This refreshing beverage packs a one-two punch: the antioxidant benefits of berries come together with the calming, stress-relieving properties of lavender—making it perfect for spring.
Lavender already has popular uses in aromatherapy and our skin and body care. But culinary lavender is gaining popularity in the gourmet food world, from scones to roasted vegetables. Lavender already makes an appearance in the delicate blend of Herbes de Provence, adding a nice aromatic taste with sweet and floral notes.
For this purpose, look for culinary lavender on its own from specialty food stores or Amazon (just make sure it’s the culinary version, as most lavender varieties are not for consumption and may leave a bitter taste).
Other foods that can help with stress levels? Try foods rich in vitamin C, like citrus and red peppers, and magnesium-rich leafy greens. Both nutrients may have an effect on regulating cortisol, our “stress hormone.” B vitamins are also fight-or-flight nutrients that are involved with our neurotransmitters; you can find great sources of these vitamins in nuts, grains and dairy.
Healthy Berry Lavender Lemonade
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20-30 min
Total Time: 35 minutes and under
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: 1 cup (8 oz)
1 cup water
3-4 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
1/4 cup pure honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
5 cups cold water
1/2 cup lemon juice (from about three lemons)
1 cup fresh or frozen berries (thawed if frozen)
In a 3 quart (or other small pot), bring 1 cup of water to boil. Turn off heat.
Add in the dried lavender and honey, and stir together with a whisk to mix evenly. Set aside and let it steep for 20 to 30 minutes.
Pour the lavender water into a large pitcher covered with a mesh colander or cheesecloth to strain the flowers. Discard the flowers and save the syrupy liquid.
Add lemon juice, remaining 5 cups of cold water and berries. Mix thoroughly.
Serve it with ice, optional.
Kathryn Pfeffer-Scanlan MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and recent transplant to Boulder, Colo. After working as an inpatient dietitian for almost five years in Boston, she is expanding her expertise in the health and wellness industry. Katie is passionate about cooking and food photography, sharing her culinary adventures on her food blog, One Hungry Bunny, and exploring her new Rocky Mountain surroundings. Follow Katie on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.