I was amazed yesterday as I was driving to pick up my kiddos from school how everything is in bloom! The beautiful colors, textures, and smells were hard to not notice! I love this season and I welcome the cool crisp air and its contrast in the warmer sunlight. Outside my back door, I have a container full of annual herbs. The herb that I look forward to using most is lavender. Lavender is so versatile. You see it used often in beauty products because of it's calming properties, but for those of us who love to cook we know that lavender pairs deliciously with citrus and one of my very favorites is a lavender lemonade. Lavender adds a floral surprise to this traditional recipe. I like to also add a touch of lavender flowers to a simple lemon muffin recipe. My kids LOVE these recipes and are impressed with how the herb tastes. Try these recipes for an exciting taste of spring!
A handful of freshly picked and rinsed lavender flowers or a tablespoon of dried lavender flowers
1 cup turbinado sugar
2 cups of boiling water for the infusion
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups or more of cold water
Muddle lavender flowers with a mortar and pestle if you have one. If you don't have one, you can put lavender into a bowl and use the bottom of a wooden spoon to muddle. This will allow the oils of the plant to infuse more intense flavor. Make a simple syrup by boiling 1 cup sugar and 2 cups water. Let cool then add the fresh lemon and muddled lavender. To serve, pour in a favorite glass full of ice. Sit outside and enjoy the crisp spring air and sun!
Lemon, Lavender Muffins
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large lemons, zested and juiced
1 1/4 cups milk or almond milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg or egg substitute
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare a muffin tin with spray oil or you can line with baking cups if desired.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add lavender flowers and crush in the dry ingredients to release lavender oils.
In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, zest, juice, and milk. Whisk in butter. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients, until just combined. Divide batter evenly between muffin cups, adding a scant 1/4 cup to each. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake until tops spring back when lightly touched, about 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.