Thing is, I never even enjoyed Apple Hill that much. It was just something you did. The point of it all was lost on me; none of us even liked apples that much.
Don’t get me wrong, traditions—whatever lineage they may come from—are vital, valuable, and to be respected...But sometimes don’t we go on autopilot?
So this year I’m challenging myself—and you—to try doing some things a little differently. Just try. For the sake of a little healthy adventure, and possibly added health benefits too, why not experiment with adding a few drops of essential oils to your traditional fall recipes?
Essential oils are a wonderful way to quickly, easily, and effectively add the essence of fall to your favorite recipes. Think a tiny bit of cinnamon bark oil instead of a cinnamon stick; cardamom oil to ace that Chai flavor; clove or OnGuard in lattes and smoothies; lime or ginger for soups; and rosemary on warm roasted vegetables or in olive oil for dipping. So many oils, so many fall traditions to explore!
Why use oils?
- They’re quick, easy, clean and usually on-hand
- They add concentrated flavor
- Oils are medicinal, too!
Are they safe to ingest?
Short answer: Yes—when you do it right. Essential oils naturally occur in foods (citrus zest, for example), and many people use high grade essential oils for therapeutic reasons. It’s different to add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to your brownie batter, though. You can use the FDA’s list of oils that are deemed safe for consumption as a guide. You will only use a tiny amount diluted into a full recipe. No matter what, make sure you use the highest quality, ingestible and lab-tested oils. We recommend doTERRA.
Tips on cooking with oils
- Add oils at the end, which will help keep flavor that might be diluted by heat.
- For a full recipe, just use a drop or two,
- For a smaller recipe, use a toothpick of oils (dip a toothpick in the oil bottle, then swirl it into your ingredients)
Great oils to try in autumn recipes (just add a drop in place of flavoring or the actual ingredient):
* If you don’t have oils yet, feel free to reach out to us and we can help you get the right ones to cook with.
I’ll admit, I am still new to cooking with oils and they are not the first thing I reach for. But I love this thing I call my “Apple Hill Project”—try looking at traditions with new eyes. Don’t just do the thing you’ve always done because you’ve always done it. There’s a new world of possibilities when you try something as tiny as adding a drop of lime to a black bean quinoa salad.
But oils aren’t in my traditional recipes, you say? There are plenty of inspiring essential oil cooks eager to share recipes. Some of my favorites are from The Prairie Homestead, like Homemade Chai concentrate with cardamom and ginger and Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Wild Orange oil. This Christmas Eve, we’ll see if my family can sense the difference.
DoTERRA has its own wealth of recipes online—and they’re free. These Favorite Essential Oil Recipes for Fall include sweet pies and healthy alternatives to holiday sweets, plus zesty soups and spicy sweet potatoes.
Once you try a few you’ll get the hang of it. Just think of your oils like a combination spice rack and pantry.
I took some time away from the Apple Hill thing, a pause from all the picking, ciders, pies and caramel apples. But this year I went back. Reinvigorated by the idea of testing an apple pie recipe with a drop of cardamom, applesauce with a bit of cinnamon oil, and fresh apples in my smoothie with a drop of ginger for zing—Apple Hill got its magic back.
Walking the orchard with this On Guard Pumpkin Smoothie in hand just might become my new tradition.
OnGuard Pumpkin Smoothie
Recipe from doTERRA
1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
2 frozen bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning
2-3 drops doTERRA OnGuard Protective Blend
1 cup ice
Directions: Combine all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.
Note: For a garnish, add some whipped cream and pumpkin pie seasoning.
Makes 4 servings.
Try natural remedies and aromatherapy as discussed above and test their effects yourself. If you'd like to purchase DoTerra essential oils, visit Habits for Health. For more on holistic health and healthy habits, visit our sister website, Habits for Wholeness.
Enid Spitz is a writer and yoga instructor based in Charleston, SC. She previously lived in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA, where she was a newspaper editor and researched yoga for traumatic brain Injury. Heartmanity combines Enid's passions for social well-being, neuroscience and yoga. When not writing or on the yoga mat, she is an avid traveller, enjoys a good whiskey, and loves being outdoors. Twitter: @enidrosalyn, Instagram: @littleyogibird.