Naturopath and Nutritionist
Infusing good quality oil will not only be a hit in the kitchen, but it will also add health benefits to your meal. Not only are they edible, but they are wonderful home decor items, and make a great gift. They require little skill, and very little time to make. Here are some infusions for you to try at home. An infused oil can be drizzled over dishes like soups, salads, pastas, act as a dip for bread, crackers, or vegetables.
Firstly, get some good quality olive oil which is sweet, and not bitter. You will need 4 cups.
You will need 1 cup of the ingredient you choose to infuse your oils with. When it comes to what ingredients to use, the sky is your limit. Here are some suggestions:
Thyme- Antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant.
Oregano- Antifungal, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Coriander- Detoxifying, alkalizing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
Basil- Anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine
Lemongrass- Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant
Kaffir lime leaves- Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory
Bay leaves- Aromatic digestive, antiseptic
Peppercorns- Carminative, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
Garlic- Antifungal, antibacterial, immune stimulating, anti-hypertensive
Cinnamon and cardamon- Warming, astringent, aromatic digestive.
Dried mushrooms (truffles, shiitake, wood-ear)- Immune enhancing, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
There are two methods to infuse, depending on the ingredients you are working with.
A heated infusion
This method is good for harder ingredients like cinnamon bark, cardamom, mushrooms, and lemongrass. This will infuse the oil quickly, so you can use it as soon as it is made.
Slowly heat half your oil in a saucepan, stirring regularly. If you have a cooking thermometer, the oil should not go over 150 degrees celsius. Do not let the oil smoke or burn.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the ingredients into the oil, transfer into a bowl, and cover.
Let mixture cool, and add the remainder of the oil.
The longer the ingredients sit in the oil, the stronger the flavour will be. Taste your infusion, if you are happy with the flavour, strain the oil through a cheesecloth and pour into another bowl.
Use a funnel to pour the oil into a bottle that you want the oil in. Ensure that the container is glass.
This oil will be good for one month.
A cold infusion
This method is good for the more delicate ingredients like thyme, rosemary, basil and the like. One cup of ingredient is sufficient for approximately one liter of oil.
Place one cup of herbs/ingredients in a food processor and process roughly. Mix the oil with the herbs and then strain the chunks out.
Store in refrigerator, this should last 2 weeks.
Kimberly Kushner BHSc (Nutritional Medicine), BHSc (Naturopathy) is a clinical nutritionist and naturopath who aims to provide you with the finest holistic health care. Her approach in assisting you to optimal health is practical, compassionate, empathic, and scientific. Kimberly treats acute and chronic health conditions and her main areas of expertise include, but are not limited to: reproductive health (women’s and men’s), digestive complaints, food allergies, healthy weight management, detoxification, and more.