Lavender and its amazing uses
Most of us have trouble sleeping every once in a while. Some people swear that having lavender next to the bed can help with sleep issues. While it is true that inhaling the herb can have relaxing effects, it can be overpowering if overused. Remember to keep quantities to a minimum, the less the more. Those who drink lavender tea, or eat the actual flower have more vitamin A, calcium and iron. The plant even has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects when applied to skin directly. Cooking with lavender can be a bit tricky, but is worth it for those who are up for the adventure. It integrates nicely with sweets and baked goods, but also has many other applications. Writer Genevieve Diesing recently wrote for the Atlantic Online a handful of helpful lavender recipes. Although the recipes for lavender syrup, blueberry lavender jam and lavender marshmallows sound tempting, I personally favor the lavender aioli pasta recipe as follows:
- 1 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, unpeeled and crushed
- 3 fresh lavender sprigs (leaves and flowers) crushed
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- In a small saucepan, gently heat the oil on med-low with the garlic and lavender for about 15 minutes (do not allow the garlic to brown).
- Remove from heat just before oil starts to bubble. Allow to cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes).
- Then strain the lavender oil, pressing with the flat edge of a spoon to get everything from the garlic and lavender. You can throw away the herbs after this.
- In a food processor or blender, process the eggs and lemon juice until well blended. With the motor running, slowly add the lavender oil a few drops at a time, then in a thin, steady stream until all the oil is absorbed and the mixture has emulsified.
- Season to taste with salt and black pepper.