Seasonal Herb Spotlight: Lavender

June 29, 2012

by Lana Buseman

Last summer I grew my own herbs on my kitchen deck and grew basil, rosemary and parsley. This summer I am in a new apartment and lacking outdoor space, but I didn’t want that to be the end of my fresh, home-grown culinary herbs. I like the idea of having something fresh growing in my apartment, and it is a much cheaper option if you like to use fresh herbs often in your cooking. I went to Home Depot to pick out some basil, rosemary and parsley and found you can also grow your own lavender. I had to pick some up and see what I could do with it. I now have four herbs growing in my “herb-an garden” and I am finding that lavender can be used for more than just freshening up your laundry.

Lavender is known to settle stomachs, help cure insomnia and even decrease anxiety. Lavender is a great substitute for rosemary in marinades for fish or chicken. It can be steeped for tea and can be made into lavender sugar.

My first experiment with my lavender was Lavender Lemonade. It’s like regular lemonade but with a slight floral flavor that is very refreshing. Lavender flavor can be overwhelming so just be sure to start with a small amount and keep adding if you want a stronger flavor.

Lavender Lemonade

Lavendar Lemonade

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. dried lavender
  • ½ cup sugar 
(agave or stevia can be substituted)
  • 2 ½ cups water
 + 2 more cups
  • 3 lemons, juiced

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 ½ cups of water with sugar and lavender.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Cover, and let stand one hour.
  4. Strain out the lavender with a sieve and place liquid in a large jug.
  5. Add lemon juice and additional water. Stir well.
  6. Refrigerate until cold. Serve with ice cubes.

Enjoy!