Healthful infused oils makes a memorable hostess gift

By Mary Rose Roberts
Bringing the outdoors inside is part of the joy of autumn and seasonal changes. I recently brought my rosemary plant inside in order to freshen up my office with the calming fragrance as well as to use it in dishes throughout the winter. I also wanted to use the herb—known for its high-level of antioxidants, vitamin B, folic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C—to create homemade infused oils for cooking and for Thanksgiving and Christmas hostess gifts. For a bit of a bite, I also planned to crush up cayenne peppers that I grew this summer in my urban potted garden and use it in the oils.

In the past, I’ve purchased infused oils for around $20 at specialty stores. Most of these oils use a high-grade, extra-virgin olive oil—one of nature’s finest oils full of monounsaturated fat that is known to lower the risk of health disease and reduce bad cholesterol. So, I purchased a gallon of extra-virgin olive oil, hit the thrift store for used bottles, sanitized them in the dishwasher and began the process.

Next-Gen Green’s Infused Oil: Rosemary and Red Pepper
5 springs of fresh rosemary
2 cups of extra-virgin olive oil
2 dried cayenne peppers or to taste
Small sauce pan
Pint-sized jar or bottle with a lid or cork

Clean and dry your rosemary. Set aside to dry. Warm the olive oil on the lowest flame for 3 to 5 minutes. It’s important the oil doesn’t get hot, as high temperatures destroy the healthful properties in the oil. Set aside oil and let it cool for 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the rosemary and crushed pepper. Pour the warm olive oil into the bottle using a funnel. Put the bottle aside to cool. Seal the bottle with a lid or a cork. Set the bottle in a dry, cool place with no direct sunlight for at least one week.

After the week, use the oil for drizzling on salads and fresh bread or to flavor potatoes and pasta dishes. It also is a great marinade for chicken and fish.

The oil lasts for two months.

No comments:

Post a Comment