• Alicia Baron

Infused Oils- How To?

How to infuse your own oils without a LEVO

 

Infused oils are a creative, easy way to use homegrown herbs. The process is simple and easy. With just a few simple steps, you can make your own delicious flavored cooking oils, such as garlic olive oil quickly and ineffectively.

 

Infused oils: Rose & Coffee

To start… choose your carrier oil


The best oils to use for herbal infusions are pure plant oils such as olive, sunflower, coconut oil, or almond oil. The oil I use most is olive because it has a longer shelf life at room temperature. Steer clear of canola, corn or vegetable oil as they are made from genetically modified crops as well as mineral oils as they cannot be consumed.


Small batches are always best with infused oils, so they can be used quickly before they can spoil.


You can use whatever proportion of herbs to oil you prefer, but if you feel you need a measurement, start with 1 ounce of dried herbs to 10 ounces of oil.

 

Choose your infusion method

There are two methods of oil infusion: solar and direct heat both do the trick

Solar Method This method is slow and low; works best with Olive Oil

The process:

  1. Chop you clean ground herbs – make sure they are completely dry as this could spoil the infusion

  2. Place the herbs in a glass jar with a lid & add oil

  3. Label jar to ensure you do not mix up your concoctions

  4. Place the jar in a sunny window or outside for 2-3 weeks stirring daily, making sure that all herbs are completely covered to prevent molding

  5. Using a cheesecloth or fine strainer to separate oils and infusion into a dark container

  6. Store in a cool location for up to a year

 
Heat Infused Method To quickly infuse oils for medicinal purposes or flavored cooking oils this is the method for you

To quickly infuse herbs in oil for medicinal use or flavored cooking oils, you can use direct heat infusion.

The Process:

  1. Place your herbs and oil in a double boiler, thick-bottomed pot, or clean glass jar set in a pan of water.

  2. Simmer the herb and oil mixture on low for 4-6 hours for medicinal use, as long as needed for flavoring (30 minutes may be enough for a lightly flavored oil).

  3. Strain, cool, bottle and label with date and contents.

  4. Store in refrigerator.

Most people who use this method will only infuse fresh herbs if they are going to be used the same day.


For food items such as garlic or citrus peels, you should only use the direct heat infusion method and make the oil in small batches. Store in the refrigerator, and use within two weeks to eliminate the risk of botulism. Cold will slow, but not eliminate, the development of botulism spores.


Garlic and citrus are both naturally anti-bacterial (as are many herbs and spices), so risks are minimal, but we always want to error on the side of caution. Plus, fresh oils taste better!


Infused oils make a great base for homemade salves, such as dandelion salve, which I always keep on hand for aches and pains, and other minor skin irritations. Flavored oils such as chive or basil can be used as cooking oils and make lovely gifts.


Note: If you want olive oil with herbs for dipping, just go ahead and mix your favorite herbs right in your oil and serve, or allow to sit for a few hours before serving to infuse the flavors more strongly. Discard any unused herbal oil.

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