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Summer Sizzle: A Guide to Cooking with Essential Oils

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Flip flops in the streets, crowds of children out of school, and lines at water parks can only mean one thing: Summer has officially begun. Barbecues, picnics, and family get-togethers are in full throttle. When firing up the grills, infuse your favorite dishes and cuisine with these essential oils to put a healthy twist on old time favorites.

The best cooks know how to use traditional spices at the right combinations of opposites to create an unforgettable combination. Add sweet, savory and citrus tang to make your next summer meal unique. 

How to substitute essential oils for traditional dried herbs and seasonings:

Note: Essential oils are very powerful ingredient substitutes and can be overwhelming if you use too much! Always start with less (especially with strong essential oils such as cinnamon bark, lavender, oregano, and thyme) and add to taste. Do not let your essential oils take over your recipe.

A good rule of thumb to consider:

½ – 1 teaspoon dried spice or herb = 1 toothpick dip
1 tablespoon dried spice or herb = ½ – 1 drop of essential oil
1 tablespoon citrus zest = 8 to 14 drops of essential oil

Here is a list of our top essential oils that can flare up your taste buds with flavor while providing traditional and nontraditional therapeutic and health-supporting benefits.


Cloves and orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger are traditional spices in many winter dishes, but you can use these same sweet and tangy spices and make your own new summer traditions. You can add these flavors to your favorite lemonade or tea, for an unusual twist.


Black pepper, thyme, rosemary and oregano are among the best savory spices with an earthy and hardy taste, and they have been used throughout the ages ceremonially and to enhance health. Experiment with savory flavor and put a healthy spin on that fresh grilled chicken or burger, summer garden salad, or traditional summertime side dishes--like corn on the cob and potato salad.


Citrus is a family of fruit with a very noticeable tangy zest and scent. Best in combination with both sweet and sour ingredients, citrus is a perfect addition in pretty much any dish. Citrus can also be used in spicy dishes, such as homemade salsa or a spicy chicken fajita kabob.

Try these combos with your favorite recipes:

  • Lemon with Olive Oil and Oregano for a sweet and savory Greek style salad
  • Lemon or Lime and Black Pepper on grilled Chicken
  • Ginger, Rosemary and Thyme on grilled Vegetables
  • Cloves and Orange can be combined to make a fragrant and tasty addition to your favorite summer drinks. You can add these flavors to your favorite lemonade or tea.
  • And what is a family get-together without a dessert? Try adding Orange and Ginger to to your jello salad. Try a little bit of Cinnamon and Nutmeg with a fruit smoothie popsicle.

Check out these recipes to get started: