How to Harvest and Dry Lavender for Cooking

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Harvesting and drying lavender for cooking involves drying the lavender first.

lavender with stems

How to dry lavender for cooking?

Cut the stems just below the flowers when they are in full bloom. This time is the best time for harvesting lavender. The fragrance is the strongest when lavender is in full bloom. It will keep the fragrance and flavour when you dry it, if you’re harvesting during this time.

Bundle the lavender stems together with a string. Tie the lavender together and hang it upside down. Place a plate underneath them to gather up any droppings so it won’t make a huge mess.

Be sure to place your bundle of lavender in the darkest room in the house, even in a closet that doesn’t get opened too often. The darker the room, the more fragrance it will retain while drying. Leave the lavender to dry for ~ 1 week.

How to harvest lavender for cooking?

Here are 3 different ways to harvest them:

  1. Hold the stems. Put a plate under the lavender to gather all of the buds. Shake the lavender until the buds fall from the stems. 
  1. If you only need a few buds run your finger down the stem to remove the buds. 
  1. Place dried lavender in a sealed bag. Roll the bag until all the dried lavender buds have been removed from the stems. You’ll have to tip the bag at an angle to get them out from the bottom. Or, you can remove the stems from the bag and you are ready to store your dried lavender buds.
lavender buds

Once you’re finished harvesting your lavender, you can store the excess for your next cooking adventure with lavender. 

How to store your harvested lavender?

Store in an airtight container or resealable bag. Store your container in a dark area. The darker the area, the more likely the vibrant purple color will stay. If your lavender is exposed to light, the color will fade.

How to use lavender in cooking?

When you’re using lavender for cooking, you’ll be infusing the flavours like you do when you make tea. For making ice cream you boil the flavour to infuse it into the ice cream. Then you strain out the florets afterwards so it makes it a creamy lavender flavouring. 

If you’re using it with cookies, you’ll be grinding it up with a mortar and pestle into a fine ground powder as much as possible. You don’t want to be using the full floret, as that won’t give you the texture you’re looking for in your baking. Texture is incredibly important when you’re baking, so try to stick to your recipes and what they recommend on how to process it when you’re using lavender in cooking.

lavender-ice-cream

How to use lavender in a cocktail?

Use the full florets in a shaker. Add lime and a bit of sugar. Muddle the lavender so the flavour will be infused into your cocktail. Add a little more if you need more flavour.

How to use lavender when making a lavender mojito?

Put the lavender in with the mint, lime and sugar and muddle it all together at the same time. You’ll love this new twist to your mojito! 

13 lavender recipe ideas for your newly harvested lavender

  • Lavender lemonade
  • Lavender shortbread cookies
  • Lavender vanilla tarts
  • Lavender honey ice cream
  • Lavender lemon bars
  • Lavender thyme sorbet
  • Lavender mojitos
  • Lemon lavender cake with lemon icing
  • Lavender creme brulee
  • Blackberry lavender cake
  • Lavender latte
  • Lavender jelly
  • Lavender blueberry pie

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