by Jordan Caldwell, Training by Tara Brunet –
The Saanich Peninsula has many areas with lavender bushes and even lavender farms, including Kersey Lavender Farm in Brentwood Bay. Lavender bushes can also be purchased from many garden shops and planted in your home garden for your enjoyment. Not only does lavender have a soothing scent and beautiful purple spears of tiny flowers: it is a lovely addition to anyone’s home garden and can be used to deter deer from foraging in your garden as it also serves as a deer repellent.
Lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which can help heal minor burns and bug bites. Research suggests that it may be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression and restlessness. Lavender is highly regarded for skin and beauty products and is commonly used in fragrances and shampoos to help purify the skin.
It contains iron, which is an essential ingredient that helps make hemoglobin and myoglobin. In short, the consumption of lavender can be beneficial in avoiding symptoms of anemia, fatigue and other medical issues related to iron deficiency.
Many people recommend having a warm cup of lavender tea before going bed to help you fall asleep. This is a much safer and more natural alternative to conventional medications.
However, you don’t have to limit your use of lavender to an evening beverage – you can prepare a cool and refreshing afternoon cocktail to enjoy on your patio or under a nice shady tree. Today I will be sharing a recipe with you for Coconut Lavender Colada.
You can make a simple syrup using lavender by combining 1 cup of lavender buds, 2 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil for 2 minutes; do not stir.
Remove from heat, and press through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, using the back of a spoon to squeeze out the liquid. Discard solids. Cool completely for about 30 minutes. This simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months. The more flowers you use, the stronger the flavour will be. You can use the simple syrup to make a wide variety of summer beverages.
2 cups of coconut water or milk
1 cup of water
2 tbsp sugar
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp of simple lavender syrup
(optional – toasted shredded coconut for garnish).
Combine the coconut milk ( or coconut water), sugar and the freshly squeezed lemon juice into a cocktail shaker. Shake well for about 30 seconds, then add the lavender simple syrup to taste and shake for another 5 seconds. You can add purple or blue food colour if you want to add some pizzazz to your cocktail. I’ve added a few drops of blue food colouring to my Colada, as shown. Pour your beverage into a cocktail glass and garnish with sprigs of lavender or lemon wedges or both and sprinkle with toasted shredded coconut if desired. This recipe makes enough for four people to enjoy.
So the next time you are are out for an evening stroll or are spending some time exploring the lavender farms on the Island, take a few sprigs home with you to create your own Coconut Lavender Colada.