Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Lavender and Panela Lemonade

Happy Spring Equinox! What have you got loads of in your garden (or your neighbours garden)? Lavender and lemon, that's what! This perfect spring drink epitomises fresh, local and in season. You may be new to eating/drinking lavender, so this is the perfect introduction to this calming and nourishing flower. It would make a great children's 'party' drink too, especially watered down with sparkling mineral water. The organic panela adds so much nourishment of minerals compared to it's white sugar alternative. I hope you give it a go. 

I recently came across the gorgeous organic panela from Grounded Pleasures. Panela is 100% sugar cane juice that has been dehydrated to preserve all the natural minerals and vitamins - unlike the highly processed white sugar we know so well. The flavour is like molasses and just too delicious for me to put in baking. In South America lemonade is traditionally made with panela sugar (Limonada con panela) and I've added the twist of lavender for its therapeutic benefit and flavour.

Lavender is such an easy shrub to grow in Australia. Many gardens have it in bountiful amounts, but but few people know you can eat it. It is used in herbal medicine for settling the nerves, promoting sleep, reducing anxiety and improving mood. Just what you want in your refreshing spring drink! We were lucky enough to harvest a big bundle of flowers from a dear friends garden. I'm going to use them for making some herbal remedies, as well as some children's size lavender and wheat bags.

Lavender and Panela Lemonade

5 cups Water
1/2 cup fresh Lavender flowers (1/3 cup dried lavender flowers)
1 cup Organic Panela
1 cup Lemon Juice

Place lavender in 1 cup of water in a pot on the stove. Bring to the boil. Turn heat off and allow to steep for 15 minutes. 
Add panela sugar to 4 cups of water and bring to boil on the stove to dissolve. 
Strain lavender from the water. Combine this lavender water with the sugar water and lemon juice. Enjoy like this or watered down with sparkling mineral water. 

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