Infused Oils, Not Just For Cooking

I love watching cooking shows, especially The Food Network and Bravo’s Top Chef.  I’ve noticed the The Food Network chefs use a lot of infused oils in their cooking.  Infused oils are used as salad dressings, a flavor enhancer for meat, seafood, and vegetables.  These infused oils consist of fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, and rosemary which are also popular hair care ingredients.  The way I see it, infused oils can give you the best of both worlds; they’re good at enhancing the flavor of food and good for your hair. 

There are two methods used to make infused oil; the cold method and the hot method.  The cold method involves putting fresh or dried herbs in a corked or sealed bottle, covering with oil, then placing in sunlight for two to six weeks.  The hot method is done by cooking the oil and herbs in a saucepan or slow cooker, but allows you to use the infused oil immediately.  There are quite a few recipes, but this website listed recipes for both the cold and hot method here.   

Some infused oils have great therapeutic properties.  Mountain Rose Herbs has an infused herbal oil collection.  These herbal oils (infused in an olive oil base) may be used for wound healing (comfrey), skin inflammation (calendula), and hair/scalp issues (rosemary).  Mountain Rose Herbs’ website provides a wealth of information regarding herbs, essential oils, butters, carrier oils, etc.  

My goal is to make an infused oil using olive oil with either lavender, peppermint, or thyme.  Lavender is one of my favorite herbs, but I’m not sure how easy it will be to find fresh lavender.  If I can’t, though, I’ll use fresh peppermint or thyme instead.  I’ll be back to do a review of the infused oil.  

I ran across this recipe in The Food Network recipe files for Vanilla-infused Oil from Emeril Lagasse.  I bet this infused oil makes the hair smell fantastic. 

For those who rather avoid the hassle of making your own infused oil, infused oils can be found at Marshall’s (lemon-infused olive oil) in their home goods department and Big Lots (basil-infused olive oil).  Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or any gourmet food store also carry infused oils. 

My hair is so spoiled (LoL). 


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by blossomingtree on June 25, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Infused oils are great. I have peppermint, lemon balm, calendula and vanilla infusing (separately) in either olive or sunflower oils. Another that I like if a fresh ginger infusion. Great for cooking or can be used as a warming massage oil.


  2. Posted by maturenatural on June 25, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Blossomingtree, thanks for the “warming massage oil” tip. What a great idea. Glad you stopped by.


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