Spicing Up the Holiday with Essential Oils

As farms and backyard gardens in Northwest Florida abound with pumpkins, squash and citrus fruits, sometimes we’re left wondering what to do with the bounty we’ve been given. Here are a few delicious recipes that are also vegetarian, Paleo and peanut-allergy friendly, to allow the entire family to enjoy the blessings of the changing season. 

These recipes use therapeutic-grade essential oils to add some extra “spice” to the holidays. Essential oils pack a profound flavor punch due to their potency and add medicinal benefits to any dish. They are also affordable, as recipes call for only one to two drops each, at pennies per drop. Be sure to use only essential oils that have supplement facts on the bottle. 

Spicy Pumpkin Bread 

Yields 6-8 servings.

2 cups grated raw pumpkin

4 whole organic eggs or equivalent egg

replacement powder

½ tsp Himalayan pink salt

¼ cup cold-pressed coconut oil

2 tsp gluten-free baking soda

3 cups fine almond meal

2 Tbsp honey

1 tsp orange zest or 1 drop wild

orange essential oil

1 tsp organic cinnamon or 1 drop cinnamon bark essential oil


pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 325° F. Combine pumpkin, eggs or egg replacement, salt, honey, essential oils and coconut oil in a bowl. Add the almond meal and baking powder and mix well. Grease a loaf pan with additional coconut oil. Spoon the mixture into the loaf pan and sprinkle the top with the pumpkin seeds if desired. Bake for approximately 1½ hours, checking after 1 hour for desired consistency. Allow to cool for 1 hour before serving.

Citrus-Honey Cranberry Sauce

Yields 6-8 servings.

12-oz package fresh cranberries

1 cup organic orange juice

2/3 cup honey

1 tsp lemon juice or 1 drop lemon

essential oil

¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1 tsp organic cinnamon or 1 drop

cinnamon bark essential oil

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except essential oils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes or until berries have popped and mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat and add essential oils. Serve warm, chilled or at room temperature. 

Seasonal Fruit Crisp

Yields 6-8 servings.

3 medium apples, diced (any sort

except Granny Smith)

3 large pears, diced (any sort)

1 Tbsp lemon juice or

1 drop lemon essential oil

3 Tbsp orange juice

1 Tbsp chia seeds

½ cup almond meal

½ cup shredded coconut

1 Tbsp coconut oil

2 Tbsp local raw honey

Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a glass baking dish. Combine diced apples, pears, lemon juice or essential oil, orange juice and chia seeds. Toss well and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine almond meal, shredded coconut, coconut oil and honey and mix well with a fork. Spoon fruit into the baking dish and top generously with almond meal mixture. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Essential Oil “Mulled” Apple Cider

Yields 10-12 servings.

4 cups organic apple cider

5-6 drops wild orange essential oil

4-5 drops clove essential oil

3-4 drops cinnamon bark essential oil

Pour apple cider into a pan and place on medium heat until warm, or use a crockpot. Add essential oils and stir well. If not serving immediately, place in a crockpot to keep warm. Store leftover cider in the fridge. 

Note: Using essential oils instead of mulling spices shortens the time needed to make “mulled” cider from hours to minutes, plus it offers therapeutic benefits to the body as a whole. Wild Orange possesses stimulating and purifying qualities that help support the immune system when seasonal threats are high. Clove’s main chemical component, eugenol, contains powerful antioxidant properties and supports cardiovascular health. Cinnamon bark supports healthy metabolic function and helps maintain a healthy immune system. 

Courtesy of Diana Pereira, owner Pereira Produce & Health, which offers organic, seasonal produce via a biweekly share program and offers local classes on cooking with essential oils. For more information, visit PereiraProduceAndHealth.Weebly.com.

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