Infusions Tips

Read these 37 Infusions Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Herb Supplements tips and hundreds of other topics.

Infusions Tips has been rated 3.2 out of 5 based on 1325 ratings and 1 user reviews.
Why would I want to add herbal vinegar to soups?

Herbal Vinegars Ideas

Add herbal vinegars to soups, stews, and sauces in the
last 30 minutes of cooking. Vinegar acts as a flavor
enhancer, and the flavor of the herb is still strong
when the meal is served.

Try adding some earthy flavored vinegar to a potato
soup, a beef or vegetable soup, just toward the very
last few moments of cooking. (Even try a few drops of
vanilla, it's wonderfully flavorful!)

These vinegars will not overpower the soups or stews
at all; they will simply impart and bring out a
very delicious flavor.

   
How can I add an Asian flavor to my dishes?

Garlic Oil

This is one delicious oil and if you're a garlic lover
like me, you'll want to use this in just about anything.
Add before, during, or after cooking, but please use only FRESH whole
garlic cloves that have no blemishes, yellowed spots,
mold or greenish sprouts.

6 whole cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 cup olive oil

Slice garlic cloves in half. Mix garlic and vinegar
in a small bowl, and refrigerate for 1 day. Discard
vinegar, then mince the garlic or squeeze through
a garlic press. Mix garlic and oil in a glass bowl,
and refrigerate for about 4 hours. Strain, and then
pour the strained oil into a sterilized glass jar and
cover tightly. Refrigerate and use within 2 to 3 days.

   
Are there any French herbal mixtures I can make at home?

Italian Flavored Oil

This oil is great on so many things. Pizza, pasta, breads,
vegetables, salads or sautes, and is excellent used
in meat marinades for grilling.

Dry fresh herbs to use in this if you can. It's easily
done by setting the oven to 150 degrees, and laying
the fresh herbs in a single layer on a cookie sheet,
then place in the oven for about 30 minutes. Be sure
to leave the oven door ajar to allow for evaporation.
Let cool and there you go.

1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried marjoram
3 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
2 whole bay leaves
1 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to
a boil, stirring often. Boil for just 15 seconds, cool,
and slowly strain this mixture into a sterilized glass
jar, covering tightly. Refrigerate for use within one week.

   
Can I eat dandelion?

*Start Here

Infusing your own oils and vinegars, and making your own
home brewed teas is very satisfying, and these steeped
goodies make for some intricately flavored gifts year round.

There are, however, a few golden rules you need to follow explicitly
to assure that your gifts are safe and healthy.

Please read these tips before proceeding on to the
recipes! You'll be glad you did, and will feel
confident that what you're creating for your friends
and family is not only delicious, but completely
safe and worry-free.

   
Is there a recipe for a citrus oil?

Rosemary Oil

Try this while roasting red potatoes. Drizzle over and
roast. Delicious! Also goes extremely well with lamb
or grilled swordfish.

1/3 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup olive oil

Rinse and dry rosemary. Bruise the leaves well with a
wooden spoon, or chop coarsely. Mix with the oil in a
small saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring often.
As soon as it boils, remove from heat and cool.

Strain slowly through coffee filters or cheesecloth,
and pour into a sterilized glass jar, covering tightly.
Store in the refrigerator and use within one week.

   
How can I make my own Cajun flavoring?

Herb Butters To Freeze

You can make these fabulous butters and freeze them to
have on hand. Just thaw and slice over just cooked meats and vegetables. These are some of the
best ways to make your sauted steaks and vegetables really special, and it couldn't be easier.

I have a pretty standard recipe for savory herb butters.
You have to try these, they're worth the .. 5 minutes of work!

Base for herb butters:

1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon shallots, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried herb of your choice
6 tablespoons room temperature butter
1 tablespoon fresh herb of your choice

Add the wine, shallots, and dried herb to a small saucepan and boil for about 5 - 10 minutes, until the pan is dry. Watch it toward the end. Swirl the pan a bit, it will still bubble up with some moisture. When there is next to none or none,
scoop out the remains and let cool completely at room temperature. (This won't take long).

Then just mash the butter and fresh herb into that mixture, spoon it into a heap on a sheet of plastic wrap, and
tightly but lightly roll it into a cylinder about 1 inch or so around and about 6 inches long. Twist the ends, and wrap that log
of plastic wrapped herb butter in foil. Seal well and freeze.

Try using dried and fresh tarragon for a great Bernaise type butter to use on grilled or broiled steaks. Delish!

   
Can I use anything to store my infusions in?

