Happy Easter everyone! Hope you’ve all enjoyed a beautiful and relaxing Good Friday with your friends and family.
On Wednesday we held a FREE Easter Cooking & Essential Oils Workshop. We created some yummy and inventive whole food easter eggs, flavoured with essential oils and other superfoods. We also munched upon healthier variations of hot cross buns.We also learnt about who some of the ingredients we used to create our healthy treats elicit medicinal benefits, to help our bodies and our chemical processes function happily. A very big thank you to all the ladies who came along to learn healthier ways of creating delicious foods!
In case you’re interested, here are the recipes we shared at the workshop, as well as some interesting information about the benefits of using essential oils in cooking, and how to use them. We highly recommend using Young Living essential oils as they are a company you can trust, and we have experienced excellent results with them. Importantly, unlike many essential oils companies, Young Living oils have been approved for consumption in food and are diligently tested for safety. If you’re interested in getting your mitts on Young Living Essential Oils, feel free to contact us.
Happy cooking 🙂
Benefits of using essential oils in food
- Young Living Essential Oils are one of the very few brands of oils that have been approved for use in food in Australia. They are not only safe to consume in food, but they are also therapeutic-grade, meaning they can dramatically improve the body, mind and spirit.
- By incorporating essential oils into our daily diet, their profound effects can be easily obtained – they don’t just ‘flavour’ food, but also provide healthful benefits of the plant’s oil.
- Unlike dried herbs, which lose up to 90% of their healing nutrients and oxygen molecules, essential oils do not.
- 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.
- One of the healing powers of essential oils are their ability to oxygenate cells. When consumed with food, cells in the body can become better oxygenated, which leads to better absorption of nutrients.
- Using essential oils in food in place of fresh herbs, spices and fruits, can sometimes work out cheaper.
- Essential oils are very convenient to use in meals as they never go off – unlike fresh herbs and fruits. You can always have a stock of food-grade oils in your cupboard!
How to use essential oils in food
- Only essential oils that come from edible plants have been approved for safe consumption. These include: Basil, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cinnamon Bark, Citrus Fresh, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Frankincense, Ginger, Grapefruit, Jade Lemon, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lemon Myrtle, Lime, Marjoram, Nutmeg, Ocotea, Orange, Oregano, Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary, Spearmint, Tangerine, Tarragon, Thyme.
- It’s best to start off with a small amount of essential oil, and add as needed. Too much essential oil in a recipe can ruin the whole meal!
- An easy place to start is to use essential oils in place of regular herbs, spices and fruits in your recipes. See conversion amounts below.
- Citrus fruits: replace juice or zest of fruit with 10-15 drops of essential oil.
- Herbs: replace 1 tbsp of herbs with ½ – 1 drop of essential oil.
- Spices: replace 1 tsp of spice with a toothpick dipped in essential oil, and swirl it into the recipe.
- Avoid heating essential oils – use in raw recipes, or add to hot recipes at the end of cooking. Heating can damage the chemical components of therapeutic-oils and can also cause oils to dissipate, resulting in loss of flavour.
Easter Eggs Recipe – #1
Makes: 300g of chocolate
White Chocolate base:
300g of cacao butter
½ cup rice malt syrup, raw honey, maple syrup (more or less to taste)
1 ¼ cup almond meal
1 ½ tsp organic vanilla extract
¾ tsp himalayan salt
**Quantities for flavours are based on 100g white chocolate base recipe.
For white chocolate with chocolate chips eggs:
Add 1 tbsp of cacao nibs
3 drops peppermint EO
For chocolate eggs:
Add 2 tbsp of cacao powder
2 drops ginger EO
For chocolate coconut eggs:
1 drop cinnamon bark EO
Add 1 tbsp coconut flakes
1. Melt the cacao butter on low heat in a double boiler.
2. Once melted, add your choice of sweetner to the pot and stir well so it all blends together.
3. Stir in the almond meal. The mixture should be smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Taste it and add more sweetner if you like it sweeter, add more cacao butter if you need it more like liquid. Add in almond butter to make it smoother.
