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Transform Your Cooking With Healthy Homemade Infused Oils

Making infused oils is an easy way to transform your cooking, and reduce food waste in the process, especially from that wilting bunch of leftover herbs!


Infusing a bottle of olive oil, or an alternative, with fresh herbs or garlic, citrus or chilli is a simple way to add flavour to your cooking. Sage oil on fried eggs is transformative, as is a kick of chilli oil on your last-minute stir-fry dinner. Rosemary oil works magic with roast potatoes, and garlic infusions are good with just about everything.


Quick Facts About Olive Oil


Did “You Know” that olive oil isn’t just a store cupboard essential, it’s also a health & beauty product! Historically, olive oil was used not only for food, but for skin care and medicine as well.


Olive oil is high in Polyphenols which is a type of antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage. It’s also high in Oleocanthal, a natural compound that has the same anti-inflammatory properties as Ibuprofen. It's believed to have a protective effect even against cancer.


Extra virgin olive oil has been proven to have various anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, and several of these have been proven to stave off skin infections.


Due to the numerous health benefits of olive oil, it is typically used in cooking, but eating it raw is even healthier. A lot of health experts recommend eating lemon infused olive oil in the morning to aid weight loss. It helps to remove toxin buildup from the body, increases your energy level and supports healthy digestion.


Infuse Your Own...


Chilli Oil


Recipe provided by Modern Food Stories


INGREDIENTS


3 large chilli’s (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

Extra virgin olive oil


METHOD


Wash the chillies and dry.


Slice finely and place in a bottle with a good seal. Fill with extra virgin olive oil and seal. Let it sit in a cool dark place for 1-2 weeks before using it.


I think it’s really cute to hand personalise a gift tag and add to the bottle tied with twine and a little dried chilli on the side.


Once opened, if not strong enough, leave to mature for a bit longer. The oil will infuse over time. Strain out the chillis and rebottle the oil once you have the perfect spiciness for your tastebuds.


Keeps for several weeks if sealed and away from direct sunlight.


Lemon Oil


Recipes provided by Modern Food Stories


INGREDIENTS


1 large lemon

Extra virgin olive oil


METHOD


Give the lemon a good scrub. Use an organic lemon if possible as you’re using the zest in this recipe and if not organic, this is where the pesticides are sitting.


Remove the zest with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife. Make sure you only get the bright yellow part and not the white pith (that’s the bit that turns the oil bitter!)


Place the lemon zest and oil in a pan on the hob and heat on a low heat for about 8 minutes. Make sure the oil stays below simmering point. Remove from the heat and allow the oil to cool.


Once cooled, strain the zest. Pour the now wonderfully infused lemon oil into your clean sterilised jar and seal. Make pretty with a gift tag, secured with twine and a little sprig of holly or twig with berries on for a bit of festive fun.


You may be tempted to leave the lemon zest in the oil but once the oil has cooled, it’s not going to infuse any more so to save the oil going rancid, it’s best to remove.


Keeps for several weeks if sealed and away from direct sunlight.


Rosemary Oil


Recipes provided by Modern Food Stories


INGREDIENTS


3 large stems of fresh rosemary

Extra virgin olive oil


METHOD


Wash and dry the rosemary. Bacteria can’t grow in the olive oil itself, but it can grow on the water if left on the rosemary so just make sure it’s nice and dry.


Bruise the rosemary by giving it a little bash with the end of a rolling pin. This releases the lovely aromatic flavours. You can do the same with sage and thyme if making an oil out of them.


Place the rosemary in your bottle and fill with olive oil. Seal.


Keeps for several weeks if sealed and away from direct sunlight.


Fancy Being More Experimental?


You can also create tasty flavour combinations by infusing the following ingredients to a jar of oil. Seal, and store in a dark cool place.


Depending on how intense you want the flavour, let the oil infuse between 1 and 3 days, shaking it a couple of times each day.


Strain the oil. It is important to remove all food particles as they will eventually break down and mold. Place the oil in a clean jar.


Garlic And Thyme - (you can also use smoked garlic)

Fresh Basil

Orange peel

Sage Leaves

Oregano