Lavender (or should we say lovender…) is known for calming
Lavender is best known for its soft, sweet fragrance and calming effects. It is probably one of the first essential oils people buy. You can lavender it in everything from soaps and lotions to candles and sachets. I bet you’ve heard it can help with headaches and falling asleep, but did you know it could help heal burns, wounds, and sores due to its antiseptic qualities? It can also help relieve pain and calm inflammation in stiff achy joints and can treat lice. Lavender essential oil is fairly gentle, but it is recommended to dilute any essential oil with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut, jojoba, or sweet almond before using topically.
But wait, there’s more…
As a tea, lavender can soothe indigestion and colic and it relieves gas and bloating. (For babies, please consult a healthcare professional before administering.) Drinking a cup prior to bedtime can help with sleeplessness. This relaxing effect is also known to help with asthma where excessive nervousness is a feature.
Lavender is native to France and the western Mediterranean but grown all over the world. It was popular as a medicine during the Middle Ages and was one of the medicinal herbs brought to the New World by Pilgrims. Herbalist John Parkinson (1640) describes it as being of ‘especiall good use for all griefes and paines of the head and brain.”
Lavender is known for calming, and is amazing to cook with. Infusing honey, oils, milk, or even baking it directly into cookies and cakes adds a beautiful aroma and taste that is nicely calming. I’m including a simple minimal ingredients recipe this week so, if you’d like, you can make these for yourself or a loved one for Valentine’s Day.
Chevallier, A. (2016). Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. New York: DK Pub.
Lavender Honey Truffles
By Lynn Quire
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1-2 Tablespoons Lavender
1 ½ Cup Chocolate Chips – At least 70% Cacao
1-3 Tablespoons good quality local raw honey
Kosher salt, Sanding sugar, and/or Lavender for sprinkling on top
Container to pour into, such as a bread pan
How to make it:
In a small saucepan mix the whipping cream and the lavender. Warm over medium heat, stirring often until small bubbles start forming. DO NOT BOIL, IT WILL BURN! Turn off the heat. Cover and let the lavender steep in the cream for 20-30 minutes.
Prepare your container (bread pan) by lining it with parchment paper, up and over the lip. You will use the paper to lift the poured chocolate out.
Using strain the cream through the mesh strainer into a bowl. Be sure to press on the lavender in the mesh to get all the cream, and flavor out.
Make sure the pan is clear of all the lavender bud and pour the strained cream back in and put over low heat. Add the chocolate and stir constantly to melt. When no solids remain, add the honey. I started with one tablespoon but ended up using 3 to get it to my liking. Stir it until it is smooth and shiny.
Pour into your prepared container. You can add some lavender buds on top at this point if you wish. Put in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to cool.
Use the parchment paper to lift the chocolate out of the pan. Top with salt or sanding sugar or lavender, whichever you desire. I used kosher salt to give it that sweet and salty twist. Cut the large bar into squares.
Enjoy for yourself or share with someone special.
Store in the refrigerator.
Since lavender is known for calming, this is the perfect treat for your 2021 Valentine.
Disclosure: I am not a doctor and all information found here is for educational purposes only. All bodies are different and these suggestions may not work for all. It is up to you to work with your healthcare professional to find the right options for you.
And if you aren’t already, become an owner of the grocery here in just one click.