Roasted Garlic Oil

Roasting garlic imparts a sweet, nutty flavor that
goes well with mashed potatoes, fish, bruschetta,
crusty breads and pastas. Please read the tip on
Garlic Oils and Botulism before you prepare this recipe!

6 large and very fresh garlic bulbs (not cloves, the entire bulb or head of garlic)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

Cut a 1/4 inch slice off the top of each head of garlic.
Remove the loose outer leaves, but leave the head intact.
Place them into a deep-sided ceramic, glass, or porcelain
baking dish, and sprinkle with the basil, thyme, pepper,
and the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover dish and bake
in a preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.

Remove cover and bake for another 20 minutes, then
let it cool enough so you can handle the bulbs.

Separate each clove and squeeze out the garlic into
a medium glass bowl. Discard skins. Mix remaining oil
and garlic to a well blended paste. Refrigerate for
about 3 hours, then strain.

Pour strained oil into a sterilized glass jar, and
cover tightly. Use this oil the very same day!

** Roasted garlic is very perishable. Always be sure
to store this oil refrigerated and use within 24 hours.

   
I´m looking for recipes for basil oil infusions..

Sun-Dried Tomato Oil

1/2 cup of dry sun-dried tomatoes (do not use the marinated or bottled in liquid type of sun-dried tomatoes, only use the dry style)
1 cup olive oil

Rehydrate tomatoes in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain well, and
puree tomatoes with the oil in a blender or food processor. Pour mixture
into a sterilized glass container and cover. Refrigerate 1 day.
The oil will cloud and may thicken. Let it sit at room
temperature until it's clear again. Strain, and pour
into a sterilized glass jar, covering or corking tightly.
Keep oil in refrigerator and use within one week.

This is a real treat drizzled over seafood, beef, and
poultry. Use as a dipping oil for crusty French and
Italian breads. Coat and cook fresh croutons in this oil,
and use it to season pasta salads.

   
How do I make homemade flavored vinegars?

Pizza Oil

Use this oil in pizza dough or on it before baking,
in bruschetta dough or drizzled on it after baking, and
with pasta and vegetables.

2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 cup olive oil

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a
boil, stirring. Boil for 5 seconds, cool, then strain
oil into a sterilized glass jar and cover tightly.
Store in refrigerator and use within one week.

   
How can I make my own infusions?

Raspberry Vinegar

Use only the freshest raspberries for this vinegar.
Champagne vinegar has a very subtle, smooth flavor
that goes perfectly with the light raspberry taste,
and is excellent in vinaigrettes, tossed with cold
pasta salads, or fresh green salad. Add a bit to
poultry while cooking, as well.

1/2 cup fresh red raspberries, picked for the best quality
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup champagne vinegar
Two 1/2 inch x 3 inch strips of lemon peel
2 whole cloves
One 2 inch cinnamon stick
5 fresh raspberries

Rinse and dry the berries well. Mix the sugar and vinegar
in a sterilized glass container, and shake or stir with
a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved.

Add 1/2 cup berries, lemon peel, cloves and cinnamon
to the container, and seal it tightly with a non-metallic
lid or cork. Place in a cool, dark place, or refrigerate
for 1 week and then strain it.

Add 5 fresh raspberries and the strained vinegar to
a sterilized glass bottle, seal tightly with cork or
non-metallic lid, and store in a cool, dark place.
Use within 4 months.

   
How can I make my own infusions?

Lemon Thyme Oil

zest from one lemon
1&1/2 cups fresh thyme leaves and stems
1 cup olive oil

Rinse thyme, wrap in cheesecloth or place in a fine mesh strainer, and immerse in boiling water for 5 seconds.
Drain quickly and plunge into ice water. Drain well, remove
from cheesecloth and dry thyme completely.

Puree all ingredients in a blender or processor, strain,
and pour this strained oil into a sterilized glass jar, covering tightly.
Keep in refrigerator and use within one week.

This is a classic, and works well with eggs, poultry,
seafood, beef marinades and potatoes.

   
How do I make my own infusions?

Fruit Flavorings for Iced Teas

Add a slice of pineapple or some pineapple juice to
your iced tea for a very refreshing flavor.

Crush and sieve raspberries, strawberries, blackberries
and add to iced tea. Drop a few berries into the glass.

Citrus is delicious. Lemon, lime, orange, tangerine,
just squeeze some juice in or add a slice of the fruit
or rind to a glass of iced tea.

Fruits such as apple, peach, nectarine can also be
added. Either add the fruit in juice form or drop a
slice of the fruit into your glass.

   
How do I make homemade flavored vinegars?

