a supplement or nutrition label on the bottle. 

If it’s not there, have a look at the company’s product description. 

  1. Check that testing has been done

Any reputable company will disclose whether or not their products have undergone independent testing. The most reliable test is called GC/MS (gas chromatography and mass spectrometry). 

GC/MS testing detects additives, solvents, mixed oils and other chemicals. 

  1. Research the company

Are they reputable? 

Do they easily disclose testing results?

Are they responsive when you ask questions? 

Again, be aware of good marketers vs good products. 

  1. Check the label 

Is the certified organic stamp visible? 

Is the Latin name (botanical name) on it along with the common name? 

Does it state if it’s safe to ingest or GRAS status? 

Is there an expiration date? 

  1. Check the price

Is the price similar to other similar products on the market? 

A noticeably low price should be a warning sign. 

You don’t want to go cheap on oils you’re planning to ingest. 

Higher-quality oils can command a premium price, which is worth it if you’re using them for cooking or baking. 

  1. Check in with yourself

Learn to be your own judge and use all of your senses to assess the oil. 

Trust your intuition and your body’s feedback. 

If you experience an ‘off’ reaction or adverse response to the oil stop using it immediately.

Don’t forget to check in with your healthcare provider first before you use an oil internally if you’re on any sort of medication. 

Cooking With EOs 101: 6 Best Practices 

  1. Only use 1-3 drops per dish, which is the safe and ideal amount when cooking/baking. 

Wait at least 4 hours before consuming more. 

  1. Always dilute your EOs with carrier oil like coconut oil, olive oil, or avocado oil. 

This ensures that the oil is safe to ingest while also spreading the flavors and compounds throughout the entire dish and recipe. 

For baking and sweet recipes you can dilute your EO into honey, liquid stevia, or syrup. 

  1. Use the Toothpick Method for recipes that call for very small amounts. 

Sometimes you’ll need less than a drop of your favorite essential oil to make a recipe pop. 

The Toothpick Method involves dipping the pick into the oil and then using it as a stirring agent for the recipe. If you feel like you need more, then just go ahead and repeat the process as needed. 

  1. Use the Dropper Method to ensure safety. 

Most EO bottles come with a manual dropper, but if they don’t you can find some economical options online. 

Using a dropper will ensure you don’t go overboard with dosages. 

Remember, 1-3 drops per dish max. 

Smaller dishes may only require 1 drop. 

  1. Get familiar with the proper servings/conversions: 

Remember that EOs are highly concentrated plant, herb, spice, fruit, and flower material. 

This means that smaller quantities of the oil are much more potent that the whole or ground form of herb, spice, etc. 

The general conversion is that 1 drop of EO more or less equals 1 tablespoon of ground or powdered herb, spice, etc. 

  1. Use the Delayed Timing Method.

When it comes to EOs in the kitchen just remember that later is better. 

EOs are volatile and sensitive compounds that can quickly evaporate in high temperatures and heat. 

Add the oils once the dish is done cooking or baking if you can. 

This will help to keep the flavor and fragrance strong. 

Sometimes you won’t be able to help baking with EOs and that’s ok too. 

You’ll still be able to enjoy their culinary effects and benefits. 




References: 

  1. The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, Valerie Ann Wormwood 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265747/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25893282
  4. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=182.20
  5. Essential Oils Revolution Online Summit, Interview with Robert Pappas, “Essential Oil Preparation”

Dining                                                                         1-800-237-1068

The Dancing Kachina is a Culinary Masterpiece in fine dining set in a beautiful, sprawling spa and resort property, against a backdrop of stunning red rock mountains and pristine nature. Green Valley Spa & Resort has established the most favorable eating experience to be found in Southern Utah.

Healthy Cooking Is Good Medicine

The Dancing Kachina is run by Executive Chef Jeff Terry who has brought an incredible Contemporary International Cuisine that is authenticated in every dish served. 

Our restaurant rotates its menu weekly with fresh wholesome foods from both local markets and seasonal providers for a greater balance in nourishment available to our guests.  This quality allows us the freedom to provide the highest nutritional values for Mind, Body and Spirit. It also helps us represent the finest catering for full flavor and spa treatment requirements in dietary needs.

