English, Spanish, Spike, Lavandula angustifolia, stoechas, latifolia English, Spanish, Spike, Lavandula angustifolia, stoechas, latifolia

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Culinary Lavender

What is culinary Lavender or edible Lavender flowers?

     Lavender is a member of the mint herb family so is it any wonder that it is used in cooking and recipes. Culinary Lavender is dried edible Lavender flower that has been grown free of chemicals and pollutants specifically for cooking.

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     Is Lavender edible? Although all Lavender plants are edible, it does not mean you will like them in your food. Just as the scent varies so does the taste with some varieties being more camphor like, better suited for use in a cough drop.

     Go ahead and pull a leaf or a single flower bud off your plant. Crush it with your fingers and smell it. What does the scent lean to, sweet and perfumy or more sharp. Now taste it. This can help you to decide which culinary use best suits your Lavender plant as well as provide insight at to which kind of plant you have if you do not know.

     Most edible Lavender sold today comes from the English (angustifolias) or the Lavandin Provence Lavender which is used in Herbes De Provence to flavor savory dishes.

     Lavandula angustifolia and Munstead are known as sweet Lavender and are the main culinary Lavender plants. These have the best true fragrance making them the best ones for culinary purposes.

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Includes only sweet angustifolias: Melissa (Pink), Buena Vista (Light Purple), Betty's Blue (Blue Purple), Folgate (Blue Purple), Purple Bouquet (Dark Purple),and French Fields (Light Blue-Purple)

     Use culinary Lavender flower fresh or dried to make amazing dishes. Use less of any dried herb than fresh due to the increased potency of dried. This herb can be substituted for Rosemary in just about any recipe. I have compiled some culinary Lavender recipes(easy recipes with Lavender) for you to try out along with sources for where to buy culinary Lavender buds.

How To Use Edible Lavender For Cooking?

     You may use the flowers, buds, leaves or stems in cooking. Lavender flowers may be tossed onto fresh salads, buds used for teas and the stems may be used as kabob skewers. A bundle added to the grill to smoke meats adds a lovely flavor. You may use other culinary seasonings in combination too.

Flowers buds if dried may be finely chopped or ground and added to cookies, cakes or other baked goods. A mortar and pestle or spice mill can do the job.

Culinary Herb Grinder

     Lavender flower extract is also available, made from culinary Lavender, for use as a flavoring agent. You may use the extract in the same manner as you would vanilla to flavor cookies, cakes, frostings and more. The extract can be kept on hand when fresh Lavender flower is not available.

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     The key to using it correctly when cooking is to first use only those plant materials that have been grown without pesticides/chemicals or those sold specifically for culinary use. You don't want to poison yourself or your guests.

     The second key is to be open minded, have fun in the kitchen using a light hand when cooking with Lavender or seasoning with Lavender flower. You can over season when using this herb. Be open to experimentation with recipes and seasoning combinations and you will discover just what this culinary herb is capable of.

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