Why should you make lavender-infused honey? What are the benefits? Is it hard to do? Is it expensive? The answer to these is "no"!
Making infused herbal honey is not only very easy but also relatively inexpensive. Making this incredible edible gift is something anyone can do, regardless of your skill level with cooking or making things from scratch.
Is all honey the same?
No, not all honey is created equal. Honey varieties vary in color and flavor based on where they come from and what plants they consume. They also differ in quality depending on how they were collected, how long they were kept, and what environment the bees are located in.
Lavender honey is one of my favorite honey infusions because of its delicate flavor and versatility in sweet and savory dishes. For example, lavender honey can be used to flavor a cup of tea, drizzled over yogurt or oatmeal, spread on toast, or used to sweeten salad dressings. Here are some tips when sourcing ingredients.
Raw honey makes a difference in any recipe. It's got a more complex flavor, and it's much better for you than the typically processed honey. If you use raw honey, you'll also get the health benefits of living enzymes, and other nutrients destroyed when honey is heated during processing.
Raw honey also has anti-microbial properties that can help boost your immune system. There are different kinds of floral honey out there from Orange Blossom and clover honey and the flavors will impact your final product.
My favorite kind of honey when making herbal honeys is wildflower honey, but use what you have on hand and use a variety you like!
DRIED LAVENDER FLOWERS
Dried lavender flowers, on the other hand, are all about taste. They add a delicate floral flavor to the honey without imparting any bitterness. You can find culinary lavender at many health food stores and online because it's used to make teas and other products.
Gather ingredients. I used organic lavender and raw honey. Both are available at most stores, or you can order them online. I bought a pint of local raw honey from my beekeeper friend, but you can use any variety you like.
Pour ½ pint (8 oz) of honey into a glass jar. Use any size jar that you have on hand, as long as it is heat safe and has a tight-fitting lid (I had a ½ pint mason jar, but there was too much headspace, so I transferred some to a smaller jar).
Add the lavender buds, and add them to the honey. Cover the jar with the lid, and let it sit in a cool place out of direct sunlight for at least two weeks, checking on it after the first 24 hours. Give it a good shake every day or two, if possible.
Once the honey is infused (after two weeks), strain out the lavender buds using cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer lined with coffee filters (or paper towels). The finer you strain your honey, the clearer it will be; if you don't mind little pieces of lavender floating in your honey, you can pour it through the strainer without lining it first.
Make sure to store your infused honey in an airtight container.
Uses for lavender honey
I love lavender. It smells incredible, it's calming and relaxing, and it's so versatile in its uses. I also love honey. It's a natural sweetener with health benefits, too. The lavender flavor is subtle and the uses are endless. Here are a few suggestions on how to enjoy the good stuff:
- Tea sweetener – add a spoonful to your iced tea for a taste of lavender
- Lavender lemonade – combine ¼ cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons lavender-infused honey, 2 cups water, and ice. Sweeten to taste with additional lavender-infused honey
- Combine equal parts lavender-infused honey and olive oil for a dressing or marinade for veggies or salads
- Drizzle on yogurt or ice cream
- lavender honey syrup: make your own simple syrup with this honey! Add it to your morning latte and skip your trip to the coffee shop.
- Add to smoothies for added sweetness and nutrients.
- Rice pudding – this was my favorite use! Lavender-infused honey is delicious in rice pudding!
Tips for making infusing honey
I've been making quite a few infused honey recipes for years, and it's a great way to capture the flavor of seasonal ingredients and step up your tea and cocktails!
Try to buy locally: Although honey is produced worldwide, there are countless varieties of honey available at local markets. The flavor and texture of your infused honey depend heavily on the quality of ingredients you use, so try to source local options wherever possible.
Use fresh ingredients: While many recipes call for dried herbs and spices, in this case, fresh ingredients make all the difference. Honey is such a delicate substance that adding dried herbs could upset the balance of flavors rather than enhance them.
Avoid the heat: Some infused honey require heat to cure or temper the mixture, but this one does not.
Not all infused honey needs to be refrigerated. Infused honey can remain at room temperature for up to a week without any impact on the quality of the product. The type of honey being infused is a significant determinant of whether or not the honey needs to be refrigerated.
Infused honey will last on average for about one year.
Herbal honey is a type of honey that substitutes flowers and herbs for the pollen that bees typically collect to produce their honey.
Lavender infused honey
Lavender-infused honey is the perfect spicy-sweet taste to add to cheese, toast, or yogurt. In this recipe, the lavender is meant to complement the sweetness of honey and bring out a subtle, aromatic flavor that makes your palate sing.
- 8 oz of raw honey
- 3 tablespoons of dry lavender
- Take 8 oz of raw honey and place it in a dark glass jar.
- Add three tablespoons of dried lavender. (add more or less lavender depending on how intense you'd like the flavor to be you want)
- Close the container and shake well to distribute the lavenders.
- Leave the infusion in a cool, dark place for four weeks, shaking daily at first and then weekly.
- After four weeks, strain out the lavender buds through a cheesecloth.
- Pour the honey into clean jars.
- The final product is sweet and delicious honey that can be used as a spread on bread or as a glaze on meats.
If you're working with lavender buds that have been dried, you can skip the straining step after the honey has been infused. If you're using fresh lavender buds, make sure you strain out any flowers before adding this to your beverage of choice.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 0g
Did you make this lavender-infused honey?
Are you interested in more infused honey recipes? Check out some easy recipes below!
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