Infused oils are basically carrier oils that are permeated with one or more herbs. The biggest advantage of infused oils, over carrier oils, is that they contain the therapeutic properties of carrier oils as well as the herbs that are infused into the oil. Infused oils are suitable for those plants, from which essential oil cannot be extracted. Infusing such herbs into carrier oils, to obtain infused oil, is the best way to extract the desired product for various uses. Infused oils are not as concentrated as essential oils and their oiliness depends upon the type of carrier oil used. They have a number of applications and can be used for cooking, salad dressings as well as for aromatherapy and massages. The use depends upon the ingredient of the oil. Infused oils also require attention, as they are to be treated in a particular manner only.
Though there are a variety of oils that can be used to make infused oil, it is very important to know its nature. For instance, peanut oil and olive oil must be refrigerated before and after they become infused, to prevent them from being rancid. Usually, oils that have strong flavor should not be chosen for the purpose. One should go for light olive oil, peanut oil and safflower oil, rather than walnut oil. Thus, if you are buying infused oils at gourmet food stores, purchase in multiple varieties. Also, carefully read and follow the instructions given for storage. In case you want to make your infused oils at home, below given are some simple recipes that you can try.
Making Infused Oils
Basil Infused Oil
- Basil Leaves (washed and dried)
- Extra Virgin Oil
- Run the basil leaves in a food processor. Add a very little amount of extra virgin olive oil; just enough to make the mixture turn around.
- Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl with a rubber spatula. Run the processor for 2 or more minutes and stop to scrape down the sides every 20 seconds. Transfer this mixture to a bowl.
- To cover the blended basil mixture, add additional extra virgin olive oil. Cover the mixture with generous amount of extra virgin olive oil.
- Wrap the mouth of the bowl with a plastic wrap and leave it overnight, at room temperature.
- Next morning, use a fine mesh sieve to strain the oil. A strainer lined with a triple layer of cheese cloth will also do the trick.
- Transfer the infused oil to glass bottles. It can be stored up to a month at room temperature.
Rosemary Infused Oil (For Cooking)
- 1 cup Mild Olive/Vegetable Oi1
- 1/4 cup Fresh Rosemary Leaves (chopped)
- Put the oil and rosemary in the insert of the slow cooker. Do not lid the cooker and cook on high heat for 1½ to 2 hours.
- After turning the heat off, allow the oil to cool for 20 minutes.
- Strain it through a sieve, lined with a clean paper towel or paper coffee filter, into a metal bowl.
- Transfer the oil into a jar or a glass bottle. You can refrigerate the oil and use it for up to one month.