If you enjoy cooking, then you know the possibilities in the kitchen are truly endless. Creating new flavors and adding new dimensions means that you are getting the most of your culinary experience. Well, that’s in terms of taste — but what about in terms of nutrition?
Believe it or not, no matter what you’re eating, by adding small increments of certain ingredients, you can significantly increase the nutritional value of that meal. Take a smoothie for example — by adding a small amount of flax seeds, turmeric and apple cider vinegar by weight, you’re really amping up the nutrient content without much effort at all.
The same is true for this infused oil recipe. Whether you live to cook or lack confidence in the kitchen, this recipe could not be simpler. With the added benefit of a delicious oil and beneficial nutrients, you can’t really go wrong. Offer this oil at your next gathering and you’ll be sure to impress.
Infused oil — why do it?
You may be thinking, why take the extra step to infuse your oil — does it really make that much of a difference in terms of flavor and health? The answer is yes and yes.
First of all, this recipe should generally be used as either a dipping oil or dressing, allowing you to preserve olive oil’s key phenols, which act as protective antioxidants. There’s no doubt that olive oil is an ideal part of any balanced diet, but when you add chili, garlic and herbs, you enhance its beneficial properties.
Both garlic and chili offer powerful health-boosting benefits. Garlic, for instance, is known to be a powerful antibiotic and detoxifier, helping your body naturally treat infections. Chilies offer your body capsaicin, the compound that is responsible for the “kick” you often experience. Offering potential anti-cancer benefits and pain relief, chilies are a great addition to your diet.
I had plenty of rosemary left over in my garden, so I had already dried a substantial amount — the same is true for chilies. Remember, even if you’re space-limited, herbs are so easy to grow, offering a range of flavor-enhancing, health-boosting ingredients that you can use on a daily basis.
Please note: When making your own infused oil, it’s important that you prepare and store it properly. Garlic and herbs can produce a toxin known as botulism when placed in oils — based on a low-acid, oxygen-free environment. Please use this recipe fresh. Or if there are leftovers, refrigerate and use within a week. You can also learn how to acidify your ingredients here or freeze until a later date.
Garlic and Chili-Infused Oil Recipe
Amp up the flavor intensity of olive oil by adding some simple, cost-effective ingredients.
- A head of garlic, peeled and separated
- 1 to 2 cups olive oil
- 5 to 6 dried chilies
- 1 spring dried rosemary
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Spread garlic cloves in a single layer, drizzling with olive oil or another oil of your choice.
3. Lightly season with sea salt and bake for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through.
4. After you have cooled your roasted cloves, pour into an airtight container of olive oil, along with your chilies and rosemary. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to one week.
— Krista Hillis