Culinary Tip: Culinary Lavender Dry vs. Fresh Buds/Flowers

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This harvest season, I did a blind taste test with fresh and dried lavender (buds) flowers. I liked the taste of the fresh flowers over the dried. To create the taste test, I used ½ cup heavy cream brought to a simmer in two separate pans and then steeped the two separate buds in the cream. Then I let it rest/steep for 30 minutes and strained. This cream I used in my heavenly lavender ice cream was a combination of the two creams together. Use the proper amount. Lavender is a strong herb that can “overdose” a recipe unless used sparingly. … In cooking, I like to use 1/3 the quantity of dried flowers to fresh. So, if a recipe calls for 3 teaspoon fresh lavender, try substituting 1 teaspoon of dried.

Lavender is a unique herb in that every part of the plant—bud, stem, and leaf—can be used in cooking. While the lavender flowers and leaves can be used fresh, the buds and stems can be used dried. The flavors of lavender pair well with herbs like oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage, and savory.
Dried lavender has only a few calories per tablespoon and is free of fat and cholesterol.

 

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