Friday, September 2, 2022

Lavender Blackberry Shrub Recipe

 
Shrubs are beverage mixers made from plants, sugar and vinegar.  Commonly made with fruit, berries or herbs, they offer a wide variety of flavors to add a touch of acidity or brightness to a drink.  Shrubs are also very easy to make at home and have on hand for refreshing nonalcoholic beverages, cocktails and other culinary preparations that would be enhanced by a little sweetness and a little sharpness.
 
Lavender Blackberry Shrub Recipe

 Lavender Blackberry Shrub

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz blackberries (or raspberries, blueberries or strawberries if you like)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Organic Culinary Lavender
  • 3/4 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (such as red wine, white wine, apple cider, white balsamic, or unseasoned rice)

Makes about 12 fl oz


Step 1  —  Gently mash berries in a bowl.  Grind lavender slightly (or crush between your fingers) to release the flavor.  Transfer berries and lavender to a large glass jar with a lid.  Add sugar and stir to combine.  Seal the jar and let fruit mixture rest at room temperature, shaking a couple of times, until berries are very soft and falling apart.  This should take about 1 day and the mixture should look very juicy.

Step 2  —  Strain the berry mixture through a fine-mesh sieve (line sieve with a layer of cheesecloth if you want to catch every bit of berry matter) into a bowl.  Scrape any undissolved sugar left in the jar into the bowl.  Discard the leftover berry mash (great for the compost pile!).

Step 3  —  Add the vinegar to the berry syrup and stir to combine. Taste the shrub and add more sugar or vinegar to your liking—it should taste both sweet and sharp but not overpowering in either direction.  Pour shrub into a clean jar, cover with lid and chill.  You can certainly use your shrub right away, but many like to let the flavors come together and mellow which takes about 1 week.

Your tasty shrub can last for 6 months in the refrigerator.

Lavender Blackberry Shrub Recipe

How to use your homemade lavender shrub...


For a refreshing nonalcoholic drink, a great place to start is a 1:5 ratio.  Pour 1 oz shrub into a glass and add 5 oz of sparkling water or club soda.  Now taste.  Tasting is very important to find the ratio that best suits you.  Add a little more shrub or soda until you find your perfect balance.  Add some ice and garnish with berries, lavender, lemon, lime, whatever you like.  Have fun with it.  This should be a fun drink, so if that means it needs an umbrella, perfect! 
 
For something else entirely... To make two cocktails use 1-2 oz of shrub, 2-3 oz of your spirit of choice, a dash or two of bitters, top it off with club soda to taste and add ice and garnish if desired.  Cheers!
 
Lavender Blackberry Shrub Recipe   Lavender Blackberry Shrub Recipe

Shrubs are also a delicious addition to a vinaigrette.  Blend 1/4 cup shrub, 1/4 cup of your favorite vinegar and 3/4 cup olive oil.  Add salt, pepper and minced shallot to taste. 

The playful balance between sweet and sharp in a shrub lends itself to culinary experimentation... drizzle a little over ice cream or the salmon you are about to grill.  Have fun and let us know how it turns out!

Continue the culinary experimentation with these fun cooking with lavender tips and recipes.

Download a printer friendly version of this lavender recipe here.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe


Textures and flavors collide beautifully in this ever-classy dessert recipe.  The addition of culinary lavender adds a floral dimension that will transport you to the lavender fields with each richly creamy and crunchy spoonful.

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender

Lavender Créme Brûlée

Ingredients:


Makes six servings using 8 ounce ramekins. Just about any small dish could be used as long as it is oven-safe and all dishes are similar sizes for equal baking time.

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender


Step 1 —  Preheat the oven to 325º and move the rack to the middle of the oven.

Step 2 —  Gently grind or crush the lavender buds to release the delicate flavor.

Step 3 —  Bring the cream, vanilla and lavender to a boil in a saucepan, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and let sit for 20-25 minutes to cool.  Strain the mixture to remove the lavender.

Step 4 —  In a medium bowl whip the egg yolks and incorporate the sugar into the egg yolks 1/4 cup at a time until the egg yolks turn a soft lemon color and the mixture thickens slightly.  

Step 5 —  Slowly stir the cream mixture into the egg yolks until combined.

Step 6 —  Place the ramekins in a roasting pan.  Fill the ramekins to just below the brim.

