Are you familiar with basil oil? This fragrant and flavorful oil is not only an excellent condiment but also a natural remedy with numerous health benefits. Many of us have a basil plant in our kitchen, on our balcony, or in our garden, but we often wonder what to do with the leftover leaves and flowers after pruning. In this article, we will share a secret passed down from our grandmothers: the creation of basil oil using both the leaves and the blossoms. These blossoms, often overlooked, contain precious seeds that can be used to make this special oil. Basil oil can be used to enhance the flavor of various dishes, and it also offers significant health benefits. Let's explore how to make this versatile oil and discover its numerous uses and benefits!
Creating Basil Oil: A Simple Process
Making basil oil is a simple process that requires only a few ingredients and tools. Here's what you'll need:
- Basil – 25 grams of blossoms
- Extra virgin olive oil – 250 ml
- Sterilized jar
- Funnel (after a month)
- Clean cloth (after a month)
- Absorbent paper (after a month)
- Strainer (after a month)
- Gauze (after a month)
- Sterile ½ liter bottle (after a month)
- Classic press to save flavor (after a month)
Once you have gathered all the necessary ingredients and tools, you can start the process of making basil oil.
Preparing the Blossoms and Drying
After pruning the basil plant, it is important to handle the blossoms with care. Rinse the blossoms quickly to remove any dust and insects. Then, place the tops on a clean cloth and ensure they are completely dry. It is crucial to remove any moisture as it can lead to bacterial growth and compromise the quality of the oil.
Once the blossoms are dry, you can choose between two methods:
1. Drying Before Oil Preparation: This method is recommended for those with less experience. Remove the leaves from the blossoms and group them into bunches. Wrap the bunches in non-printed perforated paper and place them upside down. Avoid direct exposure to sunlight and maintain a temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius. If you have a dehydrator, you can use it at the lowest temperature. Avoid using the oven, as its temperature may exceed 35 degrees Celsius, even with the door slightly open.
2. Immediate Use of Fresh Tops: This method is recommended for those with experience. If you feel confident, you can proceed directly to oil preparation using the fresh tops.
Preparing Basil Oil
Once you have chosen the method and obtained the desired quantity of blossoms, it's time to prepare the basil oil:
- Place the blossoms in a jar and completely cover them with olive oil.
- Use a fork to press gently and remove any air bubbles.
- Ensure that the herbs are covered with oil to prevent them from floating to the surface. Leave about a centimeter of oil above the leaves and blossoms.
- Seal the jar tightly and store it in a cool, dry place protected from light and heat.
- Shake the jar periodically to distribute the essential oils evenly.
- Let the mixture settle for 30 days.
Filtering and Storing the Oil
After the 30-day period, it's time to filter the oil and transfer it to a bottle for storage:
1. Filtering: Prepare a fine-mesh strainer lined with gauze or linen cloth. Pour the oil through the strainer and squeeze well to extract every last drop of the fragrant preparation.
2. Transferring and Storing: Use a funnel to transfer the filtered oil into a sterile half-liter bottle. Store the bottle in a pantry or cupboard, away from light to preserve its quality.
Note: Before using any natural remedy, it is advisable to consult with your trusted doctor.
The Versatility of Basil Oil
Basil oil can be used in various ways to enhance the flavor of your dishes and offer health benefits:
- As a condiment for pizza, bruschetta, salads, pasta, fish, and other dishes
- To rebalance the bacterial flora in the body
- To calm the nervous system and promote relaxation
- To counteract muscle spasms
- To refresh brain functions
- To decongest the airways during colds and congestion
With its aromatic scent and numerous health benefits, basil oil is a valuable addition to your kitchen and natural remedy collection.
My name is Olivia and I am a passionate writer on the team at spartanewspapers.com. With a deep love for health and wellness, I bring a unique perspective to our blog. An anecdote that always makes me smile is when I discovered the power of herbal remedies by successfully treating my own persistent cold with a homemade ginger tea.