Scentsable Living

Choosing a healthier way of life, the "scents"able way.

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How to use Essential Oils in place of Extracts and Flavorings

We love using our essential oils in our food recipes to replace some of the less healthier extracts and flavorings!

If you’ve ever glanced at the nutrition facts on the label, some of extracts and flavorings contain ingredients like propylene glycol. Ick! Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils are not diluted with fillers and do not have any chemical solvents like so many store bought extracts.  Young Living’s Vitality line of essential oils are defined by the US Food and Drug Administration as GRAS (generally regarded as safe), meaning they CAN be safely ingested in typical recipe amounts.

Why Would Essential Oils Be Used When Cooking?

  • Essential oils can be up to 70 times as strong as dried and fresh herbs and plants. Dried herbs retain only about 3 – 5% of the essential oils from the original plant.
  • Essential oils are superior in flavor and potency over dried herbs. The essence of the plant is preserved and carried into your recipes when you use essential oils.
  • Plus, essential oils have a longer shelf life than any dried herb, seed, or flower. Essential oils, when stored properly, will maintain their intense flavor and aroma for years.

Tips for Replacing Extracts and Flavorings with Essential Oils

  • Typically, 1-3 drops of a citrus oil can substitute for 1 tsp. of citrus zest. If the recipe calls for the zest from 1 citrus fruit, you can use 8–14 drops of the citrus essential oil instead.  Try citrus oils like orange, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, or lime!
  • For minty oils such as peppermint and spearmint, try substituting 1 drop for 1 tsp. dried mint leaves or 1 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves.
  • Typically what we know as ground cinnamon is really ground cassia (known as Chinese cinnamon), but the strength of that flavor varies wildly between different manufacturers. We recommend essential oil from the bark of another variety of cinnamon, known as “true cinnamon.” You will want to start by substituting 1 drop of cinnamon bark essential oil for 1–2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon.  Cinnamon bark is a strong oil, so be sparing and avoid direct skin contact without dilution.
  • For herbaceous oils like basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, cilantro, dill, thyme, etc., start with a toothpick dipped in the oil and stir into the mixture, and then add more to taste as needed.  For some of these oils, even one drop would be too much for a recipe, so the toothpick method is highly preferred.
  • For other flavors, a good rule of thumb is to substitute 1 drop of oil for 1–2 Tbsp. of dried spice or herb and 1 drop of oil for 1–2 tsp. of fresh spice. If you think the oil is strong or the recipe calls for less than the above quantities, start with a toothpick dip instead. Taste, and add more if needed.

Keep in mind that since essential oils are so much stronger in flavor and purity than typical alcohol-based extracts and flavorings, always start with less and add more to taste, as necessary.

Bonus Tip: When Do I Add Essential Oils to a Recipe?

For essential oils that are more mild in flavor, use 1-2 drops at the end of cooking or just before serving.

If you add milder flavored oils at the beginning of the cooking process, then the flavor will dissipate greatly when ready to serve.  For instance, a drop or two of lemon essential oil added to the top of a baked chicken breast just before serving is amazing!  Or add some jade lemon essential oil to homemade vanilla frosting for a jazzed up flavor explosion on a sweet treat.

If an essential oil has a stronger flavor (like oregano or basil) then adding them during cooking will allow some to evaporate leaving a milder, delicious flavor when ready to serve.  Oregano essential oil simmering in a pot of spaghetti sauce will make everyone eager for dinner to be served!

Remember to Experiment in the Kitchen!

Since cooking with essential oils is all about figuring out what depth of flavor you enjoy in your finished dishes, we highly encourage lots of experimenting in recipes.

Using Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils that are approved by the FDA as GRAS, will open up a whole new world of flavor and aroma in the heart of your home…the kitchen.  Have fun and enjoy!

Recipe Ideas!

Check out our “In the Kitchen” section of our website! You will find many fun ways to incorporate essential oils into your recipes.