Step 7 —  Fill the roasting pan with hot water so that the water is halfway up the sides of the ramekins.  Carefully place the roasting pan on the middle rack in the oven.

Step 8 —  Bake for 40-50 minutes.  The crème will not fully set, it will jiggle in the middle like a soft jello when it is done.

Step 9 —  Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and place in the refrigerator to cool for 3 hours or overnight (cover if chilling overnight).

Step 10 —  Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator and let them sit for 10-20 minutes to warm up slightly before finishing.  Evenly sprinkle 1-2 tablespoons of sugar on the top of each ramekin.

Step 11 —  Using a torch, brown the sugar until it has formed a crispy, golden-brown top using a side to side sweeping motion. See note below if you don't have a torch.

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender


Step 12 —  Return the ramekins to the fridge for another 10-15 minutes before serving to allow the sugar to harden.

Garnish with a sprig of lavender and serve with a cup of after-dinner coffee.  Enjoy the delightful first cracking of the caramelized sugar and each delicious spoonful thereafter!

Lavender Créme Brûlée Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender

Note: If you don't have a torch the crispy top can be created using your oven broiler.  Place a rack 4-6" below the broiler.  Preheat broiler on high for 5-10 minutes.  Place the ramekins on a baking sheet.  Broil for 5-10 minutes, or until the sugar melts completely and most of it caramelizes.  Watch carefully to ensure the sugar does not burn.  Rotate the pan occasionally for even browning.  Cool on a wire rack for 1 minute to allow the sugar to harden.

If you are new to cooking with lavender, it's a wonderful herb to explore on both the savory and sweet side of the palate.  On the sweet side, we'd recommend trying summer strawberries with Lavender Whipped Cream — a delicious, fresh treat.  For a savory, comfort-food recipe, try Risotto Style Yukon Gold Potatoes with Lavender and Rosemary (not eating the entire pan is very difficult!).

Friday, April 29, 2022

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender

Flowers are always a stylish way to say 'thank you', 'I love you' and a host of other thoughtful sentiments.  In fact, flowers have been used to send messages for centuries, reaching a zenith with the Victorians who, one could easily say, were obsessed with the communicative meaning of flowers.  Today, flowers continue to be an elegant way to celebrate, acknowledge or thank someone.

The one downside of sending someone flowers is that they will inevitably wilt.  Such is the transience of life, but there are many flowers that don't have to wither.  Creating bouquets with florals that dry naturally means that a gift of flowers does not have to be fleeting. 

Lavender is one such flower.  Many varieties of lavender retain their form and color beautifully when dried.  Let's create a giftable bouquet that will last!

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender


You will need....
  • Lavender - dried or fresh (see note below)
  • Fresh Eucalyptus - We used Seeded Populus Eucalyptus for its delightful texture.
  • Fresh Baby's Breath
  • Fresh Sea Holly (Thistle Eryngium Blue)
  • Scissors or clippers
  • Floral tape or rubber band
  • Parchment paper
  • Ribbon to suit your fancy

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender


We chose these floral elements for their soft palette, similar scale and structural variety.  Each of these elements retain their structure and color when dried.  They are also readily sourced from a local florist.

When we are creating a bouquet we rarely follow a formula, but there are some useful things to keep in mind — scale, balance and composition.  Large or dense florals can be balanced by groupings of smaller blooms.  Use taller blooms in the center of the bouquet surrounded by slightly shorter blooms so that all the florals are visible.  Intermingle feathery, lighter textures with heavier greenery.  Turn the bouquet as you are building it to ensure there aren't any holes forming and it doesn't become overly one-sided.  Don't hesitate to remove leaves, cut stems down and trim the florals as needed.

One of the wonderful things about flower arranging is that each bloom is different.  Each stem and each spray of leaves is unique.  Embracing the organic diversity and letting the asymmetry be present will invariably mean that there is something wild, joyful and free in the bouquet.  

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender   How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender 

When the bouquet is ready for finishing, secure the stems with floral tape or a rubber band and trim them to the same length.  Wrap the bouquet in parchment paper and tie with a ribbon (leaving the stems visible gives it a nice organic feel).  Or, for a simpler dressing, wrap the stems a few times to cover the floral tape or rubber band and finish it with a bow.

Add a gift note and you are all set for gifting a beautiful bouquet that will last and last!

