How to make homemade infused olive oils for the ultimate foodie

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This season’s hottest gifts come in a bottle… and I’m not talking whisky and wine here peeps! Over at Paleo Crust we’re all about healthy living so this Christmas why not give the ultimate foodie in your life one of these wonderful infused olive oils?

We all love receiving presents but there’s nothing more touching than when you know the person who sent it really put their heart and soul into finding a gift that’s just ‘oh so you.’ So this Christmas I’m all about making things.

I love to give. It gives me more pleasure than receiving, it’s something about the leap of joy and big smiley faces when I see my friends and family get something that means something to them. So lets kick off the Christmas present making with some top homemade infused olive oils plus my tips on how to get the most flavour into one tiny bottle. Make sure you head on over to Instagram as well this month as I’ll be sharing all my stylish wrapping inspiration for the festive season. Gather your bottles, twine, tags and flavours and lets do this!

What you need to infuse olive oils

Start by buying the best ingredients you can afford. Using a good quality olive oil, organic ingredients and fresh herbs will give you a fresher, better quality tasting oil. If you live in the UK, the Primadonna Extra Virgin Olive Oil, £2 for 750ml, from Lidl is super affordable and one of the best extra virigin olive oils I’ve tried. It even won my blind taste test over super expensive one’s I’d bought in Greece.

Find a pretty bottle with a good seal. You can also use jam and mason jars. These can look super cute if you add a personalised gift tag and tie it on with some twine or ribbon. For stylish and super cheap, I love these Korken (£1) and Koncentrat (£1.50) bottles from Ikea. Make sure you sterilise the jars before use to ensure they are clean.

Chilli oil

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For the person who likes a spicy christmas, this chilli oil is a winner.

Ingredients

  • 3 large chilli’s (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

Wash the chillies and dry.

Slice finely and place in a bottle with a good seal. Fill with extra virgin olive oil and seal. Let it sit in a cool dark place for 1-2 weeks before using it.

I think it’s really cute to hand personalise a gift tag and add to the bottle tied with twine and a little dried chilli on the side.

Once opened, if not strong enough, leave to mature for a bit longer. The oil will infuse over time. Strain out the chillis and rebottle the oil once you have the perfect spiciness for your tastebuds.

Keeps for several weeks if sealed and away from direct sunlight.

 

Rosemary oil

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Every time I see Rosemary it reminds me of the beautiful hearted lady that used to live next door. Always in red lipstick and a green coat (even if still in her nightdress underneath!) And whilst you could say she was a bit bonkers, she sure knew how to make me laugh. Rosemary for me is a reminder to live for today, be true to yourself and be happy. So bottle this oil, with those truths in mind and give with an abundance of heartfelt love this Christmas.

Ingredients

  • 3 large stems of fresh rosemary
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

Wash and dry the rosemary. Bacteria can’t grow in the olive oil itself, but it can grow on the water if left on the rosemary so just make sure it’s nice and dry.

Bruise the rosemary by giving it a little bash with the end of a rolling pin. This releases the lovely aromatic flavours. You can do the same with sage and thyme if making an oil out of them.

Place the rosemary in your bottle and fill with olive oil. Seal.

Keeps for several weeks if sealed and away from direct sunlight.

 

Sicilian Lemon olive oil

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The best way to get that zingy, citrus flavour is to heat the oil with the lemon in a sauce pan, let it cool and strain out the zest. This speeds up the infusing process, reduces the risk of bacteria growing in the oil and avoids botulism. No one likes that bitter taste of pith right?

Ingredients

  • 1 large lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

Give the lemon a good scrub. Use an organic lemon if possible as you’re using the zest in this recipe and if not organic, this is where the pesticides are sitting.

Remove the zest with a vegetable peeler or sharp knife. Make sure you only get the bright yellow part and not the white pith (that’s the bit that turns the oil bitter!)

Place the lemon zest and oil in a pan on the hob and heat on a low heat for about 8 minutes. Make sure the oil stays below simmering point. Remove from the heat and allow the oil to cool.

Once cooled, strain the zest. Pour the now wonderfully infused lemon oil into your clean sterilised jar and seal. Make pretty with a gift tag, secured with twine and a little sprig of holly or twig with berries on for a bit of festive fun.

You may be tempted to leave the lemon zest in the oil but once the oil has cooled, it’s not going to infuse any more so to save the oil going rancid, it’s best to remove.

Keeps for several weeks if sealed and away from direct sunlight.

Pin my pictures on pinterest for when you’re ready to make. Please do share your oil pictures with me on Instagram too. I love seeing them, Jo x

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About the Author
Jo Harding

Jo Harding

My food philosophy is all about awakening a carefree, happier, healthier you whilst reducing inflammation and toxins in the body. I believe the secret to radiant health starts and ends with a super strong gut so my recipes are all grain, gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. I want my blog to show how simple and tasty healthy food really is and by using a little imagination, you can still enjoy all your ‘crust’ food favourites without feeling bored or deprived. I’m here to show you that eating low starch paleo is so much more than just bland meat and overboiled veg!

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