Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle


Lavender Lemonade

This post has nothing to do with roses, but since my lavender's not yet in flower, I thought I'd take a shot of my favorite blooming beauties. Is there any doubt that we live in an earthly paradise?

Needless to say, the Spring weather and beautiful flowers are luring me outside, even when I should be inside, focused on my monitor and keyboard or whipping up good things to eat. I can't help myself; the garden is so lovely and I'm dreaming of al fresco meals with friends and long, lingering evenings outdoors.

The Meyer lemons are thick on the trees in my part of the world, so it's a great time to pick and squeeze them. The fresh juice can be frozen so it's available for lemonade all summer long. To me, lemonade is a nearly perfect refreshment in hot weather. I am careful to not sweeten it too much, because I like to taste those sour notes -- it adds to the cooling effect, somehow.

A couple of years ago, I decided to try making lavender lemonade. I thought the combination of flavors would be interesting. What I found out, however, is that the addition of lavender doesn't change the taste that much. Where it really makes a different is in the color of the beverage. You make the lavender tea first, which is light bronze in color, then add fresh lemon juice and sugar. And voila! It turns a really lovely shade of pink.

Here's the recipe, from my most recent book, 15-Minute Vegetarian. As you can see, it's really simple. Try to make it ahead so it can chill in the refrigerator. If you pour it over ice while it's still warm, the flavor will be pretty watered down.


3 tablespoons (15 g) dried lavender flowers
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons (25 g) organic granulated sugar

Put the lavender flowers in a teapot or glass or ceramic bowl and cover with 4 cups (.95 L) of boiling water. Set aside to steep for 20 minutes, then strain into a pitcher and add the lemon juice and sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and then refrigerate. When cool, serve over ice in 4 tall glasses. You can garnish each glass with a fresh sprig of lavender if you have some growing in the garden.

Blessings and bon appetit!


At 10:22 AM, Blogger Jody from VegChic said...

Great site Mindy...

I just posted about Lavender lemonade in a newsgroup I am part of. Now I have a recipe too!

That salad at the top looks very tasty. I'll add it to my recipe queue.


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