You may be surprised to learn that lavender is not only edible but also has a long history of being used in cooking and baking and teas. The flower's fragrance is delicate and pairs well with both sweet and savory dishes. Here are some tips and best practices on how to incorporate lavender into your culinary creations! We find lavender so delicious we included it in our top 10 Best Tasting Edible Flowers list.
What is lavender and what's special about it?
Lavandula (common name lavender) is a genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Lavender is a plant that has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and cosmetics. The most widely cultivated species, Lavandula angustifolia ( often just referred to as lavender ) and is also a color, named after the shade of the flowers of this species. In this blog post, we will explore the many culinary uses of lavender.
How to prepare lavender for culinary use:
You can eat all parts of lavender straight from the garden raw if you desire. Most people do not consume lavender this way as its flavor is strong and can be quite bitter. However, when prepared properly, it's truly magnificent and can be compared to flavorful herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano.
How to prepare lavender for savory dishes:
To use lavender in savory dishes, try using dried lavender leaves or stems instead of the flowers. Hang your freshly trimmed lavender from its stem upside down like you would drying other flowers or herbs. Most of the flavor from lavender comes directly from the leaves, so use very sparingly.
How to prepare lavender for sweet dishes:
Lavender goes well with fruits like oranges, lemons, berries, and stone fruit. We fell in love with this Lavender Apricot Cake and Lavender Peach Pie. It is a perfect complement to raw honey and lemons, which is why lavender, lemon, and honey combinations are so popular. We love this combination in our Lavender Lemon Honey Bars and Lavender Honey Bees Knees Cocktail. Don't forget to pair it with other citrus for a unique and unforgettable experience. Lavender is also a very popular flavor in drinks and cocktails. When turned into a syrup, it makes an excellent sweetener in just about anything. And last but not least, don't forget that lavender can also be used directly in baking and frozen treats! Our readers swear by our Lavender Honey Ice cream. Some of our favorite recipes that feature lavender are these Lavender Shortbread Cookies and this Lavender Earl Grey Cake.
How to prepare lavender tea:
Lavender is most commonly prepared and consumed in tea or tea blends. Lavender is also becoming very popular in Lavender Iced Coffee and Lavender Lattes. You can see it highlighted in our Lavender London fog latte and comprehensive post about The Best Flowers For Tea.
How to brew lavender tea:
- Boil 8 oz. of water.
- Place 4 tsp. of fresh lavender buds into a tea ball or sachet.
- Place the tea ball and water into a teacup.
- Let steep for 3-5 minutes.
- Optionally add lavender infused honey, a lavender sugar cube, or some lavender milk.
Frequently asked questions:
What is a lavender flower?