Does lavender lemonade help relieve stress?
Our lavender and coconut cocktail is the ultimate summer drink for chilling, because:
Lavender has potent anti-anxiety and calming properties.
What makes lavender so relaxing? As we said in our lavender smoothie recipe, when compounds from this plant enter our system, they affect a variety of essential brain circuits which play a crucial role in modulating your mood and sleep.
Better mood and more regular sleeping patterns result in less stress during the day, which in turns make you sleep better at night. This virtuous cycle eventually leads to a satisfying feeling of ease and calm.
Science agrees with the stress-relieving properties of lavender, as many medicines compound these flowers to ease insomnia, depression and after-surgery pain .
But you can get some of these benefits from the comfort of your home. Steep a spoon of culinary lavender flowers in water and add the resulting tea to any bake or drinks. As the lavender gets digested, you'll quickly feel its calming effects permeating your body.
Anything good in life turns bad if consumed excessively. Extreme consumption of lavender can lead to headaches and constipation , but you'll be fine by drinking up to three glasses of our lemonade throughout the day.
Can I make lavender lemonade look purple without artificial colourants?
You may think that seeping lavender flowers in water would yield a pretty purple tea, ready to give colour to any recipe. It isn't the case, sadly, as lavender tea has a faint orange tint.
To those that are only interested in the many benefits of culinary lavender, this is not a problem. Just follow the first two steps of our recipe above and enjoy a healthy and refreshing lemonade.
But if you're into food-styling, then you'll need to resort to some trickery to get back the original colour of these pretty flowers. You could use artificial food colourants, or use a combination of natural ingredients instead. We recommend you go for the latter option, as we did.
Quick colour theory reminder: purple is the result of mixing red and purple, in equal parts.
We have tested two different ways of adding a purplish colour to our lavender and coconut lemonade:
Beetroot juice and blue spirulina powder. These two ingredients produce a deep purple colour when mixed. We found the ratios of 1/8 tsp spirulina and 1 tsp beetroot juice to every 400 ml of lemonade to give good results.
Only beetroot juice. Although we got a more vibrant purple colour with the option above, we ended up using beetroot juice alone to make the recipe more accessible. Beetroot juice is closer to magenta than red, and the lavender tea mixed with coconut milk has a light yellow tint. Blending the two yielded a faint purple/pinkish colour, which we liked.
It can be fun to experiment with foods as natural colourants. The best recommendation we can give you is to add the dyes a tiny bit at a time until you get the colour you like.
Can I use lavender essential oil instead of flowers?
You can swap dried lavender with lavender essential oil to prepare this coconut lemonade. To do so, replace each tablespoon of flowers with one drop of extract and add it right into the water without the need for boiling it. Then, pour the mixture along with coconut water and lemon juice into a serving jug and follow our recipe above.
As the essential oil is a highly concentrated essence of the plant, you won't need much to add an intense flavour and floral aroma to this recipe.
However, make sure you're using food grade edible essential oil, meaning that the extract has been properly certified for consumption and it's safe when ingested. Some oils, instead, are only intended for topical application or cosmetic use.
There's no advantage in using lavender essential oil over the dried culinary buds, so you can include one or the other in this sugar-free lemonade recipe depending on what you have at hand.