How to Eat Lavender

by Debra Rigas

Lavender fields around the world yield millions of blooms for the herbalist, healer or chef.

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Items you will need

  • Storage bottles
  • Measuring spoon

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.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Tips

  • Many recipes call for 1/2 to 2 tsp. of lavender. Read the recipe correctly to avoid overkill.

    If you don't want to grow your own lavender, you can find it at many farmer's markets, food stores, herb and specialty shops. Usually, you can buy it in bulk and store it.

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

About the Author

Debra J. Rigas, a professional writing coach, has been a writer and editor since 1975. She is the author of the nonfiction book "Everyone's A Guru" and has edited novels ("The Woman Pope") and worked in arts and sciences as a filmmaker, boat captain, landscaper, counselor, theater administrator and licensed midwife.