Easy Recipes Inspired By My West Coast Kitchen Garden On Vancouver Island

3 Ways To Preserve Your Lavender

3 Ways To Preserve Your Lavender
Lavender In The Kitchen-3 Ways To Preserve It And Recipes To Use It
Lavender Fields Forever

Mmmm, it smells so good! My English lavender is in bloom now with its beautiful, fragrant purple buds and I am determined to harvest at its peak this year and in the spirit of keeping it simple and easy, below is a quick guide on picking, pruning, preserving and using your lavender.

Harvesting Lavender

Prime time for picking lavender is very soon after the flowers come out while they are still tightly formed.  Picking while the flowers are still tight buds will give you the most concentrated flavor and aroma though I admit I sometimes wait a bit too long to harvest because lavender in bloom is one of my favorite garden flowers but really it is by far the best to harvest when the flowers are still young.   The best time of the day to pick them is in the mid morning just after the dew has dried off which is when the oils are the most concentrated.

Pruning

Lavender does very well with pruning and if you prune it after flowering in spring (if it is the spring-flowering type eg. English) then you will likely get another flush of blooms in late summer or early fall.  For later blooming types (French or Spanish) it is still important to prune after flowering to maintain a compact full bush and extend the life of your plant by minimizing each years woody growth.  A general rule of thumb is to clip off 1/3 of the new growth but you can prune more as long as you only prune above where there is some green leaves growing.

3 Easy Ways To Preserve Lavender

 

 

 

 

 

Preserving

So, what should you do once you’ve harvested your flowers?

  • Dry Them: Using your dehydrator or on very low in your oven.  Once completely dried, they will keep in a sealed container for a long time although probably best within 6 months to 1 year. This is great for potpourri and to use in the below recipes once lavender season has passed and adding into baking, bath salts or other recipes. 
  •  Lavender Extract:  Ultra simple, just stuff clean fresh (or you can use dried) flowers into a sterile mason jar, pour vodka over to cover and store in fridge place for 2 weeks flipping jar over every day or two.  If using fresh lavender, you must refrigerate it while steeping and strain it out so that it doesn’t go bad, if using dried, you don’t need to store it in the fridge and can let it steep longer if you like.
  • Lavender Syrup:  For my recipe I used 3 cups sugar, 1 1/2 c water and 6 tbsp fresh lavender flowers.  Heat on medium until boiling and then turn down and simmer 10 more minutes.  Let cool slightly and then strain into sterile mason jars or other glass bottles and refrigerate.  Strained well, this will keep a couple of months in your refrigerator.  This is crazy good and is great in alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks alike as well as in baking (shortbread, cheesecake…), ice cream and more.  For a fresh take on the classic Champagne cocktail using this syrup, try my Lavender french 75 below and for a non-alcoholic treat check out my girl Jenna’s Lavender Latte Recipe over on her health and wellness blog,  The Nourished Vibe-Yummm!
Lavender French 75
5 from 5 votes
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Lavender French 75

A fresh festive take on the French 75, Cheers!
Author Sabrina Currie

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Lavender Syrup
  • 4 oz Gin
  • 6 oz Champagne

Instructions

  1. Into each of 2 champagne flutes pour 1 oz syrup, 2 oz gin and top with 3 oz champagne or other dry sparkling wine.  Garnish with a sprig of lavender if available. 

Another fun thing to make is lavender sugar.  Pour 1/2 cup of granulated sugar into a small food processor and add 1 tsp of dried lavender. Process until lavender is finely ground and store in an airtight container.  This is delicious sprinkled over sugar cookies, cupcakes or a latte.

If you have lavender growing in your garden, go take a look and try harvesting some when it is flowering.  It is easy and rewarding, you and your house will smell fabulous!

PS. If you want to preserve some but want something even more simple, just tie a bundle up and hang it upside down in a dry well ventilated area and voila!

How To Preserve And Use Lavender In Cooking
How To Preserve And Use Lavender In Cooking


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10 thoughts on “3 Ways To Preserve Your Lavender”


  • Great post! My garden is too shady for lavender, but I got some culinary-grade dried lavender as a gift and have been meaning to experiment with it. Your lavender syrup sounds like a perfect way to add a subtle hint of lavender… going to put it on my weekend to-do list (along with a celebratory cocktail to ummm… test… out the quality). 🙂

    • Thanks Isabelle! The lavender syrup is surprisingly addictive, sweet with a hint of savoury, I highly recommend trying it!


  • I absolutely love lavender, Sabrina – I enjoyed your post so much and I am excited to try new ways to preserve this lovely plant. I have made potpourri for years and years, lavender sugar and lavender biscotti but have yet to make a lavender extract or use it in a drink. Both your Lavender French 75 and your daughter’s Lavender Latte Recipe sound wonderful! Thank you so much for such a detailed and enjoyable article about my favourite flora – lavender. Cheers!

    • Thanks Leanne! Lavender is surprisingly versatile in recipes including savoury ones. I sometimes use lavender in place of rosemary in meat dishes. Have a great day 🥂


  • This is a great post, Sabrina. We live in the Okanagan, & our property has so many lavender plants that are natural to here. I’m used to preserving and using it in recipes. and It’s great to see some new interest in this beautiful, amazing, herb.

    • Thank you, I hope you love them as much as us. Lavender is so lovely on its own but also such a versatile herb for cooking and baking too.

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