Monday, February 17, 2020

Natural Spring Cleaning with Lavender - for Closets and Carpets


The places where we spend time — home, studio, office, car, boat, RV — are periodically in need of freshening.  These times are often early spring after homes have been buttoned up all winter, after a space has been vacant for an extended period of time or our pets have been cooped up inside.

There's no need to turn to chemical freshening agents.  Nature provides them a-plenty and one of the very best is lavender!  Lavender shines as an air and fiber freshener and as a household insect repellant — particularly against moths in closets and anywhere else woolens are present.
   
Two of our favorite home freshening products for spring are our Lavender Carpet Freshener and Organic Lavender Sachet.

Non-Toxic Home Freshening with Lavender Carpet Freshener   Non-Toxic Home Freshening with Organic Lavender Sachet

 

Natural Carpet Care

Use our Lavender Carpet Freshener for carpets, rugs, upholstery, pet beds and more.


We formulate this unique product with our own blend of organic lavender from our own fields, chamomile, citronella oil, eucalyptus oil and mint in a vermiculite carrier base. 

Non-Toxic Home Freshening with Lavender Carpet Freshener

To put it into action, sprinkle and leave on your musty carpet fibers for at least ten minutes, then vacuum normally.  The friction and heat of the vacuum cleaner helps release the natural oils into the fibers to discourage common household insects, especially fleas. At the same time, it distributes a fresh, herbal lavender fragrance throughout the space.  

For even better results, leave the Lavender Carpet Freshener on your carpet for a couple of hours.  Walking on it will also help work the natural (non-staining) oils into the fibers.

Non-Toxic Home Freshening with Lavender Carpet Freshener

Non-Toxic Home Freshening with Lavender Carpet Freshener 

Cars, boats, RVs, pet crates and the like all can benefit by the same application.


Closets and Dressers Fresh with Lavender

Use our Organic Lavender Sachets for drawers, closets, woolen storage and more.


Experience the fragrance of freshly blooming lavender fields whenever you open your drawers and closets!

The lavender flower buds, heavy laden with essential oil, are stripped from their stalks after being harvested, bundled and hung up to dry for several weeks – the exact duration being dependent on the prevailing weather.  They are then sifted to remove leaf and stalk fragments before being used to fill the sachets — a centuries-old method of bringing not only their fragrance, but also the natural insect repelling and antibacterial properties of lavender into everyday use.

Add a couple of sachets to drawers and closets (hanging them from clothes hangers works perfectly!) to bring the fresh scent of lavender to these confined spaces.

Non-Toxic Home and Closet Freshening with Organic Lavender Sachets

Over time, you'll notice the fragrance starts to dissipate.  This is natural as lavender essential oil is an aromatic oil that evaporates.  When this occurs, don't throw your sachets out!  Simply reach into your drawer or closet and give the sachet a couple of squeezes.  This will break open more flower buds to release more aromatic essential oil.  This can usually be done for a couple years before needing to be replaced with fresh sachets!

Non-Toxic Home and Closet Freshening with Organic Lavender Sachets

Knitters will be happy to know that lavender is a natural and chemical-free method to keep moths out of your precious yarn collection.  Keep a few sachets among your skeins and squeeze them periodically to ensure that lavender's insect repelling power is in full force. A good rule of thumb is — if you can smell it, the moths can smell it. (And it's working!)

As you freshen up your spaces, keep in mind that these products and practices also work beautifully in cars, boats and RVs as well!

Monday, February 3, 2020

Lavender Chocolate Dipped Strawberries


Chocolate dipped strawberries are the quintessential decadent treat.  Did you know they really aren't difficult to make at home?  Nothing fancy is required, no special kitchen gadgets needed and no "cordon bleu" skills requisite.

Lavender Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Let's liberate chocolate dipped strawberries from the confines of only the most special of occasions and enjoy their deliciousness anytime a fresh, sweet treat is in order.

All that is needed are some ripe strawberries and our Lavender Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce.  Two ingredients and a bowl and a spoon later, you'll have a decadent treat to share (or enjoy all to yourself).

