Oil infusions – insert extra dollar bills saved here

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I hadn’t made an infused oil in quite some time until I saw a “specialty” shop while cutting through a mall as well as on 17th Avenue here in Calgary. What sparked me to start up this easy process again wasn’t anything more than the fact that these oils were highly priced and in a lot of cases, of very poor quality.

I pride myself on knowing (as often as possible) where my food comes from and what businesses I am supporting with my money. In the case of two “chain” oil specialty stores, I could not apply this desire.

So, if you have some energy, ingredients and about 5 minutes, you’ll be infusing your own oils in no time.

This recipe is based on my last Spicy oil pictured.

Base oils I like to work with: 

Olive

Grapeseed

 

Additions: 

Dried or fresh spices/fruit – go wild. I used fresh hot Thai peppers in this one!

Ingredients:

-Glass receptacle
-Volume of oil for that will fill that receptacle (in this case 2 oz)
– Seranno peppers diced with seeds in (in this case 3)

Method:

Use whatever spices and oil you have. Place herbs/fruit in a GLASS receptacle only!!  Why? Plastic leaches toxins into the things it touches, don’t let that be your food.

Cover with oil.

Allow to sit for at least 30 days, out of the sun so that the oil will not turn acrid. I keep mine in my pantry.

Start to sample your oil in 3-4 weeks to see the level of flavour you like is achieved.

The hot peppers in this recipe release endorphins, boost your metabolism, relieves nerve pain if applied topically – try this spicy oil as a topical pain management treatment.

Try garlic, rosemary, basil – whatever you like! Strain or don’t strain, it’s all up to you!

Fear not the kitchen!!

Need tips? Comment below!

 

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Homemade – Vanilla Extract

Many of you may know that I am a Master Herbalist as well as a Vegan Chef and overall foodie. One thing I adore is homesteading. Why? Well, it allows me to be super creative and in control of my food as well as reduce the amount of waste that comes from my kitchen.
Food waste has to be one of my biggest pet peeves. After mega shopping malls and GMO’s that is.
Today I made Vanilla Bean Sugar which is SO delicious. You should try the recipe HERE. After that process I had some extra vanilla beans left over. I simply cannot throw these things out!! They’re extremely costly and still completely useful in their ratty pieces.
So, I checked my pantry for any spare bottles and happened to find an nearly empty Vanilla Extract bottle…Bob’s your Uncle – I decided on Vanilla Extract.
Extracts are easy to make – you could call this recipe your first adventure in Herbalism if you like – because it is.
Once you’ve made this simple extraction, you will be itching to start on making your own oils, salves, lotions and medicine!
But, lets start with the cooking component first.
Ingredients: 
2 oz pure, Russian Vodka
1.5  tbsp chopped/leftover vanilla bean pods
Method: 
Add pods to glass container, pour vodka over top seal with lid and label with date.
Shake mixture at least 1once daily for 30 days. Once 30 days are up, you will have your vanilla extract.
This bottle was 2oz. I used just under that much Vodka.
Add the Vodka & the lid here.

BOOM! You’re done! Apart from shaking and waiting, this is your extract. Some side notes and benefits of this tincture are:  *Reduces Nausea *Weightloss Aid – metabolism regulator *Anxiety depressor *Wound healer – topically *Soothing during menstruation *Aids in enzyme synthesis *Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, B-complex