Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) is a highly fragrant herb that grows easily in most gardens. It's often used for potpourris, sachets and incense but is also edible. Use lavender blooms in the kitchen for many different recipes ranging from salads to meats to baked items. You can find recipes online or in cookbooks at shops or libraries. This purple flower will spark your meals and because it's edible also makes a very nice garnish. Grow it yourself or purchase it from farmer's markets and other sources.
Buy starter plants of lavender and find a spot in the garden for them. The bushes grow into mounds a foot to 18 inches high. When the flowers come on, pick them early in the day for highest fragrance and oils. Use the fresh flowers as adornments for meat and poultry dishes, or sprinkle them on your salads. Add other edible flowers to your salads, like nasturtiums, for color and taste differences.
Dry the herbs by bundling and hanging them upside down in a dry area. Once dried, removing the blossoms is easily done by stripping the stems. Don't use the stems as they are hard and woody. Store the blooms in bottles in your pantry or kitchen cabinet. Add to soups, stews or marinades.
Crush the herbs into a powder form. Store it as in Step 2. When measuring for cooking or baking, use a measuring spoon. Just be aware if recipes call for powdered or bloom form, as you can overdo the flavor and overpower the food.
Use lavender in fruit breads, cookies jellies, and cakes. It can be a nice addition to lemonades and other summer beverages. Add it to stir-fry vegetables or sprinkle on rice. Let the dried flowers soak in your favorite light marinade to pour over meats.
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