How To Make Herb-Infused Olive Oil (an easy & natural gift idea!)
Infused oil looks like a gourmet treat, but is easy to make and can be a wonderfully unique gift.
The key to making delicious infused oil is to start with high-quality olive oil. Skimp on this and the results will be disappointing.
Read the article Is Your Olive Oil Fake? for tips on selecting a high-quality olive oil. Wildy Organic’s Olive Oil meets all the requirements and can be relied upon to create a delicious and robust infused oil your recipients will love.
Besides choosing an excellent olive oil, the other major requirement for making infused oils is to plan ahead. Although very simple to make, infused oils take a few weeks to prepare (however, I will show you a trick for getting them ready in less time, if needed).
Here are a few important points to remember:
- Use clean and dry bottles and utensils when preparing and storing infused oils.
- Keep water out of the infusion so as not to introduce bacteria.
- Herbs need to perfectly dry when added to the oil to avoid any possible contamination.
Most infused oils are intended for cooking, especially sautéing, but can also be used as the base of natural body care gifts as well, depending on the herbs used. Olive oil is great for the skin!
Let’s make rosemary-infused olive oil. Use the same technique with other herbs (like basil or thyme) and spices (like chilies or garlic) to create many varieties of infused oils for cooking and natural body care gifts.
Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil
Rosemary olive oil is one of the most popular infused olive oils. It enhances all kinds of dishes and looks beautiful in a clear glass bottle.
(FYI: Rosemary-Infused Olive Oil also makes a great hair treatment. See this post for details.)
To make rosemary-infused olive oil you will need:
- 3 to 5 sprigs dehydrated rosemary
- 2 cups Wildly Organic Olive Oil
- 1 glass bottle
In order to reduce the risk of bacteria growing, I highly recommend dehydrating the sprigs of rosemary first. This can be done in a dehydrator or oven.
Before dehydrating, cut rosemary to fit the size bottle in which you intend to store the infused oil, then wash and dry the rosemary. Proceed with dehydrating:
To dry the rosemary in the oven, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place sprigs on it. Set oven to the lowest temperature and leave to dry for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until the stem is completely dry and can be easily snapped.
To dry rosemary in a dehydrator, spread rosemary sprigs on dehydrator trays and warm at 95 degrees for about 8 hours. Check to see that the stem can break easily, this is especially important as it will let you know the rosemary is dry.
Once rosemary is completely dry, it’s time to make the infusion!
How To Make Herb-Infused Olive Oil: Cold-Infusion Method
To infuse rosemary without heat, I recommend infusing oil in a Mason jar first, then transferring to a decorative bottle for gift giving.
Place 3 to 5 sprigs of dried rosemary in a pint-sized Mason jar and fill with olive oil (about 2 cups). Let sit for approximately 2 weeks. Strain out the rosemary.
To give as a gift, place one or two sprigs of dried rosemary in a bottle and pour infused oil over the top. Close tightly and add a label. It’s important to include an expiration date of about 3 months from the date of infusion.
How To Make Herb-Infused Olive Oil: Hot-Infusion Method
Make the infused oil more quickly by warming rosemary and olive oil on the stove top. To do this place the 3 to 5 sprigs of rosemary (can remove stem, if desired) in a saucepan and add 2 cups of olive oil.
Warm over medium heat (approximately 180 degrees) for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
While the rosemary oil is cooling, prepare a label. Be sure to include an expiration date of about 3 months from the date of infusion.
Once cool, strain out the rosemary.
In order to give as a gift, place one or two sprigs of dried rosemary in a bottle and pour infused oil over the top. Close tightly and add a label.
It is best to keep your infused oils refrigerated to further avoid contamination.
As you can see, infusing oil is quite a simple process. Have fun experimenting with different herbal combinations!
Have you made (or used) infused olive oil? What’s your favorite herb to use?
- Stacy Karen