by Chef Kendall Huff
Native Foods Cafe
I have made a few jokes in my time about lavender. For example, I used to say, “It tastes perfumey...like licking grandma’s neck.” Now I’m not really sure what that means exactly... but I’m starting to regret my ridiculous comments about the subject. As I am now officially the biggest fan of this purple goodness… In all its forms!
With there being over 39 species of this flowering plant, how could we humans not have multiple uses for this? We would be MAD not to! This wondrous sister of mint can be found as a balm, perfume, oil and in dry flower/bud form and then used to make dish soap, shower foams, lotions, bath bars and even muffins!
My personal favorite would be the dry flowers and just straight oil. The oil can be used as an antiseptic, to soothe bug bites, skin burns, headaches and help with anti-inflammatory issues. I also like to rub a little dab near my temples before bed. It helps release the stress of the day and allows me to dream of gorgeous purple flowing fields and rolling in them.
As for the dried lavender, I like to wrap some up in a little satchel and place a few in a sock drawer, under a pillow and even in the closet. It’s amazing how great it hides that mothball smell. Add a tsp to a pot of herbal tea for a relaxing afternoon, or a ½ cup to a hot bubble bath to relax those muscles. And of course, there is the ever so refreshing and delightful Lavender Lemonade from Native Foods. I wouldn’t forget to squeeze that in, trust me!
You can also find dried lavender in the Herbs de Provence mixed at supermarkets. Adds a floral note to a great mixture of savory, fennel, basil and thyme. Great flavor so add to fall soups and stews. Popcorn sprinkle? I think so!
We can also put the faith of our undergarments in the hands of good ol’ Dr. Bronner. Not only does this multi purpose soap do anything we ask it too, but also it will leave everything sparkly and smelling of lavender. And yes…the cats seem to enjoy it too!
Sanitation is also very important for everyone. So instead of scrubbing your paws with some boring bar soap, try EO’s French Lavender or Lavender and Aloe Foams. If you like, they make shower gel too!
As for cooking...where do I start? Candied lavender? Lavender scones and Marshmallows? How about this year's Chicago Vegan Mania Lavender Panna Cotta with Almond Cookies and Caramel Sauce! Thanks to Jess from Get Sconed for the photo.
Lavender Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries, Almond Crumble and Caramel Sauce
3 cups soy milk
24 oz vanilla soy yogurt
2 tsp agar agar
2 oz agave nectar
2 TBSP dried lavender
-Steep the dried lavender in the soy milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat, for 5 to 7 minutes.
-Strain the soy milk and return it to the flame. Add the agar agar and agave and bring to a slow boil. The agar agar must dissolve completely.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the yogurt.
- Portion into mold or dishes of your choosing and cool for 3 to 4 hours.
2 cups organic sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 TBSP vegan butter
Pinch of salt
-In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the sugar, agave and water to a boil, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.
-Turn down the heat to low and cook until the liquid is deep amber in color, about 12 minutes, moving the pan around occasionally to ensure even cooking.
-Remove the pan from heat. Very carefully (the mixture will bubble), stir in the coconut milk, vegan butter and salt until smooth
1/2 cup almond butter
2 cups almond flour meal
6 TBSP agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
**Slivered almonds to top
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.
- Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and lightly press down with a fork or your fingers
- Place the cookies on a parchment or wax paper baking sheet.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden. The cookies will crisp as they cool.
**Assemble the Panna Cotta, Carmel Drizzle, Cookie Crumble and Fresh Berries
Native Foods Cafe, vegan food, vegan restaurant, vegan recipes, lavender recipes