Fancy those bottled olive oil with infused herbs and spices in a supermarket? They’re great for marinating, as a salad dressing, or for simply drizzling over pasta. Well, did you know it’s easy to make one on your own?
Infused olive oil is not just pretty to look at, but it can add flavors and unique aromas to all kinds of dishes. The flavor options are endless, and a DIY infused olive oil is very simple to make.
If you’ve ever wondered how infused olive oil is made, then you’ve came to the right place! But first, here is some information on infused olive oil.
What is Infused Olive Oil?
Infused olive oil is olive oil that has taken on the flavors of other ingredients, such as herbs, fresh ingredients, and additives. The most popular additives include rosemary, garlic, thyme, lemon, chili, citrus, and oregano.
Infused olive oil has many uses, from mixing into a marinade for all kinds of meat to drizzling over pasta, as a spread for artisanal bread, a salad dressing, or added into soups for more flavor.
Two Methods for DIY Infused Olive Oil
There are two methods to infuse olive oil: cold and hot infusion. Cold infusion is ideal for fresh herbs, while hot infusion is ideal for dried additives.
For cold infusion, add ½ cup of ingredients to 1 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Blend the oils in a food processor until you reach a smooth consistency. After, strain the oil using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
The advantage of using this method is that you’re not cooking the herbs to maintain their fresh flavors and colors.
Hot infusion takes longer and is more complicated than cold infusion. You need to mix two tablespoons of dried herbs with 1 cup of olive oil.
Prepare a saucepan and heat olive oil to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. You can either add the dried ingredients to the oil to heat or remove the oil after 20 minutes and pour it over the herbs.
Adding the herbs as the oil is being heated can help maximize infusion time and flavors released.
You can strain the ingredients out, or you can also leave them in.
Storage is crucial when it comes to infused olive oil. It would help to store them in a container with a tight seal to prevent oxygen from getting inside. Oxygen can make infused olive oils rancid, and it can be dangerous to your health when ingested over a long time.
Rancid olive oils do not smell or taste different, and they don’t immediately result in symptoms. But if you continue to ingest them over time, consuming rancid oils is connected with early signs of aging and cancer.
A mason glass jar or any glass bottle is an excellent container for infused olive oil. Store your bottles in a cool, dark place, let the oil sit for at least a week, and use the oil within three months.
If you use fresh ingredients, the shelf life is shorter than dried ingredients.
Are DIY Infused Olive Oil Safe?
DIY infused olive oil is entirely safe to ingest as long as you store it properly. Do not place your oils in a hot and humid environment, and do not use containers with flimsy covers or lids.
One risk of using DIY-infused olive oil is adding fresh ingredients to your mix, especially if the herbs or ingredients are root crops, such as garlic cloves.
There’s a high probability that garlic and other fresh ingredients may contain a bacterium found in most soil. This bacteria can cause Botulism, leading to the following symptoms: muscle weakness, double vision, difficult breathing, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and nausea and vomiting.
Some bacteria may cling to the garlic, and it thrives in environments that lack oxygen. And since olive oil seals out oxygen, it is the perfect breeding ground for the deadly bacteria.
Because of this risk, it’s best to use dried ingredients to make infused olive oil. But if you must use fresh ingredients, make sure to dry them thoroughly before infusing them into your oil. You can wash them thoroughly and dry them before mixing. Or better yet, you can use a dehydrator to remove moisture from the herbs and spices.
Using an Oil Infuser
If you don’t want to use a food processor or don’t want to cook your olive oil and herbs, there is a kitchen appliance or device specifically made to infuse oils. These machines can also infuse other food items like milk, cheese, butter, and other food items that need added flavors and nutrients.
One of these oil infusers in the LEVO Oil Infuser. At the touch of a button, you add in your olive oil and herbs, and the device will do the job of infusing the oils for you.
It is designed to maximize the flavors and aromas of spices to get pure and concentrated infused olive oil that’s done in minutes. There’s no need to cook or use a food processor, and the best part is it’s mess-free. You don’t need to use other tools and utensils, and cleaning is effortless to do as well.
How to Make Rosemary Infused Olive Oil
Here is a straightforward recipe for rosemary-infused olive oil using a LEVO Oil Infuser:
- 16 ounces of good quality olive oil
- Four tablespoons of coarsely ground dried rosemary herbs
Step 1: Place your dried herbs inside the LEVO herb pod.
Step 2: Place the packed LEVO herb pod into the reservoir of your LEVO unit.
Step 3: Add your 16 ounces of olive oil into the reservoir. Ensure all the herbs are entirely submerged in the oil.
Step 4: Use the suggested settings shown on the Oil and Herb calculator to set the temperature. Generally, you can use 160 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and infuse for 1 to 3 hours, depending on your herb.
Step 5: After the Infuse cycle, dispense your infused olive oil into a clean glass jar. Use the Herb Press accessory to get the very last drop.
Place your jar or bottles in a cool, dry place. Or you can also keep your infusions in LEVO’s Herb Block Tray store solution for maximum freshness. These can be stored in the refrigerator and make the infused olive oil last longer.
Infused olive oil is an excellent addition to your dishes. Instead of buying, why not make your own at home? You can play around with different flavors and aromas, and they also make for great gifts for loved ones.
All you need is good quality olive oil and the herb of your choice. You can use a food processor to blend the ingredients or infuse your oils over heat. If you don’t want to do the tedious process of these two methods, you can use an oil diffuser machine that will do everything for you.
Whichever method or device you choose to use, DIY infused olive oil is an excellent way to add a healthy and delicious addition to your everyday meals.
Related: How to make infused honey