Homemade herbal and spice oils!

Actually, it’s always a good time to prepare an herbal oil! Garden herbs such as rosemary, basil, mint,  parsley  and fennel are now available fresh all year round and are just waiting to be harvested. Making herbal oils and spice oils is easy. Nature does most of the work anyway – you just have to be patient.

Which oils go well with which herbs?

Edible oils and herbs are an ideal couple: herbs contain essential oils and fat-soluble aromatic substances, and edible oils can absorb these volatile substances and, to a certain extent, preserve them. In addition, the vitamin E contained in the oils, as a natural antioxidant, increases the shelf life.

Sunflower, corn, safflower/safflower, rapeseed or soybean oil are suitable as  base oils  . They  taste  relatively neutral and can be flavored with all herbs.

Ingredients  like lemon, lime peel, and dried  mushrooms  pair well with a grapeseed oil. Strongly aromatic herbs such as mint,  oregano , rosemary,  thyme , basil, chili peppers, bay leaves and  garlic  harmonize best with cold-pressed olive oil.

High-quality ingredients in the seasoning oil

The be-all and end-all when preparing spice and herb oils are high-quality ingredients. Garden herbs must be fresh from the harvest. Spices such as peppercorns,  cloves  and cinnamon should not have been lying around in the kitchen for half a year.

Frozen herbs are not an alternative: they have already lost too much of their aroma and do not produce an appetizing color or taste. By the way: dried herbs are usually not very suitable either.

Preparation of herbal oils

The herbs are washed and very carefully patted dry because any remaining moisture will cloud the oil. With woody herbs such as thyme, rosemary and sage, squeezing helps to increase the aroma yield. The herbs and spices come in a clean, dry, tightly-closing bottle and are completely doused with the oil of choice.

After two to three weeks, the oil is flavored. Now it has to be filtered off, this works well with a coffee filter. The new bottle is labeled (name of oil and date of manufacture) and the spice oil is ready to use.

Health risk from home-made oils?

Never prepare more herbal oil than you can use in a short time. Because when storing homemade herbal oil – just like vegetables pickled in oil – there is a risk that the bacterium Clostridium botulinum will multiply.

This can lead  to the formation of botulinum toxin  , a  neurotoxin  that can cause botulism in humans. This is a serious condition that initially manifests itself with symptoms such as  nausea  and vomiting and, in the worst cases, can lead to respiratory paralysis and suffocation. In the United States and Canada, outbreaks of this kind have been reported primarily after eating garlic in oil.

prevent botulism

Um das Risiko der Vermehrung von Clostridium botulinum zu reduzieren, sollten die Zutaten immer gründlich gewaschen und getrocknet werden, bevor sie in das Öl gegeben werden. Eine vollständige Entfernung der Keime kann dadurch jedoch nicht garantiert werden.

Deshalb sollten Sie zusätzlich folgende Tipps berücksichtigen:

  1. Der Wasseranteil in dem Würzöl sollte möglichst gering gehalten werden, der Säureanteil möglichst hoch.
  2. Das Öl sollte unbedingt immer im Kühlschrank gelagert werden, da die Bakterien sich bei niedrigen Temperaturen schlechter vermehren können.
  3. Mit längerer Lagedauer steigt das Risiko für die Entstehung von Botulinumtoxin. Verzehren Sie das Öl daher möglichst zügig.
  4. Wird das Öl vor dem Verzehr stark erhitzt, beispielsweise bei der Verwendung zum Braten und Kochen, können eventuell vorhandene Toxine inaktiviert werden.

Beachten Sie, dass sich die Herstellungbedingungen bei selbstgemachtem Kräuteröl nicht so gut kontrollieren lassen wie bei industriellen Produkten. Daher kann das Risiko der Bildung von Botulinumtoxin nie ganz ausgeschlossen werden. Weitere Informationen zum Thema finden Sie beim Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung.

Rezept-Vorschläge für Würzöle

  • Parsley Oil:  Add a bunch (50 to 75 grams) of flat-leaf parsley and a teaspoon of  salt  to 100 milliliters of grapeseed or safflower oil. Parsley oil is suitable for all green and mixed salads as well as tomato salad; also for fried fish fillets.
  • Chili Oil:  Here, three red chillies that you have stemmed and seeded are cut into small pieces. Add 100 milliliters of soybean oil. This oil is particularly suitable for chili con carne, Asian vegetable dishes and barbecue marinades.
  • Barbecue oil:  A sprig of rosemary, oregano, thyme and sage, a clove of garlic (peeled), a chili pepper, some mustard seed and a few coriander seeds make a delicious marinade with 100 milliliters of olive oil.

The meat is placed in the oil an hour before grilling. Pickled sheep’s cheese grilled in aluminum foil is also delicious. The oil also goes well with lamb dishes. Caution: Always drain meat well before putting it on the grill!

Herbal oil for pan fried pieces

The following herb oil is suitable for everything pan-fried. Here the following ingredients add flavor to 100 milliliters of olive oil:

  • a sprig each of thyme, sage and rosemary with or without flowers
  • one leaf each  of borage  and bay leaf
  • a clove of garlic (peeled)
  • a teaspoon of colored peppercorns

Also try other combinations: new mixtures will give you new taste experiences. Your imagination is the limit!


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