Hints & Recipes

Lavenders are widely grown in gardens. Lavender flower spikes are often used for dried flower arrangements. The fragrant, pale purple flowers and flower buds are used in potpourris. Dried and sealed in pouches, they are placed among stored items of clothing to give a fresh fragrance and as a deterrent to moths. The plant is also grown commercially for extraction of lavender oil from the flowers. This oil is used as an antiseptic and for aromatherapy.

 

Lavender Uses

Lavender flowers yield abundant nectar which yields a high quality honey for beekeepers. Lavender monofloral honey is produced primarily in the nations around the Mediterranean, and marketed worldwide as a premium product. Lavender flowers can be candied and are used as cake decoration. Lavender is also used as a herb, either alone or as an ingredient of Herbes de Provence. Lavender is also used to flavour sugar, the product being called “lavender sugar”, and the flowers are occasionally sold in a blend with black, green, or herbal tea, adding a fresh, relaxing scent and flavour.

Eat your Lavender

The flowers of Lavandula angustifolia are the best culinary lavender- angustifolia flowers can be used like any other herb in cooking with a careful hand.  The flowers can be incorporated into biscuits, icecream, brownies, vinegars, cheese, breads, muffins & cakes, just to name a few.  At Leven K we feel lavender works best with citrus & chocolate!

RECIPE

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Lavender & Honey Ice Cream

8 egg yolks
200g sugar
50ml honey
800ml cream
1tspn culinary lavender
1 vanilla pod

Place the egg yolks and sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.  Place the honey, cream and vanilla into a saucepan and heat until it almost boils, then remove from the heat and add the lavender flowers.  Allow to steep for 10 minutes then strain the cream and add it to the egg and sugar mix.  Mix well then return the custard to the heat.  Stir custard constantly over a low heat until the mixture coats the back of the spoon.  Remove from heat and churn in an ice cream machine.  If you don’t have a machine you can hand churn by filling a large bowl with ice and rock salt.  Place a smaller bowl on the ice and place in the cooked custard.  Whisk by hand until thick. This can take up to an hour so have helpers nearby.

The flowers of Lavandula angustifolia are the best culinary lavender. angustifolia flowers can be used like any other herb in cooking with a careful hand.  The flowers can be incorporated into biscuits, icecream, brownies, vinegars, cheese, breads, muffins & cakes, just to name a few.  At Leven K we feel lavender works best with citrus & chocolate!

 

USEFUL LINKS
Larkmann Nurseries – for all lavender tubestock
Granite Belt Wine & Tourism
The Australian Lavender Growers Association (TALGA) – National body for Lavender Growers
Southern Downs & Granite Belt – Regional Tourism
Goondiwindi Regional Council – Our local council

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Medicinal Use

Lavender has been used extensively in herbalism.

English lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, yields a highly effective essential oil with very sweet overtones, and can be used in balms, salves, perfumes, cosmetics, and topical applications. Lavandin, Lavandula x intermedia (also known as lavandin), yields a similar essential oil, but with higher levels of terpenes including camphor, which add a sharper overtone to the fragrance. Spanish lavender, Lavandula stoechas is not used medicinally, but mainly for landscaping purposes.

Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was used in hospitals during WWI to disinfect floors, walls and other surfaces. These extracts are also used as fragrances for bath products. An infusion of lavender is claimed to soothe and heal insect bites. Bunches of lavender are also said to ward off insects. If applied to the temples, lavender oil is said to soothe headaches.

Health precautions: There is scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of some of these remedies, especially the anti-inflammatory effects, but they should be used with caution since lavender oil can also be a powerful allergen.