Lavender Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Recipe

After the ripe strawberries are washed and dried, open a jar of Lavender Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce and give it a quick stir.  (At Pelindaba Lavender we do not use any synthetic preservatives or stabilizers, so a quick stir is often a good idea prior to dipping.)

To make dipping a little easier, decant some of the Lavender Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce into a small bowl.  While grasping its leafy topknot, dip the strawberry into the sauce, using the spoon to fully coat the sides.  The amount of sauce you use to coat the strawberry is entirely up to you!

Lavender Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Lavender Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Recipe

Lavender and chocolate create a delightful flavor pairing that is rich and bold to balance the lightness and bright flavor of the fresh strawberries.  Our Lavender Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce is produced in small batches with European-style (Dutch Process) cocoa powder.  Dutch Process cocoa produces a mellower flavor and darker color than other processed cocoa powders.  It is also vegan and dairy free!

If you are really craving decadent chocolaty indulgence, try our Lavender Chocolate Brownies and Lavender Hot Chocolate to accompany your Lavender Chocolate Dipped Strawberries.

Lavender Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Monday, January 27, 2020

Lavender S'Mores and Hot Chocolate Around the Fire


One of our favorite methods of dispelling the winter darkness (and those winter blues) is with a cozy gathering around a roaring fire out of doors. A warming treat to share is, of course, a must! On the menu for our gathering is... a winter staple and a campfire staple, but with a lavender twist - of course: Lavender Hot Chocolate and Lavender S'Mores!

How about inviting a few friends and family over for a wintry gathering in your backyard?

Lavender S'Mores and Hot Chocolate Around the Bonfire

What You'll Need for Lavender S'Mores and Lavender Hot Chocolate Around the Fire

  • Marshmallows (store bought or homemade - your choice!)
  • Graham Crackers
  • Lavender Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
  • Marshmallow Roasting Forks or an obliging stick with a knife sharpened end
  • Fire-Making Supplies - kindling, an old newspaper, plenty of dry wood, your preferred flame producer and... 
  • Lavender Hot Chocolate

Lavender S'Mores and Hot Chocolate Around the Bonfire

How to Make Lavender Hot Chocolate and Lavender S'Mores


Whipping up some steaming Lavender Hot Chocolate to keep everyone's insides warm is a cinch.  All the ingredients are included in our delightfully presented jars. A few simple steps will have you pouring out mugs around the fire in no time at all!

Each jar makes two mug-sized servings. Simply mix the contents with boiling water and split between two mugs. For a more decadent treat, swap out the water for milk or your favorite dairy alternative! Whisk all the ingredients together until the chocolate chips are all melted and incorporated. Complete instructions and serving suggestions are available here.

Lavender S'Mores and Hot Chocolate Around the Bonfire

Now, back to our s'mores! The first requirement for all s'mores is a perfectly toasted marshmallow.  Find a little nook in the fire where it has burned low enough to reveal a glowing bed of embers.  Careful rotating of your marshmallow on its stick will ensure an even browning all the way around.  Be careful to avoid too much heat or your marshmallow could burst into flame... unless, of course, you like a little charring!

Lavender S'Mores and Hot Chocolate Around the Bonfire

Once your marshmallow is golden brown, it's time to prepare two halves of a graham cracker to embrace the toasted, gooey goodness. On one half, smear Lavender Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce. If extra decadence is called for - smear both crackers!

Peanut butter, almond butter or fresh berries are wonderful flavor complements to use on one half of the graham cracker as well. We ramped up the flavor of our lavender s'mores with some organic almond butter!

Lavender S'Mores and Hot Chocolate Around the Bonfire

Lavender S'Mores and Hot Chocolate Around the Fire

Eat up! And then make another one!

Lavender S'Mores and Hot Chocolate Around the Fire   Lavender S'Mores and Hot Chocolate Around the Fire

Or three!

Lavender S'Mores and Hot Chocolate Around the Fire

Lavender S'Mores and Hot Chocolate Around the Fire

If a backyard fire pit isn't handy, but an inside hearth is... there's no reason you can't gather around it and make equally tasty Lavender S'Mores and Lavender Hot Chocolate! Happy sweet wintering and stay cozy and warm out there!

