In today’s upscale restaurants, fresh edible flowers are making a comeback as enhancements to both the flavor and appearance of food.As a member of the same family as many of our most popular herbs, it is not surprising that lavender is edible and that it’s use in food preparation is also returning.Culinary Lavender is a member of the mint family and is close to rosemary, sage, and thyme.In ancient times lavender was used for mummification and perfume by the Egyptian’s, Phoenicians, and peoples of Arabia.The Greeks and the Romans bathed in lavender scented water and it was from the Latin word “lavo” meaning “to wash” that the herb took it’s name.During the First World War, nurses bathed soldiers’ wounds with lavender washes.To this day, the French continue to send baby lamb to graze in fields of lavender, so their meat will be tender and fragrant.To retain the flavor and fragrance of dried lavender, store them in glass or pottery containers with tight fitting lids so the oils will not escape from the flowers.Due to its excellent healing and analgesic properties, lavender can provide instant relief from heat rash or red and sore skin.Make a lotion using 12 drops of lavender essential oil in 1 tablespoon of distilled water.The key to cooking with culinary lavender is to experiment; start out with a small amount of flowers, and add more as you go.NOTE: Adding too much lavender to your recipe can be like eating perfume and will make your dish bitter.Grind the lavender in a herb or coffee grinder or mash it with mortar and pestle.Flowers look beautiful and taste good too in a glass of champagne, with chocolate cake, or as a garnish for sorbets or ice creams.Harvest flowers as you would fruit, selecting those that look most perfectly ready, with the fullest color, and passing over any that seem wilted or less ripe.Cutting the lavender flowers is best done in the morning when the dew has evaporated and before the heat of the day.Stem flowers may be put in a glass of water in a cool place until you are ready to use them.If necessary, layer blooms carefully between moist paper towels in the refrigerator until meal time. .

All About Edible Flowers

I bet you’re less than five thoughts in before you begin reciting that old English nursery rhyme “Lavender blue, dilly dilly, lavender green….” While this tune has shown up in multiple Disney movies, the original verses weren’t exactly suited to nursery school-aged children.They dealt with drinking and, ah, amorous activity: “Whilst you and I, diddle, diddle….” Racy stuff.In case the nursery rhyme didn’t convince you, Staub also notes that lavender was “strewn around Cleopatra’s chambers to entice both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.”.Lavender belongs to the mint family, along with a number of other herbs like lemon balm, shiso, and rosemary.If you’re looking to cook with the lavender you acquire and not just pop it into a vase, make sure that it is intended for culinary use—both in terms of variety and what might have been sprayed on it.If you’re buying it already dried (2, above), make sure it is food grade lavender and not intended for a bowl of potpourri.Enjoy a refreshing glass of Lavender Lemonade (or an adult version with the same flavor pairing). .

What makes lavender "culinary"? And other questions you've always

Lavender highlights the richness of fruits, compliments herbs and peppery dishes, adds intrigue and depth to meat and vegetable roasts, and enhances sweet desserts with unique floral and sweet notes.A great go-to culinary lavender cultivar is ‘Buena Vista’ and ‘Folgate’.Lavandins (L. x.

intermedia) is edible, as is all lavender, but its flavor can be resinous and pungent.A Lavandin type will make a dish taste bitter.First, we begin by harvesting lavender at the optimal time for culinary use.The buds then need to be “cleaned” – sifted through through screens to remove leaves and bits of stem.This extra step, cleaning the buds, is more work, but the end result is dried lavender buds that are free of stems and debris you wouldn’t want in your food.While it’s safe to have some bits of stem and leaves in a tea blend, these other parts of the plant have a much more pungent and bitter taste, vs. the pleasant floral notes of the lavender flower.Lavender has a strong flavor, especially when it’s high-quality: organically grown, fresh, and properly processed and stored.You know you’ve used the perfect amount when you can just barely detect the floral notes. .

Lavender-Sugar Coated Edible Flowers

First, finely grind the lavender up in a food processor or coffee grinder into smaller pieces.You want just enough water to break up the thick albumen and make it easy to spread the egg wash. .