Get Fit Today!  1-800-237-1068

Breakfast At Tifiny's

We are please to welcome Breakfast at Tifiny's. They will be introducing a new atmosphere and menu to Green Valley but we will still be offering low calorie, full flavor and weight loss meals. Please call 435-986-4367 for any questions.

To view a printable version of their menu with pricing, please click the Here.

Tifinys Logo

To view Breakfast at Tifiny's website click Here.

Tifinys 1

Sun-Thurs:

7:00am - 3:00pm, 5pm-8pm

Tifinys 2

Fri-Sat:

7:00am - 3:00pm, 5pm-9pm

----

Dining

Healthy Cooking is Good Medicine

At Green Valley Spa, we purchase only the highest quality and completely traceable products. As much as possible, we serve everything in it’s season. Winter and Spring, we serve Atlantic Lobster, Alaska Halibut, Wild Salmon, Cold Water Cod and Orange Roughy.

All of our red meat is grass fed beef or organic, free-range buffalo. Even our bacon is free-range applewood smoked, which is slow cured without nitrates and preservatives.

In the summer months we use local farmers and nearby farmer’s markets to stock our pantry.

All of our herb mixes are custom blended here and contain no talc, MSG, sugar, or preservatives.

We promote the idea of mind, body and spirit working together for an optimal life.

We know that people are addicted to food, caffeine, sugar and alcohol more prevalently than drugs.

We know that an average person can gain most of their nutrition simply by eating a healthy diet. This allows a person to take only necessary supplements and bio-identics, rather than everything under the sun for an ever changing set of symptoms based on day to day dietary deficiencies.

At Green Valley Spa, we not only begin with healthful and seasonal products; purchased as close to St. George as possible, we use Aruyvedic principles by using hers and spices to compliment the food and address everything from high blood pressure, mood, etc.

We truly care about your health and well-being; as chefs, Lamar and I feel that by carefully cooking for you, respecting you and the food we prepare for you, and by teaching these methods together, you and I can improve the quality of your life far into the future.

—Chef Francesca van der Stappen

About Chef Francesca

A Northern Utah native, I spent lots of time in my youth in the mountains, fishing and hunting. Just about the only things to do in Utah as a youngster; unless one prefers the more traditional pursuits for girls – like sewing, big hair, and building a "hope chest".

My hope chest was filled with a different desire than most of my friends. I knew very early on that I wanted to play with my food when I grew up.

My career has taken me to so many great places – most recently to Louisiana where I served as Chef de Cuisine at the Dakota Restaurant under Executive Chef Kim T. Kringlie. Chef Kim also exposed me to Spanish food at "Rambla" and Classic French and Louisianan fare at "Cuvee", which he also owns. All of these restaurants are highly regarded and local favorites. The Dakota received a Zagat rating of 28 "excellent to perfection" in 2009.

I consider working at Green Valley Spa my most important position to date. It is a most peaceful, beautiful and awe-inspiring workplace and environment. I truly wish everyone had a chance to carry this special place with them.

----

Testimonials

Dear Frances,

You have brought a real elegance to the Green Valley dining experience. Beyond the really exceptional food (and it is exceptional) is the personal touch. What you bring for the dining room is a sense that meeting the guest's needs and wants is paramount. And you do so without conveying any sense that it is a chore. To the contrary, you manage to offer an individualized menu and a sense of caring what the guest wants as if it is your pleasure to do so.

You should know that your commitment to excellence does not go unnoticed. Green Valley is a place of “people-caring” people and you fit right in. Thank you, friend, for such a wonderful epicurean experience.

Affectionately

—E. & S.

Francesca

I just wanted to thank you for all the special attention you have given us during our stay. The food was outstanding and several of the dishes (buffalo chili, caramelized onions, veal chops) were especially memorable.

We are looking forward to seeing you again in the fall.

—B.B.

To the Green Valley Spa Team!

A special thank you goes out to Frances and her talented team as well as the wonderful wait staff and all of you magical folks in the spa that could make our tired bodies feel so peaceful and ready for a whole new day of adventure. The excellent food, location, and company have made this a fabulous visit and I look forward to many more.

Thanks Everyone!

—E.G.

Dear Francesca,

Thanks you so much for the incredible food and wonderful service and explanations and teaching. Thanks mostly for the great relationship we developed and for being you. You are a delight and a special person.

We can't wait to see you again soon.

—A. & L. G.

