I love lavender. I used to be so sensitive to it that I definitely couldn't handle any artificial lavender anything, and even the flowers would be too intense for me. As I have cleared out all artificial fragrances in all of my home/body/bath products for years now and have gone exclusively natural and organic, I have found that I can now tolerate real lavender and even love it. I grow a lot of lavender every summer and dry it in my dehydrator for use in recipes - both for culinary and bath/body herbal use. A favorite way to use lavender is by infusing honey with it. There is some magic alchemy that lavender gives to the already aromatic honey. It is a great flavor combination. Lavender also works well with citrus. Since I love making all of my own beverages of course I have a favorite lavender lemonade recipe.
Fizzy Kombucha Lavender Lemonade
The classic lemonade is refreshing and delicious. This recipe adds kombucha for a fizzy probiotic healthy punch, making it taste like a fizzy soda treat. If you make your own kombucha, you are set. If you are using store bought kombucha, look for a brand that has a nice carbonation and with a flavor that goes well with citrus and lavender! I like ginger or citrus kombucha with mine.
Mix your fresh lemon juice and lavender honey in a small pitcher.
Tip: Add the honey to the lemon mix when slightly warm so that it will stir in and not sink the bottom. Whisking while slowly pouring it in helps too.
Lavender Infused Honey:
To make lavender honey, gently warm your 1/2 cup of honey (LOW - no boiling!) with 2 Tbsp of dried lavender buds added. Let sit for 20-30 minutes on *very low* heat and then strain. The honey will be infused with the lavender aroma and flavor.
I have always been happy drinking water all day. My husband, however, likes having iced beverages with many flavors, and isn't much of a water drinker. So these days I make shrubs, switchels, fruit syrups to use with carbonated water, and of course iced teas. I prefer mixing some herbal goodness with my drinks, so this recipe combines the great properties of turmeric, ginger, hibiscus, citrus and rooibos with some fresh local honey to make an extremely delicious tea. This has so much flavor and is so refreshing - and with no caffeine we can drink it in the evening as we sit on the deck admiring the sunset.
Caffeine-Free Hibiscus Iced Tea
Iced tea is a summer staple and this recipe combines a wonderful rich colour of hibiscus with a healthy boost of turmeric and ginger. This is has a rich twangy flavor, perfect for hot summer days or steamy evenings. Green rooibos is a caffeine-free herb that has a mild green-tea like flavour and contains antioxidants as well as minerals and flavonoids. I like using green rooibos because caffeine-free means we can drink iced tea into the evening!
Using a half gallon canning jar or heat safe pitcher add your hibiscus, ginger, turmeric, citrus peel, and rooibos.
I love drinks that are not too sweet and that are very refreshing. Today is going to get into the 80's and I have already been outside watering the garden, opening up the greenhouses and watering all of the seedlings. The first thing I wanted when I came inside was a cold glass of iced tea. Yum. This is one of my favorite cold drink recipes and the smell and taste of it just feel like summer to me!
More about these ingredients:
Green Rooibos Tea Benefits and Use
Health Benefits of Hibiscus
The Amazing and Mighty Ginger
6 Health Benefits of Turmeric
8 Healthy Lime Facts
Turmeric has been used traditionally not only as a flavorful spice/seasoning, but also for its health benefits. Turmeric contains curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The addition of ginger gives this drink a warm spicy flavor, and is good for digestion and also an anti-inflammatory. I consciously add anti-inflammatory foods to my diet as much as I can to help support anti-inflammatory processes in my body, and having a drink with both ginger and turmeric is an added bonus. The taste is rich and creamy with a hint of a musky chai-like undertone. It is delicious. This rich golden milk is great during seasonal transitions when it can go from warm to cold in one day or when you get inside after a cold day in the snow, and a steaming mug of spicy milk tastes and feels wonderful.
Spiced Turmeric Milk
While using fresh turmeric is best, it can be hard to find at the market during certain times of year, so this recipe uses powdered. This is delicious on a cold winter day.
Warm the coconut milk in a saucepan on the stove.
I love using turmeric and ginger as much as I can, and this drink is so delicious and rich and spicy. I do like coffee (we roast our own beans) and I love herbal tea (I grow and dry my own herbs all summer long to make herbal tea blends), but I also like having a hot drink that has a different flavor in my winter mug rotation!
I am a certified aromatherapist, herbalist, organic gardener, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, whole foods maker, and mother of two unschooled boys in south central Wisconsin.
The Gluten & Dairy Free Pantry