Can I eat edible-lavender raw?
You can eat lavender flowers raw, as long as you don't have more than a pinch. Lavender is very potent, so moderation is essential when eating it.
Overeating lavender can result in constipation, nausea and headaches .
The problem with eating uncooked lavender is that it's dry and hard to swallow. You can still add raw culinary lavender to your dishes to add a decorative touch, but there are better ways to eat lavender flowers.
For example, you can steep the dried lavender in boiling water to make a calming tea, as we did in our anti-anxiety smoothie recipe above. You can then add this infusion to cake mixes, drinks, and more. Be creative with lavender: you can rarely go wrong!
To learn more about different ways to use lavender in the kitchen, check our FAQ below.
What are all the ways to use edible lavender in the kitchen?
Lavender flowers make more than cute wardrobe sachets. We can use lavender to add a floral vibe to our dishes, to indulge in the inebriating scent of blossoming fields in spring.
But how exactly do we go from plant to plate? Let's take a look at the various forms culinary lavender can take and how to use them.
Just like vanilla, you can buy lavender in either solid or liquid form. Some of these products can be used for both bakes and drinks, while others work best for precise use cases.
You can buy solid lavender as either flower buds or sugar paste (aka lavender gum paste or lavender sugar paste).
Gum paste is ideal for decorating cakes, but little else. Flowers instead are more versatile. You can sprinkle the florets straight over your creation, ground them and mix with baking flour, or turn them into tea or syrup.
We recommend you buy lavender flowers if possible, as you can use them for shakes, cocktails, and bakes. And while you ponder on for the perfect occasion to use them, they will fill your home with a delightful scent.
Lavender flowers have a potent taste, and you will seldom need more than a pinch or so. For example, in our lavender smoothie recipe above, we simmered just one teaspoon of flowers in water and got a rich-flavoured lavender infusion to blend with yogurt.
You can also buy lavender in liquid form, as either culinary essence or edible essential oil. Both of these options are very concentrated, so you would only use a drop or two, compared to a full teaspoon worth of florets. Lavender essence is ideal for making cocktails, whenever excessive water dilution is undesirable.
Lavender pairs well with so many foods. Did you know you even have lavender sea salt? Sprinkle some of that magic and elevate your Sunday roasts to Michelin-star level!
What makes a great anti-anxiety smoothie?
To make a calming smoothie, we need to add one or two ingredients that have well-established relaxing properties.
You can also add other healthy ingredients, to reach other goals you may have, like weight-loss. The important thing is that these extra ingredients don't counterbalance the soothing nature of the smoothie. Avoid using coffee, for example.
Let's take a look at a list of smoothie ingredients that are perfect for relieving anxiety:
We already mentioned how lavender affects the activity of neurons in our brain and helps our body relax. Chamomile has a similar effect. Using these ingredients in smoothies is simple: just simmer them in water for a few minutes and add to the blender.
Let's take a look at the other ingredients.
Spinach is a sublime addition to shakes. It's got loads of antioxidants that help our cells fight against damaging free-radicals. It also promotes healthy bones, heart and eye-sight. Spinach is rich in iron and magnesium, nutrients that help combat fatigue and stress.
Matcha is the perfect replacement for coffee if you want to be energized but not stressed. As we explained in the introduction, the L-theanine in green tea counteracts the stressing effects of caffeine and helps you feel focused and calm.
Yogurt is a great option to make creamy smoothies. As it turns out, this ingredient can also calm you down. The probiotics found in yogurt can feed gut-friendly bacteria promoting better health by reducing inflammation. Inflammation is one of the crucial factors that lead to anxiety, stress, and depression .
Then we have bananas and oats. Beside adding filling fibres to our smoothie, these two ingredients are a source of the tryptophan amino acid . Our body converts this compound into serotonin which is our brain's best friend when it comes to feeling happy and stress-free.
Pumpkin Seeds are a source of potassium and zinc, essential minerals which balance electrolytes and support your mood. We added these seeds to our lavender smoothie to boost its anti-anxiety properties even further.
Fatty nuts, like walnuts or brazil nuts, are also an excellent addition to a calming smoothie. These nuts are rich in healthy unsaturated omega-3 fats which boost brain functions affecting mood and focus.
Last but not least, dark chocolate is everyone's favourite stress-relieving comfort food. A bite of this sweet treat helps reduce stress hormones and lift the mood. Make sure you opt for low sugar varieties, like 70% or 80% dark chocolate for maximum benefits. The higher up the scale you can go, the better. Ever tried 100% chocolate? It's the bomb!
Next time you feel stressed out, include one or two of the ingredients above in your favourite smoothie. Take a few minutes off from whatever it's causing you anxiety, while you enjoy your drink. You will feel much better.
And if you are looking for other tips on how to make healthy smoothies, take a look at our in-depth article here.