How to Harvest, Prune & Dry Lavender Flowers ~ Homestead and

In this article, we’ll go over the best time to harvest lavender, exactly where to trim it, as well as how to give the plant a deeper prune.Then I’ll show you three ways to dry fresh lavender buds, and share plenty of ideas on what to do with them!In general, lavender can grow as a perennial in USDA zones 5 through 10, though nuances among each variety or climate can make the plants more or less happy.Here, lavender bushes grow several feet in every direction and bloom essentially year round.That is because lavender thrives in warm, sunny, arid Mediterranean climates, and it doesn’t do well in high humidity or wet conditions.When planting lavender directly in the ground, choose a sunny location with excellent drainage and sandy soil.If you aren’t sure what your USDA growing zone is, use this simple zip code lookup tool to find out.I always suggest plant shopping at locally-owned nurseries – they’ll likely carry lavender varieties best suited to your area!We grow a wide selection of French, Spanish, and English lavender varieties in our temperate garden.Harvesting lavender flowers in the early spring will give the plant ample time to produce another flush of blooms to enjoy again in the late summer to fall.If you have hopes for the highest fragrance and essential oil content, the best time to harvest individual lavender flowers is early in their bloom cycle.Also, mature browning flower buds will crumble and fall off the stem more easily, which isn’t ideal for bouquets and can make for a messy drying process.Finally, herbalists traditionally harvest medicinal flowers in the early morning, once any dew has dried but when the plants are still perky from the cool night air.You may find the need to do this with smaller, compact lavender plants that have less space between the bud and leaf nodes.After harvest, you ’ll be left with a nice little bunch of lavender – perfect to hang and dry, or to display as a beautiful bouquet.To enjoy lavender like classic cut flowers, simply place the harvested blooms in a vase of water (if you don’t intend to dry them).Within a few days after trimming the center stem, the young side branches will rapidly grow and develop flower buds of their own.The first and less crucial “pruning” session can simply be harvesting a good amount of the first bloom of flowers in spring.Even if you aren’t harvesting flowers to keep and dry, the act of deadheading (removing spent blooms) is great for overall plant health and promotes new growth.The best time to give your lavender plant a slightly harder prune is in the fall, after the last bout of flowers fades.Trim at least a few inches above the naked woody part, leaving behind a couple leaf nodes per branch.We have cut some established plants that were yellowing and looking a bit sad waaaaaay back (almost to the ground, into the “no-no” woody zone) and they were full of lush new growth within a few months.This massive lavender bush had grown unchecked to block an entire pathway in our front yard garden (out past the row of pavers) – so we hacked it back hard!I knew it was established enough to handle a good prune, and I did end up cutting down into the wood growth in some places.Even though I cut into the woody parts (avoiding the main “trunk”), you can see fresh new green growth already starting to sprout from the wood.Collect handful-size bouquets, secure the stems together with twine or a rubber band, and hang them upside down to passively dry.Large dense bunches of lavender will receive less air flow, dry more slowly, and are more prone to developing mold.Large dense bunches of lavender will receive less air flow, dry more slowly, and are more prone to developing mold.The time it takes to fully dry can vary from a couple of weeks to over a month, depending on your climate.Living near the coast, we experience a bit of fog and mild humidity, and our decorative lavender dries pretty well this way.Inadequately dried herbs that contain leftover moisture can easily cause medicinal oils to develop mold and spoil.However, it is best to avoid overheating the lavender in order to preserve the highest level of essential oils and therapeutic benefits possible.Even though I will only dry the buds themselves, I like to remove the entire long flower stem during harvest to keep the plant looking fresh.Our Excalibur dehydrators have a “living foods” setting (95-105°F), designed to preserve beneficial plant enzymes.Our Excalibur dehydrators have a “living foods” setting (95-105°F), designed to preserve beneficial plant enzymes.Some traditional herbalists simply lay out their fresh herbs and flowers to dry on screens, or in airy baskets.Homemade herb drying racks can be assembled of a single or many “shelves” of flat framed screens.Also like the first method, allowing lavender to passively dry on screens or in baskets requires warm arid conditions – and time.Otherwise, snip or strip the flower bud portion off of the stem and store it in an airtight glass container for maximum freshness, flavor, and aroma.With natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and pain relieving properties, dry lavender is ideal to use in homemade medicine and body care products.Use a small mesh bag or cheesecloth to create sachets of soothing lavender potpourri, perfect for a dresser drawer, bathroom, car, or bedside table.We make homemade organic lavender salve (learn how to here), and recently began offering it in the Homestead and Chill shop!My friend Tanya over at Lovely Greens has a great recipe to make lavender bath bombs.Lavender can be included in sweet and savory marinades – most often used for meats, but also amazing with roasted potatoes or other veggies.Sprinkle dry lavender in your chicken coop and nesting boxes to repel flies, cut odor, and calm your hens.We routinely add old dead-headed lavender buds and stems as a soil top-dressing in potted plants, to serve as organic mulch as well as repel pests.Our homemade lavender salve (now available for sale here) works wonders on dry skin, bites, scrapes, stings, scars, and more. .

Edible Lavender Buds

From Minnesota’s Golden Fig, these dried lavender buds make a delicious addition to the kitchen when whisked into a vinaigrette, mixed with fresh berries, or sprinkled onto a strawberry shortcake. .

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