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender   How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender

To ensure it lasts a long time do not put it in water.  These florals will dry naturally without water in whatever vase or container they are put in.  Additionally, keep it out of direct sunlight to preserve the color.


Note: To create this beautiful bouquet we used dried lavender.  We cultivate two varieties of lavender in our organically-certified fields that are especially suited for drying — Lavandula x intermedia "Grosso" and Lavandula angustifolia "Royal Purple".  We used "Royal Purple" for this bouquet.  If you are planning a large bouquet and long stems would be preferable, "Grosso" would be well-suited with its long stems. 

If you plan on using fresh lavender, it's a good idea to check that the fresh lavender you are using is a variety that drys well.  Some varieties crumble and loose their color when dried and do not work well for dried arrangements.  If you are unsure, send us a picture or the variety name and we'll gladly provide guidance.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Lavender Lemon Bars

 
This sweet treat looks and tastes like spring. Bright citrus, like spring sunshine warming the earth and  encouraging flowers to come forth, lifts the floral flavor of lavender into something altogether delightful to the eye and the palate.

Lavender Lemon Bar Recipe

Lavender Lemon Bars

 
For the crust:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lightly ground Organic Culinary Lavender Buds (see note below)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 Lavender and Lemons   Lavender Lemon Bar Recipe

Step 1 — Preheat oven to 350°

Step 2 — In a bowl beat the butter, flour, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times. Once combined the texture will be crumbly. Press it evenly into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes until set and lightly golden.
 
Step 3 — While the crust is baking, whisk together the sugar and ground lavender buds.
 
Step 4 — Beat the eggs and lemon juice. Add the lavender sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add the salt and beat until combined.

Step 5 — Spread the filling over the crust. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is slightly cracked and set. The inside filling will still be somewhat soft and curd-like.
 
Step 6 —  Let the bars cool completely before slicing. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with dried or fresh lavender flowers.

These bars are delicious served chilled or at room temperature for a springtime brunch. For afternoon "tea", pair a bar (or two!) with a cup of our Organic Lavender Black Ceylon Tea.

Note: Lightly grinding the lavender buds will bring the flavor out more readily. Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle works well. If neither of these are at hand, place the lavender between two sheets of parchment paper and lightly grind it with a rolling pin.

Lavender Lemon Bar Recipe

Friday, March 4, 2022

Sugared Lavender Almonds Recipe

A tasty, nutritious snack is a good thing to have in the house for work-at-home breaks, an after school nibble or evening appetizer. This Sugared Lavender Almond recipe is easy to make and will keep the pantry stocked for a while. Or, maybe not. These crunchy bites are as addictive as they are delicious!

Sugared Lavender Almonds Recipe

Sugared Lavender Almonds

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound raw almonds (approximately 3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons Organic Culinary Lavender
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

How to make sugared Lavender Almonds recipe

Finely grind lavender and sugar together with a mortar and pestle or a spice mill. If a food processor or blender is what you have at hand, either will also do the job.

Preheat oven to 300. Place raw almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Similar recipes might call for you to peel the almonds. If you have the time and prefer your almonds peeled, go for it. We don't find this step makes a marked difference. 

How to make sugared Lavender Almonds recipe     Lavender Almonds

Slowly roast the almonds, stirring once, until lightly browned. This takes about 15 minutes.

Let the toasted almonds cool until just warm and transfer them to a large bowl.

Drizzle with oil and mix to coat. Sprinkle the lavender and sugar over the almonds and mix until thoroughly distributed. 

While you can certainly eat them right away, we suggest covering them and allowing the oils and flavors to infuse for 24 hours. This delicious snack will easily keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container. In fact, we think the flavor improves with time!


If cooking with lavender is new to you, we offer lots of useful tips, sweet and savory lavender recipes, along with a cookbook containing many of our favorite lavender recipes from our own farm kitchen and beyond.

How to make sugared Lavender Almonds recipe


Friday, January 21, 2022

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

 
In addition to their culinary applications, many of the items in your kitchen pantry can be used to marvelous effect on the skin.  Green tea is loaded with skin protecting and repairing antioxidants.  Honey is an excellent ingredient for moisturizing the skin.  Rice flour can exfoliate and brighten skin.  Lavender's long-recognized antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties provide much benefit for the prevention and treatment of acne-like breakouts. 