Frances,

I just wanted to thank you again for all of your attention and efforts is making our meals delicious and refreshing. Your attention to detail and concern for each of us was outstanding – I hope to see you again.

Sincerely,

—L. H.

Dear Frances,

Thank you for your wonderful meals while I was here on the hCG. I could not have succeeded without you!

Also thank you for your loving support and encouragement.

You are very special!

—M.

Dear Frances

Thank you so much for all the amazing hCG meals you prepared for me during my time at Green Valley – your passion for cooking and the love you put in to making the meals every day was amazing! I am looking forward to the release of your cook book!

—J.

Going on a diet has never been an easy or enjoyable task for me. I must admit that prior to my arrival I was worried about the food. Even when I was informed that the spa tried to use organic products I thought it would only extend to a few items. I was completely amazed to find that even the fruits were organic. I purchase only organic products so I am aware they are sometimes more expensive. I have to commend you for providing us with a variety and the best food available.

It wasn't until after I tasted what Francis could do with so few calories that I was amazed. She is a true gem… she even worked her day off!! She is tireless in her efforts to ensure that everything is perfect. I must say that during my stay she certainly made that happened. There is a saying that your diet is 80% of the battle in getting fit. While that is true, if the food is not satisfying or does not taste good I have a hard time being successful. Thanks to Francis I know that I can follow the program if I can manage to cook like she does. Not an easy feat, however, she has provided me some of the tools to do so.

I will definitely return to Green Valley if for no other reason than to have Francis cook me a great meal!!

—L. B.

----

Choose your spa vacation! Whether you are staying with us on a nightly basis or you are participating in one of our structured programs, you can choose to purchase additional activities from our A La Carte menu of activities and services.

Spa Cuisine: (The Dining Room is reserved dining only All meal reservations must be made 24 hours in advance through the Front Desk.)



Breakfast..............................................................................................................................................................

Lunch...................................................................................................................................................................

Dinner..................................................................................................................................................................

Cuisine per day (must be booked prior to arrival)......................................................................................................

Group Hikes............................................................................................................................................................

Zion National Park Excursion.....................................................................................................................................

Green Valley Hiking Challenge..................................................................................................................................

Fitness/Wellness Classes (7-8 per day).....................................................................................................................

Fitness Class (per class)..........................................................................................................................................

Lectures/Cooking Class...........................................................................................................................................

Private Fitness (per hour up to 3 guests)...................................................................................................................

Private Hiking (starting at per person/per hour)...........................................................................................................

Rock Climbing Programs (starting at)........................................................................................................................

Fitness Assessment.................................................................................................................................................

Bone Density Test...................................................................................................................................................

Blood Tests (starting at $45).....................................................................................................................................

Medical Consultation................................................................................................................................................

Golf Learning Program (3 day minimum – based on availability)....................................................................................

Private Golf Lesson.................................................................................................................................................

Group Golf Lesson (2 or more people/per person)......................................................................................................

Vic Braden Tennis College (3 day minimum – based on availability)...............................................................................

Private Tennis Lesson..............................................................................................................................................

Group Tennis Lesson (3 or more people/per person)...................................................................................................

$20

$20

$40

$60

$100

$100

$89

$120

$25

$25

$105

$45

$99

$45

$45

$45

$100

$300

$50

$30

$285

$70

$25

----

Green Valley's Own Recipes

Past Recipes of the Month

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice, cooked

1/2 cup artichoke hearts, minced

1/4 cup sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup cauliflower, minced

1/4 cup minced carrot

1/4 cup Swiss chard

3 tablespoons minced onion

2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced

3 teaspoons sun-dried tomatoes, minced

1 cup tofu, crumbled

1/3 cup egg whites

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons soy sauce, low sodium

3 teaspoons Jensens Protein Seasoning

1/4 cup sliced almonds

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook rice according to the package
  3. Mix artichoke, mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots, Swiss chard, minced onion, garlic, and tomatoes together.
  4. Crumble tofu into mixture and add egg whites.
  5. Stir in soy sauce, protein seasoning, and onion powder.
  6. Add rice and mix everything together.
  7. Put into a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan that has been sprayed with vegetable spray. Fill 3/4 full.
  8. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour.
  9. Place almonds in a baking dish and bake for 2 to 3 minutes in the oven while baking loaf.

Serve with almonds sprinkled on top.