Benefits of LavenderJuly 18, 2016
Words of Sophie Geoffrion, nutritionist
This month’s star ingredient is amongst the most original ones to ever be featured in a mix. Though lavender is commonly used in the confection of a variety of body and home products, the fragrant flower also perfumes a collection of edible treats.
In the same botanical family as an assortment of delicious fine herbs such as thyme, oregano, mint or sage, lavender is a humble shrub, particularly comfortable in drier, rockier soils. The highly fragrant flower clusters attract bees from far and wide, as they gather the precious nectar. As pollinating insects, such as honey bees, play a vital role in the reproduction and survival of a plethora of plant species (including vegetables, fruits and nuts), to plant lavender in your backyard, or in a planter is a fabulous idea to encourage the proliferation of these magical little workers!
In the kitchen, lavender flowers are commonly used to perfume honeys, simple syrups, milk or cream, which can later be used to elevate a variety of desserts. The combination of blueberries and lavender is simply delicious, not to mention that these little blue fruits are currently in season.
To experience the magic of lavender in your own kitchen, concoct your very own fragrant syrup by combining 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and about a ¼ cup of lavender flowers, which you can find in your local specialty food shop. Bring to a simmer, lower heat to minimum and allow to steep about 5 minutes before straining the mixture. Once completely cooled, add a few drops of fresh lemon juice to the syrup so it will regain its beautiful pink hue. You could use this fragrant mixture in your next homemade lemonade, on some Greek yogurt or over a simple vanilla cake. A real treat! However, be sure to buy true lavender flowers rather than lavandin, which is a lesser-quality hybrid plant and is not safe to consume.
Finally, lavender is well-known for its soothing proprieties. In periods of high stress, indulge in a lavender infusion, or add a few drops of essential oil to a warm bath. See for yourself if the floral fragrance helps you unwind, it surely can’t hurt.