Oregano Vinegar

Make oregano vinegar to use in salad dressings and to
season vegetables and tomato sauces by bruising a
couple of handfuls of fresh herbs, placing them in a 1
pint jar, and covering the herbs with vinegar.
Red Wine Vinegar goes nicely with oregano, but apple
cider vinegar works well, too. Let sit in a cool, dark place, shaking daily for 2 weeks. Strain and bottle.

   
How can I make my own infusions?

Hot Pepper Oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
6 small dried chile peppers, finely chopped
1 cup olive oil

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan,
stirring constantly. Boil for only about 5 seconds.
Cool and strain, then pour this strained oil into a
sterilized glass jar and cover tightly. Refrigerate
for use within one week.

This spicy hot oil will pick up your stir fries,
sautes, marinades and vinaigrettes. Just use to replace
the oil in the dishes or sprinkle on as the dish is
cooking or marinating.

   
Which herbs go well with red wine vinegar?

Herbs to Use with Red Wine Vinegar

PierJ's favorite herbs to use with Red Wine Vinegar are basil (good in either red or white wine vinegar, actually), garlic, oregano, sage, rosemary, bay, thyme, peppercorns, and mustard seeds.

   
How can I make my own infusions?

Lemon and Chive Oil

Use this oil to impart a delicate and light citrus and
onion flavor to soups, sauces, vegetables, fish and
pasta dishes.

1 bunch fresh chives (about 2 ounces)
zest from 1 lemon
1 cup olive oil

Rinse chives well, then immerse in boiling water for
about 10 seconds. Plunge them into ice water, and then
dry completely.

Puree all ingredients in a blender or processor, and pour
oil into a sterilized glass container. Cover and
chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Oil will cloud
and thicken.

Remove from the refrigerator and let oil sit at room temperature
until oil is clear. Strain, pour oil into a sterilized
glass jar or bottle, and cover or cork tightly.
Store in the refrigerator and use within 5 days.

   
Can I use anything to store my infusions in?

Some Very Helpful Hints

A few sound ideas to make creating infusions fun and
simple.

Plan Ahead! Since you want to use only the freshest
ingredients, you may very well get to shop 2 times.
Once to buy the ingredients that will steep in the
liquid, maybe for weeks at a time, and again for the
fresh herb garnishes. (This is a great reason to start
growing your own herbs!)

Crack and crush spices with a spice or coffee grinder
that you wash well before using again. Grinders are so
inexpensive anymore that having one for spices and one
for coffee isn't much of an expense. Use a mortar and
pestle for a workout, or the bottom of a heavy skillet
against a cutting board.

"Bruise" fresh herbs with a wooden spoon instead of
cutting them for infusions. This not only will prevent
discoloration, but it releases more of the natural oils
in the herbs, as well.

Blanching (dipping quickly in steaming water) fresh herbs
will help bring out their deep colors and flavors, and
take away bitterness from some herbs.

Wash citrus fruits carefully with hot, soapy water to
get rid of all traces of pesticides and wax. Rinse and
dry well.

Use a zester, stripper, or vegetable peeler to remove
the peel without getting any of the very bitter pith,
or white pulpy part between the skin and fruit.

Zest first, juice later.

Strain vinegars and oils through 3 or 4 layers of
cheesecloth, or just use a paper coffee filter.
Squeeze the filter or cheesecloth, and press down to
release all of the flavorful oils.

   
How can I make my own infusions?

Stir-Fry Oil

Use this oil as the start for stir fries, and as a
flavoring oil for chilled Asian noodle salads. Use
as much or as little peppercorns as you wish, depending
on your tastes.

1/3 cup chopped ginger root
1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed
1 teaspoon Szechwan peppercorns, crushed
1 cup canola oil

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to
a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Cool
and slowly strain this mixture. Pour oil into a
sterilized glass jar and cover tightly. Refrigerate and
use within one week.

   
How do I make blackberry vinegar?

Containers To Use and Not To Use

DO use:

Glass
Wood
Porcelain
Plastic and porcelain utensils
Non-metallic lids and corks for stopping bottles

Do NOT use:

Aluminum
Metallic containers or lids of any kind
Metallic utensils

Choose the smallest possible bottle or jar that will
hold the infusion. EXTRA AIR CAN BE DANGEROUS, especially
in oils. So choose a bottle that will allow all the
ingredients to be completely submerged in the liquid,
because any exposed ingredients will very likely spoil.

   
Which herbs go well with red wine vinegar?

Herbs to use with White Vinegar

PierJ prefers to use lighter-flavored herbs with
White Wine or Champagne vinegars. Those include:
Lemongrass, lemon peel, Lemon Verbena, Lemon Thyme,
Lemonbalm, Orange Mint, Spearmint, Apple mint,
chives, chive blossoms, chervil and borage.