4. Now you have your white chocolate egg base. Now you can add other flavors (see above) to make a variety of flavored eggs.
5. Set in egg molds, and set in the freezer or fridge until hard (1 hour).
6. Eat and enjoy!
Other ideas for flavours:
2 tbsp cacao powder, 5 drops grapefruit essential oil, goji berries to sprinkle
2 tbsp cacao powder,1 tbsp tahini, 1 drop nutmeg essential oil, buckwheat to sprinkle
½ tbsp maca powder, 5 drops orange essential oil
2 tbsp cacao powder,1 tsp spirulina, 3 drops spearmint essential oil
1 tbsp cranberries, 2 drops rose essential oil
2 tbsp cacao powder,1 tbsp chopped nuts, 1 drop clove essential oil
2 tbsp cacao powder, toothpick swirl of lavender essential oil, freeze-dried raspberries
2 tbsp cacao powder, 2 drops fennel essential oil
Easter Eggs Recipe – #2
¾ cup coconut oil
2 tbsp cacao powder
2-3 tbsp rice malt syrup, honey or maple syrup (to taste)
pinch himalayan salt
Nut & Banana
1 tsp peanut butter (or other nut butter) and 1 thin slice of banana per egg mould
¼ cup dates, ½ tsp himalayan salt, 1 tsp maca powder, water as needed (approx. ½ cup), 1 drop fennel essential oil – blended together
3 tbsp coconut butter, 1 tbsp rice malt syrup, 1 tsp beetroot powder, 5 drops lime essential oil – blended together
1. Melt coconut oil in a double boiler.
2. Whisk in cacao powder, rice malt syrup and salt
3. Pour chocolate half way into egg moulds. Place in freezer to set.
4. Once set, add a tsp of filling to each mould and top with chocolate.
Hot Cross Buns
For the dough:
300ml nut milk (or diluted tinned coconut milk 1 part coconut milk to 1 part water)
50g raw grass-fed salted butter (or 50g coconut butter)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1½ cup potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour
½ cup almond flour
½ cup coconut flour
¾ cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
2 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 drop nutmeg essential oil
1 drop clove essential oil
1 tsp yeast
1¼ cup tapioca flour (for 2 kneading stages)
Upto 4 tbsp coconut oil (for greasing the dough and your hands!)
For the fruit mix:
1 cup mixed fruit (sultanas, raisins, etc.)
Zest of 1 orange
5 drops orange essential oil
1 red apple (peeled, cored, and diced)
1 tbsp raw grass-fed butter
1 tbsp coconut sugar
For the cross:
5 tbsp potato starch
1 tbsp almond flour
3-4 tbsp water
For the glaze:
3 tbsp/45 ml raw honey
1. Pour your nut milk into a small pan, place onto a low heat and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and add your butter and coconut oil and stir in until dissolved. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
2. Place the remaining ingredients for your dough (excluding the egg & extra tapioca flour reserved for kneading) into your food processor bowl and pulse a few times until everything is evenly mixed. Carefully pour in your cooled milk mixture, add your egg and pulse a few times before processing until smooth. The mixture will begin to form a very sticky ball of dough.
3. Dust your surface with about ¼ cup of the tapioca flour and set aside the rest. Scrape out your dough onto the work surface and knead. The dough will be very sticky so oil your hands up with coconut oil and tapioca flour. Knead until the dough forms a nice firm ball that is no longer tacky.
4. Place the dough into a large (heatproof) mixing bowl and cover with a very damp towel. Place in 50C oven and close the door and leave for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave for a further 5 minutes before removing and checking on the dough. Place back into the oven for a further 15 minutes. Your dough will be ready when it either has risen to twice the size and/or you can press your finger in and leave a permanent indentation.
