Make Your Own Infused Oils


I love looking at all those big bottles of infused oils at specialty cooking stores. The ones with the red wax sealed tops and various flavorings inside. I used to buy them just to place on my counter as decor. They can get expensive. I’ve seen a bottle priced at over $100 at an upscale store. I want to give these as gifts, but that would definitely go over my budget.

Instead of buying them, I made them for a fraction of the price using herbs I grew in my own garden and a high quality, vetted/certified olive oil (like this one).

Start out by washing the herbs you want to use and drying them thoroughly or starting out with dried herbs. I hung my rosemary up overnight to make sure it was dry. If water remains on the herbs, bacteria can grow and ruin the whole batch. Some recipes suggest you heat the ingredients in the oil before adding them to the bottle. I like the taste of the fresh herbs better. Heated or fresh, add the herbs and spices to your clean dry bottles. Spices like peppercorns or chili pepper flakes can go right in without washing them. Fill the bottle to the top with the oil. A funnel like this is VERY useful at this point! Top with a cork or air tight lid and let the bottle sit for a couple of weeks in the fridge. You can strain the oil when it has the intensity of flavor you like or let it go for longer. I have found my rosemary oil gets nice and tasty at about 4 weeks. It is best to use these oils within a few weeks of making them.

Here are a BUNCH of great ideas of various blends for infusions:

Basil & Garlic
Basil & Sun Dried Tomato
Oregano & Thyme
Garlic & Peppercorns
Lemon Basil
Lemon Pepper
Chili Pepper
Cilantro Lime

*A note on garlic…there is some concern with adding raw garlic to the oil as it can in RARE cases contain botulism, which can grow in the oil. If you are concerned, roast or saute your garlic at 250 degrees before adding it to the oil. I used garlic that I had previously fermented in a salt solution.

You can also leave the herbs and spices in the oil for a VERY long time for use as a decorative item. When giving bottles as a gift, consider the style and taste of the receiver. Look around for more decorative items (like these or these) or go with an Italian canning jar like this for a simpler look.

For more beautiful homemade gift ideas, check out my book Beautify Your DIY – A Guide to Gorgeous Natural Gifts.



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