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    10 Plants You Can Turn Into Oil

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    10 Plants You Can Turn Into Oil

    Have a few plants that are past their prime? Don’t toss it just yet. Before you throw out that wilted plant, consider whether it can be used to produce oil. 

    There are many plants that can be turned into oil, with the finished product being used for cooking, medicinal purposes – or even for heating and fuel! 

    Learn more about the different plants that can be turned into oil and what benefits they offer. You may be surprised at how versatile these special plants can be!

    About 70% of the world’s oil production from plants comes from four key plant species – oil palm, sunflower, rapeseed, and soybeans. Of course, these might not all be plants that are readily available to you on your homestead (and they don't have to be). There are plenty of other good options to choose from, depending on your needs.

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    1. Flaxseed

    Flaxseed is the first plant on our list that makes a wonderfully useful oil. It offers high yields, generating about 40% oil content per seed. You can get around three pounds of flaxseed for every 100 square feet of growing space, too, making it a relatively efficient crop to grow. 

    Here are some tips on how to make it. 

    2. Oregano

    Oregano is one of the easiest herbs you can grow in your homestead garden – and oregano essential oil has lots of benefits.

    In addition to using fresh or dried oregano in your cooking, the oil from this plant is also safe to take orally for medicinal purposes. Although more studies are needed to verify anecdotal reports, many people say that oregano oil is a natural antibiotic and antioxidant that can even treat cold and flu symptoms.

    Watch this video to find out how to make it:

    3. Peppermint

    Peppermint is a cross between spearmint and watermint that thrives in most places in North America. In fact, it grows in an almost invasive fashion, spreading quickly to take over the growing space. It’s practically impossible to kill it!

    It also makes a great essential oil that can be used in cooking as well as for medicinal purposes. It can be applied to the skin to treat muscle aches, joint pain, and headache. It’s commonly used in aromatherapy as well, offering soothing relief to its users.

    Here are some tips to help you make it at home. 

    4. Sage

    Sage is a popular herb that’s easy to grow as an annual or perennial plant in most climates. Sage oil is typically steam distilled from the leaves of the Salvia officinalis herb, also known as common sage or true sage. 

    This oil isn’t necessarily used for cooking as some of the other oils we’ll discuss are, but it can be used cosmetically or tropically to eliminate toxins, relieve soreness from wounds, and soothe irritation and dryness. 

    Here’s a fun video guide on how to make sage oil:

    5. Sunflowers

    Of the four oils that lead the world’s oil production numbers, sunflower is the only one that is native to North America. This plant has been cultivated since around 3000 B.C., with the plants grown for their fatty seeds that were eaten raw and crushed for their oil. 

    Sunflower plants grow wild but are also easy to grow as annual flowers in most places. If you want to make oil, you’ll need black oil seeds (which are usually not the kinds that produce fancy flowers). 

    Here’s how to make it at home:

    6. Canola 

    Canola, also known as rapeseed, is another important plant that you can turn into oil. This oil can be used in cooking and is also an important form of biodiesel fuel. Canola is technically a specific type of rapeseed that is lower in erucic acid and is, therefore, much safer to eat. 

    It’s important to note that canola burns a bit hotter than other oils, so it may not be ideal for cooking things low and slow. Not only that, but any kind of biodiesel made out of vegetable oils doesn’t tend to perform well in cold climates.

    That said, if you plan on growing canola for cooking, you’ll find that you get quite a bit of bang for your buck. It offers 44% yields of oil per seed and you can grow up to 12 lbs of canola for every 100 square feet. 

    Want to make your own? Check out this post for tips.

    7. Peanut 

    Peanut oil has a high smoke point, making it wonderful for frying. It is a clear oil that can also be used for dressing salads. Peanuts can be grown in any place that has a growing season lasting 120 days or more, but you can always grow your seeds in containers or indoors, too. 

    Here’s a video to show you how to make it:

    8. Soybeans

    Made as a byproduct of processing soy meal, soybeans do require a fair amount of effort to grow. However, if you’re already growing soybeans to make your own animal feed, it may be worth the extra effort to go just one step further and keep the soybean oil for your cooking. 

    Here’s how to make it:

    9. Corn 

    Corn is another popular crop that can be harvested for its oil. This oil is incredibly versatile, used for both cooking as well as for biofuel (ever heard of ethanol? That’s corn, folks!). 

    Here are some tips on how to make it.

    10. Blackcurrant

    Blackcurrants are fruits that are relatively easy to grow and are perennial in most areas. The oil can be used as a food supplement, containing high levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

    Check out this podcast video for more info on how to make it:

    Turning Plants Into Oils

    Of course, there are many other plants that you can process for their oils, too, including sesame, palm, almond, cashew, hazelnut, amaranth, and many more.

    Now that you know some of the best plants you can turn into oil, the only question that remains is this – how exactly do you do it?

    Making biodiesel is a pretty complicated process, but fortunately, if you are interested in turning plants into oil for cooking, you won’t have to do too much work. Some plants contain more oil in their nuts and seeds than others, so look for those that have the highest oil content for best results. 

    You’ll need to invest in an oil press. These aren’t expensive tools at all but will help you to make quick work of the task. Most seeds and nuts need to be dehulled and dried before pressing. 

    Follow the steps for the specific type of oil press you have and then voila! All the oil you could possibly want for cooking , essential oils, and more. 

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      4 thoughts on “10 Plants You Can Turn Into Oil”

      1. Can’t get gwt to any article!! Too many adds! I had already pd for book and email both! Never received the book! Very frustrated! Is that the plan?

      2. You can also make Eucalyptus oil.Rosemary and Oil from the Aloe Vera plant. once you’ve managed to do that put the oils away for when the SHTF.


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