I love to garden. I especially love to grow flowers. I love that their main purpose is to just be beautiful. A couple of years ago, I planted several lavender plants in my garden in hopes of creating a wall of lavender. This year, I am swimming in lavender. Did you know that lavender has other uses besides looking and smelling amazing? I like to use it in my baking to add a subtle floral touch. For me, it evokes a feeling of old-fashioned love.
Making lavender extract to use in the kitchen is simple. All you need is alcohol and some lavender flowers. I generally use vodka for my homemade extracts as it has the most neutral flavor. I go for the mid-grade kind, not too cheap and not the expensive stuff.I harvest my own lavender flowers from the garden and dry them by hanging them in a warm place out of the sun. I find that using dry herbs for extracts reduces spoiling issues as dried herbs do not have any water content. If you decide to purchase lavender flowers, I recommend getting organic lavender (like this) to avoid any harmful sprays/chemicals that may be used in commercial flower growing.
I use glass jars when making extracts to avoid harmful plastics leaching into my edibles. I often use recycles glass jars or wide mouth mason jars (like this).
I generally let my lavender extract sit for about a month, but it can be used after about 2 weeks. As with all extracts, the longer you let it steep, the stronger it will be.
BTW, Lavender extract makes a great gift. I use small amber glass bottles like THESE to store it in as gifts. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to let the lavender steep before you want to give it away.
What to do with Lavender Extract?
Once you have your amazing extract made, there are so many wonderful uses for it.
I use it for:
- cookies (Lavender Shortbread cookies)
- adult cocktails (think Lavender Lemon Drop or Lavender Margarita)
- lavender whipped cream (great with real cream or coconut cream)
- ice cream
- chocolates (OMG… have you tried a Lavender Chocolate Truffle?)
- And of course, gifts (a homemade gift is always appreciated)
How to Make Lavender Extract
What you will need:
- A glass jar with cap
- 2 cups vodka
- 1/2 cup organic lavender flowers, dried (like this)
1. Place lavender flowers into glass jar.
2. Pour vodka over flower and place cap securely on.
3. Give a little shake and place out of direct sunlight.
4. Let sit for at least 2 weeks, giving it a little shake once in a while.
5. Strain through a sieve, gently pressing flowers to extract all the goodness. You can strain again through a sieve lined with an unbleached coffee filter if you want.
6. Place in a clean glass container with a tight cap. Keep out of direct sunlight.