Friday, January 24, 2020

How to make Lavender Hot Chocolate


All the ingredients to make Lavender Hot Chocolate are included in our delightfully presented jars.  A few simple steps will have you enjoying a steaming mug in no time at all!

 

How to Make Lavender Hot Chocolate


Step 1:

Empty the contents of a jar of Lavender Hot Chocolate into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.


Step 2:

Divide the mixture between two large mugs.

 

Step 3:

Add boiling water.  Whisk all the ingredients together until the chocolate chips are all melted and incorporated.  For a more decadent treat, swap out the hot water for hot milk or your favorite dairy alternative.


Step 4:

Enjoy!

Our Lavender Hot Chocolate is a delicious treat to share just as it is.  It's also a wonderful stage to get creative with flavor pairings.  Take the lavender experience to the next level by topping the mug with Lavender Whipped Cream and dried lavender buds.


 Here are some more ideas to further dress up an, already, unique and delectable beverage...
  • a dash of cinnamon, chili powder and allspice with a cinnamon stick
  • a splash of limoncello topped with whipped cream and candied citrus peel
  • a touch of mint or vanilla extract
  • a splash of hazelnut liquor
  • or whatever tickles one's tastebuds



Monday, January 13, 2020

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks


We handcraft so many lavender-based products at the farm it can often be hard to choose our favorites.  Our Lavender Treatment Stick, with its broad topical skin care uses, is certainly one of them.  As one of our continuously top 5 best-sellers, we know it's one of your favorites as well!

Since so many use it regularly to treat cuts, abrasions, burns, headaches, joint aches, sprains, bruises, to moisturize hands and lips on-the-go, etc., we thought you might like to see how we make it.

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

Making a batch of Lavender Treatment Sticks


Lavender Treatment Sticks start right at the source with powerfully simple, natural ingredients.  Our own Organic Lavender Essential Oil (that we grow and distill in our own fields and distillery, just steps from the Production Center) is gently blended with jojoba, grape seed, vitamin E and sweet almond oils, along with aloe vera, beeswax and rosemary oil extract.  Rosemary oil extract acts as a natural preservative!

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

Once fully blended, these luxurious natural ingredients have the hue of liquid gold.  While still warm the liquid gold is carefully poured into each and every tube - by hand.  We have some incredibly steady hands among our product hand-crafters! 

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks    Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

Each tube (several hundred in each run) is given attention and intention (dare we say love!) as it's filled by careful hands.  This is one of the joys of creating small batches by hand.

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

Once cooled enough to be moved, the tubes are extracted from their pouring trays and lined up to finish setting like a battalion of therapeutic soldiers ready for inspection.

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

While they have been setting, the lids were labeled and are now slid down each fully cooled tube.

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

Technically the Lavender Treatment Sticks are ready for use now, but we value artful presentation at Pelindaba and the finishings are also given careful attention.

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

The identifying labels are aligned by hand...

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

...the product tags are cut and folded by hand...

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

...and the final presentation is tied together (by hand!) and ready to be sent to one of our product galleries or directly to you.

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

Behind The Scenes: Making A Batch Of Lavender Treatment Sticks

Once in-hand, the Lavender Treatment Stick really shines. It's so versatile in application and so convenient in use.

We regularly hear of new uses from individuals who love it and try it on anything and everything. Below are some of the uses that we have experienced:
  • Treating cuts, abrasions, stings, bites, burns, mild rashes and skin irritations and the like
  • Soothing headaches joint aches, sprains and bruises
  • On-the-go moisture for hands, lips and anywhere else the skin is feeling a bit dry
Its convenient tube applicator makes it clean and easy to keep in the car, purse, backpack, desk drawer, diaper bag, etc. And, the fact that it looks a little like a giant glue stick makes it fun for little ones to apply on the inevitable "ouchies" that can occur.

Speaking of hearing from others and how they use the Lavender Treatment Stick, we sometimes hear of benefits for which we have no explanation as to how they come about.  Miracle?  Magic?  Just the remarkableness of lavender?  Regardless, we cannot help but be impressed by what we are told.  A report such as this came to our ears last month and we felt we just had to share it (verbatim) with you.