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Lavender Cupcakes with Orange Cream Frosting



  • 1 1/2 cups cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 vanilla beans, scraped (optional)
  • 2 1/3 cups plus 2 Tablespoons cake flour, not self-rising
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract (use 3 Tablespoons if not using vanilla beans)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 drops Lavender Vitality Essential Oil


  • 4 ounces low-fat Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4-6 drops Orange Vitality Essential Oil 
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • Orange slices, for garnish
  • Lavender sprigs, for garnish



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 18 to 25 muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Blend using the back of a tablespoon to loosen any clumps of seeds, and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, add olive oil, eggs, yogurt, vanilla, milk, and Lavender Vitality Essential Oil. Mix for 1 minute. Add vanilla bean and sugar mixture and blend until completely combined.
  5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, beat cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and Orange Vitality Essential Oil together in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Add sugar 1 cup at a time on low speed until completely combined.
  7. Increase the speed to high and mix until very fluffy and smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes.



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Energy Bites

This is a family favorite that we make for every hiking trip, outing, family road trip, you name it! It’s healthy, filling, and the perfect size to pack into individual baggies for each person. We have made some today as we prepare for our 14 hour road trip to Maryland. Let’s get right to the recipe, no lengthy article needed, right!?

Energy Bites

* 1/2 cup chocolate chips
* 2/3 cup toasted coconut
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1 cup old fashioned oats
* 1/3 cup honey (or agave nectar)
* 1/2 cup freshly ground flax seeds
* 1 Tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

  1. To make the no bake energy bites, just stir all of those ingredients together in a large bowl until combined.  (Or if you get tired of using a spoon, just use your hands.  That’s what I do!). Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for about a half hour.
  2. Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. (Mine were about 1″ in diameter.) Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  3. Makes about 20-25 energy bites.



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Peppermint Bark Popcorn

It was popcorn movie night last night and I decided to put a little spin on our popcorn. It was a welcomed surprise and now we’d like to share the recipe with you!



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Holiday Cooking with Young Living Vitality Essential Oils


Ahhhhhh, the holiday season is upon us. I don’t know about you but my boys LOVE this time of the year. I mean, helloooooo, any holiday involving food is a great holiday, lol!

Young Living’s Vitality line of essential oils can offer natural, healthy flavor to many a holiday dish. They pair so well in the following recipes that I cannot wait to share them with you so that you can prepare your savory and sweet dishes in the weeks ahead.



Which recipe has you excited to try? Which Vitality essential oils are your favorite? Leave me a comment, I sure would love to hear from you!

Are you new to essential oils and not sure where to begin? Let me show you the easiest way to get started here.

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Essential Oil-Infused Wine

Did you know that you could enhance the experience and flavor of a good glass of wine simply by adding essential oil to the moment? Have I peaked your interest? Well then let me share with you what I have learned…

When selecting a wine, I learned that there are a few categories and terms to choose from. Terms such as woodsy, warm, crisp, fruity, floral, etc… You can do the same with essential oils and pair them accordingly. Let me show you how:

Riesling, for example, would pair well with a fruity essential oil such as mandarine, tangerine, lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, jade lemon, or a fruity blend such as Citrus Fresh.

A woodsy wine would pair well with cedarwood, juniper, spruce, or fir.

A more floral based wine could pair lavender, rose, geranium, etc…

When talking about pairing essential oils with wine, there are two ways to enjoy this combination. One is simply inhaling the paired essential oil by running a diffuser in the desired room. The other would be to add to your glass, bottle, or recipe of the chosen drink of choice. Here are a few fun recipes to try.



The wonderful thing about adding essential oils to the evening is that they don’t interfere with the wine, they enhance it. May you take delight in trying something new with your next glass of wine.

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Young Living Halloween Roundup

Well, it’s right around the corner! Next week actually. I began looking into some healthier alternatives to the traditional treats and thought to share them with you.

Here we have a fun drink and snack with Witch’s Brew and Fruit Spiders.


Sink your teeth into this nutritious treat called Ogre’s Overbite.



Also take time to enjoy these festive treats of Thieves-Infused Pumpkin Seeds and Halloween Popcorn!


Annnnnnd then there’s the trips to the bathroom after all of the fruit and healthy eating, lol. So how about some Halloween Poo Brew and a Trick or Treat diffuser blend to keep the house (ahem, and bathroom) smelling ummmmmm, not so scary, HA!!!


Finish the night with this Monster Repellent. Talk about cute! The kids will love them! Use the Monster Repellent for little ones who think there’s a monster in the closet, or under the bed. Or for the overactive imaginations that will soon follow Trick or Treat.

Happy Halloween from Scentsable Living!