   
Can I use anything to store my infusions in?

Citrus Flavored Mint Oil

This is delicious with lamb and fresh vegetables such
as tomatoes, cucumbers, and summer squash.

1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemon peel
1 tablespoon chopped fresh lime peel
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 cup fresh mint leaves (spearmint and applemint or even a combination of the 2 are great in this oil)
1 cup olive oil

Rinse the mint leaves under cold running water, and
immerse in boiling water for 20 seconds. Quickly
plunge them into ice water, then dry them completely.

Puree all ingredients in a blender or processor.
Pour the mixture into a glass container and refrigerate
for 1 day. This will cloud, and thicken. Let oil sit
at room temperature until it clears, and then strain
it. Pour this strained oil into a sterilized glass jar,
cover tightly, and store in refrigerator for use within
one week.

   
Is it safe to make my own flavored oils and vinegars?

Mustard Seed Oil

2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup olive oil

Crush seeds and set aside. Rinse and dry rosemary, then
chop coarsely. Mix oil and rosemary in a small saucepan,
and bring it to a boil, stirring often. As soon as it
boils, remove from heat and let cool. Add the crushed
mustard seeds, stir well, and let sit at room temperature
for about 20 minutes. Strain, pour into a sterilized
glass jar and cover tightly. Store in refrigerator and
use within one week.

This oil adds the robust flavor of mustard with just a
hint of rosemary. Use on pork, lamb, poultry, beef,
cold meats. Excellent for marinades as well.

   
Can I use anything to store my infusions in?

Far East Oil

1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon anise seeds
1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger root
1 cup peanut oil

Coarsely grind the seeds and peppercorns, then mix
all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil,
stirring often, and boil for 1 minute. Cool, then strain.

Pour strained oil into a sterilized glass jar and cover
tightly. Store in refrigerator and use within one week.

Use this oil to add an Asian flavor to stir fries,
vegetable dishes, duck, pork, and fish.

   
How do I make homemade flavored vinegars?

Burnet Salad Vinegar

Make an herbal vinegar by covering a few handfuls of fresh Salad Burnet leaves with Red Wine Vinegar. Let set for 2 weeks, shaking daily. Strain and add to your favorite vinaigrette recipe, or use alone. Salad Burnet has a mild cucumber-like flavor.

   
Can I use anything to store my infusions in?

Iced Teas

Iced teas are easy to make and delicious when you add
more flavor with herbs, fruits, and spices. The list
is never-ending.

You can simply brew your iced tea in
the same manner as you would hot tea, except use about
twice the amount of herb you'd use for hot. When it's
brewed, add ice to dilute and cool.

You can make sun tea by placing a large glass container
filled with water (a gallon is a good size) and herbs
of your choice in a sunny, warm area outdoors. Cover
the jar, of course, to keep the bugs out. Let this sit
all day long in the sun, shaking the jar now and then.
Strain and drink the tea over ice. Add sugar or honey
if desired.

   
Can I grow French Tarragon in my herb garden?

Orange Flavored Tarragon Oil

This is a very versatile oil, and imparts a delicate
flavor to eggs, mayonnaise, cream sauces, seafoods,
poultry, salad dressings and even baked beans.

1&1/2 cups fresh tarragon leaves and stems
Zest and fruit from 1 large, ripe orange
1 cup olive oil

Rinse tarragon and immerse in boiling water for just
10 seconds. Drain and plunge into ice water, then
dry completely.

Chop the orange into small pieces, discarding the seeds.
Mix the tarragon, oil, and chopped fruit and orange zest
in a glass bowl, cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours.
This oil will cloud and thicken while chilling.

Let it sit at room temperature until it clears, and then
strain. Carefully pour or ladle out the oil that is
floating on the top surface of the mixture. (I use a
gravy separator, very easy). Discard the remaining juice.
Pour the strained oil into a sterilized glass jar and
cover tightly. Refrigerate for use within one week.

   
How do I make blackberry vinegar?

Blackberry Vinegar

1/2 Gallon fresh blackberries
1-2 quarts apple cider or white wine vinegar
1 three inch stick cinnamon
honey to taste

Wash berries and put loosely in a half gallon canning jar, along with the cinnamon and vinegar. Let set in a warm place for 3 or 4 days. Strain well, getting every last bit of juice from the berries. Add honey (1/2 to 1 C per pint of vinegar) and place in a nonreactive pot. Heat over low heat until honey dissolves. Cool and bottle.