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Blended together these simple, natural ingredients make a luxurious skincare mask to gently exfoliate, hydrate and brighten skin.  Try adding this rejuvenating, at-home treatment to your regular skin care regimen and follow with our Lavender Body Lotion or one of our other moisturizers.

Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask


Ingredients:
 
Note for those with extremely sensitive skin: It is always a good idea to test new products on a small patch of skin to ensure there is no irritation.

To get started, grind the loose, dry tea leaves to a rough powder.  This will create a consistency that is easier to apply to the skin. 

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Steep the ground tea leaves in 16 ounces of hot water for 2 minutes.  This is more tea than you would use to make a single cup of tea, but the more tea leaves you use, the more antioxidants will be present in your mask.

Organic Lavender Green Tea

Strain the tea leaves well and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.  Once cool, blend the tea leaves, honey and rice flour into a rough paste.  Note: If you prefer a creamier consistency, add more rice flour.

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask
 
Before applying the mask, be sure to remove all makeup.  Spritzing a cotton ball with Organic Lavender Facial Toner & Cleanser and gently wiping the face is an excellent way to moisten and prepare the skin.
 
Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask     Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Using the tips of your fingers, lightly massage the mask into clean, damp skin.  The ground tea leaves and rice flour buff away dead skin cells to help keep pores unclogged.  It is ideal for the face, neck and décolletage.  You can certainly continue applying it to the arms and anywhere else on the body in need of a little care and attention.

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Let the mask rest for 5 - 10 minutes to allow the antioxidants and moisture to absorb into the skin and the rice flour to gently lighten dark spots.

This is an excellent time to put your feet up and enjoy some of the tea you brewed.  Because you brewed extra strong tea to ensure your mask was brimming with antioxidants it may be too strong for your palate.  If it is, simply add more hot water to achieve your strength preference and add a dollop of honey. 

Organic Lavender Green Tea

Rinse the mask off with warm water and gently pat dry to reveal smooth, supple and bright skin.  It is normal for skin to appear a little read after exfoliation.  This usually passes within a few minutes.

Exfoliated skin absorbs moisture well, so be sure to apply a moisturizer.  Our Lavender Body Lotion is an excellent option for a light, quickly absorbing moisturizing agent made with plant oils and extracts.   For those that prefer an oil, our Lavender Body Oil is a favorite face moisturizer of our staff and those of more venerable years may find our Lavender Body Butter particularly suitable for mature skin.

To help protect your bathroom plumbing, we recommend using a drain strainer (hair catcher) or a washcloth laid over the drain to catch the tea leaves and prevent them from going down the drain.  They are easily compostable when finished. 

Need a more thorough rejuvenation?  Give yourself a decadent 5 Step Lavender Self Care Spa Treatment.  Want to explore more at-home spa treatments?  Try our Lavender Honey Oat Face Scrub or stress-reducing Lavender Tub Tea recipes.

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake - a fall favorite

 
Colorful leaves dancing in the cool, blustery winds of fall make us think of rich, spicy treats made with iconic autumnal ingredients.  Based on our Lavender Pumpkin Cranberry Bread recipe, this Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake is a deliciously sweet treat for cozy, holiday festivities.  And, left-over slices (if there are any!) are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea on a rainy afternoon.

Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake - a fall favorite

Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons Organic Culinary Lavender (4 T if you love lavender like we do!)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Step 1 — Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 10 inch fluted tube or Bundt pan.  
 
Step 2 — In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil until blended.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  
 
Step 3 — Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, lavender, cranberries and pecans.
 
Step 4 — Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in small portions alternately with the pumpkin.  Combine well after each addition. 
 
Step 5 — Transfer to the greased pan and bake 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean. 
 
Step 6 — Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.  Remove pan and cool completely. 
 
Step 7 — Dust with powdered sugar, decorate and serve.

Decorating can be as simple or elaborate as you fancy.  For a holiday gathering the center of the cake creates an ideal space for a small cup to contain just about anything — flowers, greens, holly, fall leaves, etc.  Fancifully decorated it could even be the centerpiece of your festive table!

Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake - a fall favorite   Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake - a fall favorite
 
If you are lucky enough to have a slice or two left-over, savor a few cozy minutes with a cup of one our organic lavender tea blends and a good book!