May 18 | LIVE BEYOND

Lovely Lavender

Lavender is a quintessential spring flower. If you live in areas of the world that boast fields and foliage, this passionate purple plant will bloom and cover the Earth like a beautiful floral blanket. 

This purple bloom was the very first dried flower and essential oil I used medicinally and functionally. (I keep a sachet tied up in a little bundle and place it in my drawer of intimates.) It’s fresh scent makes it a popular fragrance to add to detergents and household cleaners. The essential oils of the lavender plant are also used in aromatherapy to promote sleep, so I rub a little oil on my temples before bedtime.

Lavender has been used directly on skin for centuries, for a variety of reasons: as a moisturizer, toner, cleanser and even on sunburn or allergic parts of the body. Try soaking washcloths in lavender water, store in the fridge and use the towelettes for a morning face freshener. It can help relieve anxiety, headaches and calm your stress. Like many treasured herbs used daily in countries all over the world, this violet seed has healing properties that transcend its luscious aura.

 

What is Culinary Lavender?

 

This simple purple bud has a distinct flavor and is making it’s way up the culinary ladder. Dried, oil or fresh, lavender has some spectacular health benefits: it helps digestive problems, is a powerful antioxidant and has been reported to protect from certain diseases, such as diabetes.

Cook with lovely lavender to brighten up your menu! (Please note: there is such a thing as “culinary lavender” so be sure not to take a pinch from your potpourri and add it to your skillet.) Lavender has an incredible, distinct aroma and character, but too much can be overwhelming. Grinding and infusing with other flavors can help curb the soapy taste. Find a delicate balance by experimenting so you can enjoy every last bud.

 

8 Uses for Culinary Lavender

 

1. Infuse lavender with honey and add drops in your tea.

2. Sprinkle some buds into your container of sugar to allow the granules to envelop the lavender essence.

3. Steep lavender to release its intoxicating properties and use to infuse water, tea, lemonade, coconut water. A beautiful way to lively up a pitcher of water at a garden party is with sliced lemon cucumber and lavender makes a grand display as well as refreshment.

4. Crush lavender with mint and rosemary and use as a rub on your holiday lamb or vegan equivialent.

5. Lavender Coconut Ice Cream.

6. Marry lavender with fruits like berries and citrus in a colorful fruit salad, drizzle Greek yogurt mixed with some lavender lemon honey over the top as a dressing.

7. Lavender Infused Chocolate Truffles.

8. Lemon Poppyseed Lavender Muffins.


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