"I wanted to share with you how utterly amazing the Lavender Treatment Stick is for someone with a bad back!  My husband, who doesn't ever subscribe to any holistic healing medicines/ointments, uses this product every day and it works instantaneously!  No back pain at all for up to 24 hours!  He has compressed disks, some arthritis, and some degenerative vertebra issues that become super inflamed if he stands a lot at one time.  With this Treatment Stick, the pain goes away as soon as he applies the product to his lower back.  He has been using it every day since we visited your farm back in early July (2019).  This Treatment Stick is a miracle."  M&B from California

We really do love hearing from you.  Receiving and sharing stories of how the products we handcraft effect daily lives around the country and world is one of the highlights of what we do.  Please share yours in the comments below or on Facebook or Instagram.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Non-Toxic Window Cleaning with Lavender Hydrosol


At the lavender farm our gravel driveway kicks up a lot of dust.  Add a little (or a lot of) rainfall and our windows get dirty very quickly.  During the gray of winter we don't notice the grime as readily, but as soon as the low winter sun comes out it's almost impossible to see out for all the dirt!  Our favorite window cleaning agent is (surprise!) lavender!  Specifically, Organic Lavender Hydrosol.  

Organic Lavender Hydrosol is produced during the steam distillation of lavender essential oil.  It contains all the same properties and attributes of lavender essential oil, but in a less concentrated form which makes it highly versatile.  Lavender's natural solvent and non-streaking properties make it the ideal, non-toxic, non-chemical window and glass cleaner.

Non-Toxic Window Cleaning with Lavender Hydrosol

What you'll need to clean your windows with lavender!

  • Organic Lavender Hydrosol - the 16 fl oz spray bottle works best for this application.  We do offer larger, re-fill sizes for filling your own spray bottle if you already have one. 
  • Clean microfiber cloths or rags
  • A squeegee
  • A brush or gentle scrubber for stubborn grime
  • A razor for extra-stubborn gunk
  • Organic Lavender Essential Oil to remove residue that won't come away with a razor

Non-Toxic Window Cleaning with Lavender Hydrosol    Non-Toxic Window Cleaning with Lavender Hydrosol

Organic Lavender Hydrosol's solvent power works best when it's allowed to sit.  Thoroughly wet the glass and scrub with rag or gentle scrubber.  If the glass is starting to dry, wet it with a bit more Lavender Hydrosol and let it sit for a couple minutes.

Non-Toxic Window Cleaning with Lavender Hydrosol

This is a great time to work on any stubborn spots with a razor or, if you need a big punch of solvent power, Lavender Essential Oil.

With squeegee in hand, firmly wipe the Lavender Hydrosol dissolved dirt and grime from the glass starting from top to bottom.  Between each wipe, run a clean rag along the rubber edge of the squeegee to clean it prior to touching the glass again.

Non-Toxic Window Cleaning with Lavender Hydrosol 

As a last step clean the window trim of any dirty drips and buff up any still-damp areas with a clean cloth.

Tip: Avoid cleaning windows in direct sunlight.  The heat will dry the Lavender Hydrosol too quickly and the direct light will show every single, tiny speck.  It's much easier to clean windows on an overcast day or when the sun is shining elsewhere for the time being.
 
Non-Toxic Window Cleaning with Lavender Hydrosol

And, that's it.  Easy peasy and no harsh chemicals or foul smells involved!  Enjoy your streak-free, sparkling windows!

Do you have any other surfaces that need attention?  Organic Lavender Hydrosol works beautifully on mirrors, eye glasses, windshields and is safe to use directly on screens of all kind - TV, computers, laptops, phones, tablets, watches, etc.

Lavender Hydrosol has many other uses as well - from all-natural cloth diapering and safe baby skin care to cleaning fine jewelry.  Lavender is an every-day-amazing plant!