   
Can I eat any flowers I happen to find?

Three Rules

A few rules that don't change, and make for some
excellent infusions!

1. Always use high quality ingredients.

2. Be sure that everything that comes into contact with
the mixes has been sterilized and is completely dry.

3. Label and date every mix you make, and use everything
within a week of creation, or discard.

   
Where is a good recipe for Basil Pesto?

Garlic In Oils & Botulism

Botulism (a potentially fatal toxin that can occur in
low-acidic canned and bottled foods) is nothing to mess
with!

The FDA has issued warnings to all consumers, due to
the rise in homemade infused oils using garlic. The FDA
recommends that we keep ALL oils and butters that have
been infused with garlic refrigerated, and that these
items be used shortly after creating them.

Good advice:

Make small batches.
Keep them refrigerated.
Use within one week.

*If using roasted garlic in recipes, use the same day
that it's prepared. For regular infusions using unroasted
garlic, use within a few days.

Discard anything that you suspect is spoiled, of course.

   
How can I use cranberries to make a good vinegar?

Fruit Salad Vinegar

1 cup cranberries

the peel of half of one orange (scrubbed)

3 three inch cinnamon sticks

3 or 4 sprigs mint

1/3 cup honey

Enough white wine vinegar to fill a quart jar

Cover with a lid, and let sit a few weeks. Strain and bottle. The color of this one is beautiful.

   
Does Borage tea calm the nerves?

Drying Herbs for Tea Making

Simply place herbs in a single layer on a cookie sheet,
and place in a 150 degree oven for 30 minutes. Leave
the door ajar to let the moisture disperse. Cool and
crumble. Be sure they are bone dry. Any moisture left
in the leaves will turn to mold after you've jarred it.
Keep jarred dried herbs in a cool, dark place. Place
a paper towel inside the jar to assist in keeping the
moisture out of the leaves.

   
Can I grow Basil from seed?

Basil Oil

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, firmly packed
1 cup olive oil

Rinse basil under cold running water, then immerse in
boiling water for about 20-30 seconds. Immediately
plunge into ice water, then dry thoroughly.

Puree basil and oil in blender or processor. Pour
into a sterilized glass container that just fits its
contents. Cover and refrigerate 1 day.

This oil will cloud and may even congeal. Let sit
at room temperature until it clears again, then strain.

Pour this strained oil into a freshly sterilized glass
jar or bottle, cover tightly and refrigerate. Use
within one week.

Drizzle this oil over homemade pizzas, or add to the
dough while preparing it for a very tasty crust. Use
this oil to replace plain olive oil in just about any
recipe.

   
I´m looking for herb vinegar recipes?

Soup Seasoning Vinegar

1 handful fresh tarragon

2 handfuls fresh parsley

1-4 red peppers (depending on taste)

enough cider vinegar to fill a clean, sterilized quart jar

Cover with a clean and dry lid, and let sit a few weeks. Strain and bottle. When you add vinegars to soup (usually not more than a tablespoon or so is needed), the vinegar acts as a flavor-enhancer, livening up your meal, while the herb flavors come through as seasoning. Add the vinegar in the last 10 minutes or so of cooking.

(Note: When you bottle this as a gift, add a two-inch piece of tarragon to the bottle.)

   
Are the flowers from chive plants used in cooking?

Chive Blossom Vinegar

Pick your chive blossoms when they are fully opened and fill a clean glass jar with them. Cover with White Wine Vinegar and allow to set for 2 or 3 weeks before use. The vinegar becomes a lovely pale purple.

   
Can I really use catnip to make a tea?

Brewing Teas

Typically, bring the water to a boil and then remove it
from the boil to add to a teapot you've already placed
the herbs in. Let it steep for 10 minutes and strain.

   
How can I make my own infusions?

Cilantro and Chile Pepper Oil

Add some of this oil to salsa, or drizzle over grilled
shrimp or swordfish. Very easy way to add great flavor.

3/4 cup cilantro leaves
4-6 dried chile peppers
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 sprig fresh cilantro

Rinse and dry cilantro leaves. Crush with a wooden
spoon and place the leaves, peppers, lime zest and juice
in a sterilized glass container. Cover with the vinegar,
and shake or stir well. Seal tightly, and place this
container in a cool, dark place, or in the refrigerator
for 7 days. Strain.

Place a fresh cilantro sprig in a sterilized glass bottle or jar.
Add the strained vinegar and seal tightly. Keep this
vinegar in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.

   
How do I make my own infusions?

Clover

Use the dried flowers and mix in with other herbs for
brewing.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Kristle Jones