Herb-infused oils have tons of uses. Aside from cooking, drizzling salads and dipping breads, herb-infused oils are also used in bath and skin care products. Although, you can easily find them on the shelves in your favorite stores, they can be pricey and your options may be limited. Well, FYI you can DIY for a fraction of the cost and enjoy as many flavors and combinations as your creativity will allow. I suggest using dried herbs to prevent bacterial growth and mold. Fresh herbal infused oils can be used, but to be safe, it should only be used the day-of.
Here are 6 guidelines to follow:
For best results use good quality dried herbs. They won’t contribute to spoilage and you will have a longer lasting product.
Always use clean and sterilized jars with tight-fitting lids.
Colored glass bottles will add to the shelf life. Also adding a few drops of vitamin E oil may help preserve the oil.
Olive oil is commonly used as it offers some resistance to oxidation and rancidity.
Some other oils used are coconut, grape seed, almond, and apricot along with many others.
Label jars and bottles during the infusion time and after bottling for storage with dates and ingredients.
Need help getting those creative oils flowing? Here are a few suggestions.
Calendula, plantain, chickweed, chamomile, lavender and comfrey infused oils can be used in preparing lotions, salves, insect repellent, bath oil. Calendula is used commonly for sunburns, itchiness, rashes, inflammation, and slow healing wounds. Plantain is a vulnerary. Chickweed can be used to soothe minor burns and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Chamomile and lavender are calming and ant-ifungal. Comfrey can be considered for minor burns, rashes, and insect bites.
In the kitchen, tasty infused oils are a delicious addition to salad dressings or any number of healthy, delicious meal preparations using garlic, ginger, peppers, and herbs. I suggest using dried herbs to prevent bacterial growth and mold. Fresh herbal infused oils can be used, but to be safe, should only be used the day-of.
Heat is what infuses the oil. I suggest starting with a sterilized, completely dry jar. Place herbs in the jar and cover with olive oil. Place this jar in a saucepan that has been filled 1/2 full with water. Slowly simmer this mixture on low heat for about 2-4 hours. After the jar has been removed from the bath, cool and label with date and ingredients and keep refrigerated. Discard after a month.
Tips & Tricks
Do not wash the herb or introduce any water to the process by using a wet jar or wet spoon for mixing.
Fill the jar about half full with the dried herb and cover completely with oil of your choice. Take a spoon or chopstick and gently stir the mixture making sure that all the plant material is well covered with oil.
Before putting on the lid, cover the top of the jar with a small square of natural wax paper then screw on the lid. The wax paper will prevent any harmful chemicals that may be coating the inside of your lid from contaminating the oil.