Non-Toxic Window Cleaning with Lavender Hydrosol

Monday, December 16, 2019

Gluten-Free (Dairy-Free) Lavender Cut Out Cookie Recipe


For those who avoid gluten, this tasty, simple, gluten-free recipe with a dash of lavender will make a special treat in a sea of can't-haves! It can easily be made with a dairy-free butter as well, for the vegans and lactose-troubled in your circles. The addition of lavender adds a unique festive flavor to traditional holiday cut-out cookie recipes to pleasantly surprise the palate.

Even for those who can enjoy this wheat protein, we have found this flavorful recipe to be easy to roll and cut. It also holds its shape well for decorating and has a delightful crunch on the outside with soft texture inside. Gluten-free recipes can be tricky, so we've included some tips that we found aided a successful bake.

Don't have gluten-free flour on-hand? It works just as well with conventional all-purpose white flour, too. Simply swap equal parts flour and omit the xantham gum.

Gluten-Free (Dairy-Free) Lavender Cut Out Cookie Recipe

Gluten-Free Lavender Cut Out Cookies Recipe


Makes approximately 24 cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 sticks (175g) butter or dairy-free butter
  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs or egg replacer equivalent 
  • 3.5 cups (450g) gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum - omit if included in your flour blend
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 tsp (or to taste) ground Organic Culinary Lavender

Lavender Gluten-Free Cut Out Cookie Recipe

Instructions:

  1. Cream together butter or dairy-free butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs (or egg alternative), vanilla and almond extracts and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Combine dry ingredients and lavender in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the sugar and egg mixture and mix well to combine.
  5. Wrap the dough in parchment paper and allow it to cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. When the dough has cooled, preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Roll out dough between two sheets of parchment paper to a 1/4 inch thickness.
  8. Cut out desired shapes and transfer to a parchment lined backing sheet.
  9. Bake for 12-14 minutes.*
  10. Allow to cool slightly on the backing sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
  11. Once cool, decorate as desired.
Gluten-Free Holiday Cut Out Cookie Recipe with Lavender 

Cooled cookies can be decorated however you fancy! We used a flour sifter to dust powdered sugar on our tree shaped cut out cookies, which reminded us of fresh snow in the forest. 
Gluten-Free Lavender Christmas Cookie Recipe

For a simple, rustic look you might leave the cookies bare or top them with icing or an adornment of sprinkles.

For a fun nod to the flavor, spread our Lavender Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce on the cookies and sprinkle with culinary lavender.

Gluten-Free Lavender Christmas Cookie Recipe


Tips:

  • Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes to allow it to firm up and be easier to handle.
  • This recipe can be made dairy-free easily by substituting butter for a vegan alternative.  We used Earth Balance Vegan Butter.  Your choice of egg alternative can also be used. 
  • Be sure your gluten-free flour contains xanthan gum.  We used Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-To-1 Baking Flour, which does include xanthan gum.  If your gluten-free flour does not, the amount of xanthan gum to add is included in the recipe.
  • Avoid flouring your work surface as this will effect the correct flour ratio in the recipe.  Parchment paper works great for rolling out the dough.
  • Flours can vary in weight.  It's best to weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale to ensure the proportions are accurate.  Both weight and cup measures are included in the recipe.
  • This recipe is not overly sweet.  If you prefer your cookies on the sweeter side, increase the sugar to taste.
  • If you decide to use all purpose white flour for this recipe instead, we recommend dropping the cooking time down by half and making the cookies slightly thicker, about 1/3" instead. 

 

Tips for baking with Lavender:

  • Use a mortar and pestle to grind the Organic Culinary Lavender before adding to the recipe.  Crushing the buds brings out the flavor more fully, rather than chopping or leaving whole.
  • Gluten-free flours can introduce a nutty or earthy flavor to a recipe, which compliments lavender well.  For a more lavender-forward flavor, increase the amount of Organic Culinary Lavender in this recipe by half.

One need not be gluten free to appreciate this classic holiday favorite. Share with everyone on your  list and don't forget to share with us in the comments below or on Instagram and Facebook! We love to see the culinary creativity of the "lavender adventurous."

Turn on the holiday tunes -- we're listening to holiday music from around the world in our kitchen! -- heat up the oven and bake to your holiday heart's content!

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Lavender Christmas Cookie Recipe

Recipe inspiration from Noshtastic.com