5. Whilst your dough is rising prepare your fruit mix. Place your dried mixed fruit into a bowl, with orange zest and orange oil. Stir this together and then set aside.
6. Start by caramelising your apple. In a small pan melt your butter on a low heat, add in your coconut sugar and then your diced apple. Cook until the apple becomes lightly golden and all of the moisture has evapourated. Pour into your fruit mix and stir in thoroughly. Set the mixture aside.
7. Remove your dough from the oven and set aside. Using ¼ cup of your tapioca flour dust your work surface. Turn out your dough onto the work surface and then flatten the dough out with the palm of your hand. Pour your fruit mixture (juice and all) over your dough and carefully fold the dough over. Begin to knead the dough with your hands until it is very very sticky.
8. Add another ¼ cup tapioca flour over your dough and knead it again until your dough forms a nice ball again. You may need up to another ¼ cup of tapioca flour for this to be possible. Roll your dough into a long sausage and divide into 9 equal pieces.
9. Grease and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Roll each piece of dough into a nice smooth and round ball, lightly grease with your coconut oil and place onto your lined baking tray. Make sure that the dough balls are placed directly next to each other on the tray. Cover with a damp tea towel and place back into your oven at 50C for 15 minutes. Make sure you heat the oven for the first 10 and then turn off for the remaining 5 minutes.
10. Start preparing your cross mixture by mixing all of the ingredients into a small bowl until a thick paste has formed. Fill your piping bag, twist and set aside.
11. Remove your buns from the oven and remove the tea towel. Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Using your piping bag pipe a line across the row of buns in one direction and then repeat in the opposite direction to create your crosses.
12. Place your buns into the oven for 20-30 minutes until a lovely golden brown colour and cooked through.
13. When your buns are ready remove them from the oven and set aside. Melt your raw honey in a saucepan over the stove and using a pastry brush glaze the buns generously. Place back into the oven for a couple of minutes. Remove and then leave to cool for 5 minutes before removing the buns and placing them on to a wire rack to cool completely.
Hot Cross Muffins
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup 100% maple syrup or raw honey
250 grams grass fed butter melted (or ghee or coconut oil)
2 apples peeled and grated
3/4 cup of unsweetened sultanas (or raisins, be sure to check for nasties!).
1 drop nutmeg essential oil
2 drops cinnamon bark essential oil
apple (for the crosses)
1 Preheat your oven to 180°C.
2 Line 12 muffin tins with large muffin cases.
3 In a large bowl, mix the almond meal, coconut flour, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl.
4 Add the maple syrup, butter and eggs and mix well.
5 Now add the apple and sultanas. Mix again until it forms a dough.
6 Once the mixture is all combined, roll in to 12 even balls.
7 Place them in to the muffin cases and press down a little.
8. Slice apple into thin strips and place on top of muffins to make crosses.
9. Bake in over for 20-30min, or until golden brown and cooked through.
Raw Hot Cross Buns
1 cup walnut pieces (or other nuts)
6 soft medjool dates
2 tbsp coconut oil, softened
⅔ cup raisins (or other dried fruit — pre-soak if these are very hard)
1 drop cinnamon bark essential oil
Toothpick swirl nutmeg essential oil
dash of himilayan salt
½ cup cashews
2 tbsp coconut oil
5 drops lemon essential
½ tsp vanilla powder
Water, as needed
1. Place all cookie ingredients in a food processor and process into a crumbly sticky mixture. Roll into little balls and place on a tray/plate lined with baking paper and press down lightly to flatten. Place the tray in the freezer for about 15 minutes for the cookies to set.
2. Prepare the cross mixture by placing all ingredients in a mini food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Transfer into a pipping bag or a sturdy zip lock bag.
3. Once cookies are chilled, remove tray from the freezer. Snip of the corner of your piping bag and pipe out the crosses over each cookie. Because the cookies are chilled the cross mixture will set pretty quickly.
4.Store in the fridge or enjoy straight away!