“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)
Last time you learned that certain herbs can be helpful for diabetics when using them directly for the condition or for likely companion concerns. Today, here’s some recipes to help with the fabulous 10 – Turmeric, Garlic, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary, Chili, Cinnamon, Ginger, Basil and Lavender!
After visiting beautiful lavender fields in California and Oregon, I have to say that I want to speak about this time-honored herb first, as it is the one which you are least likely to be familiar with (although you may already have some in the famous herb mix called Herbes de Provence).
The owners of Hood River Lavender Farm provide some great recipes for their Organic Lavender as well as a place to purchase it dried. The link is in the Reference section.
Every time I have tasted lavender in food, I have been intrigued. As with all food-stuffs, I recommend only organic produce, so if you are just grabbing lavender at the nursery or from a friend’s garden, please be sure that it has not been chemically-sprayed (as outside France or England, it’s not likely to have been regarded as a food plant).
The Farm site gives a little history of the herb:
” While most of us know about the beauty and fragrance of Lavender, somehow we have forgotten that it is indeed an herb. An herb that may not be common place in American spice cabinets, it has been in use as a culinary herb for centuries … One’s imagination is the only limit when cooking with this varable herb.
Lavender varies in taste just as it varies in appearance and aroma. The English Lavenders (angustifolia) are the prefered lavenders to use as culinary as they are milder, sweeter, and do not over-power the dish. Within these varieties there is still more variation when used as a culinary herb. Provence lavender, a hybrid known as a lavandin, is an exception to the rule. Because of it’s milder flavor it is often used when English Lavender is not available, and some cooks even prefer it above angustifolia.
Our personal favorite is a pink-flowered English lavender known as Melissa. It has a sweet, yet floral note, and enhances dishes from soups, to meat, and even drinks and deserts.
All culinary lavender blends very well with citrus, mint, rosemary, sage, berries, fruit, meats, drinks, and one should use some caution to not use too much.
Lavender should be a background flavor, not in the forefront, and when used in proportion enhances foods with a distinctive and mysterious flavor, while adding a lovely color to your dish.”
Here are some Lavender recipes to try!
Honey Lavender Shake – Rockin’ Raw-style Vegan
2 T Raw almond butter
2 T Raw honey (not for use for children under 3 years old) *
3 vanilla beans (use vanilla extract, if more flavor desired; less expensive, too)
1 t organic Lavender – minced
1 tray of small ice cubes
1/2C spring water (to desired thickness for the shake)
Blend until smooth. Serve in tall glass and garnish with a little of the Lavender
Variation: Almond milk can be made with soaked almonds and
water in a blender. Then strain it through a nut milk bag. Omit the 1/2 cup of water in recipe above if using almond milk.
You can also purchase almond milk in cartons (and the protein content of this recipe will be better than when just using water).
This is a useful recipe for those with sensitivities to dairy.
* Raw honey is not acceptable for the immune systems of children under 3, so use pasteurized honey in this case.
Lavender Grilled Salmon or Steelhead
3 pounds of wild salmon (filet)*
4 T raw honey
6 T organic extra-virgin or virgin olive oil
1 T organic Lavender, crushed or run through a spice grinder
1/4C white wine
1 T Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
1 T lime or lemon juice
* do NOT use farmed fish!
Place all ingredients, except salmon, in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring with a wire whisk at all times until the ingredients are reduced by 1/3, to create a sauce.
When sauce has cooled slightly, divide the sauce into halves. With one portion, baste the raw salmon filet.
Grill or bake salmon until flaky (don’t overcook), about 10 minutes, basting with the same portion of sauce, if desired.
Use the second sauce portion to pour on salmon just before serving, as it has not been in contact with the raw fish at all.
Sweet Potato Pie with Lavender
This recipe also uses Cinnamon, another one of your diabetic-friendly herbs and spices. I did not use the sugary topping in the original recipe, but rather added the lavender into the pie itself. Sweet potatoes are also a fabulous food for diabetics!
2 medium, organic sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
4 T unsalted organic butter, melted
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt or other sea salt
3 lg free-range, vegetarian-fed, eggs, separated
1/2C sugar (better: use the equivalent of Stevia! Check the box for the amount.)
2 T all-purpose whole-grain flour OR ground quinoa
3/4C organic buttermilk
1/2t organic lavender, minced (or use a spice grinder)
1. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Pour 1 1/2″ of water into a medium stockpot (with a strainer basket) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Next, add the sweet potatoes to the basket, cover, and steam until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Strain the sweet potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Let them cool to near room temperature, covered with paper towel to absorb the steam.
Mash the potatoes to a smooth puree, (about 1 1/4 cups). Add the organic butter, lemon juice, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; mix after each addition.
2. Then, in a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a whisk for about 30 seconds. Add sugar/ Stevia and beat until they’re a creamy lemon-yellow color, about 1 1/2 minutes.
Add egg mixture to sweet potato mixture and then stir until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated and filling is consistently bright-orange in color.
Next, add flour a little at a time, stirring after each addition, until thoroughly incorporated.
Finally, add the buttermilk and lavender. Stir until mixed in.
3. With a clean, dry whisk and in a clean, dry, separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, about 1 1/2 minutes or use your mixer until results are achieved.
Gently fold egg whites into sweet potato-buttermilk mixture until blended, using a vertical figure-8 motion with a spatula.
Pour the mixture into a prepared piecrust. Bake on the middle rack of your oven until the center is firm and set, about 35-40 minutes.
4. Remove pie from oven and cool completely on a rack. Enjoy!
This can be used in other recipes — as varied as cheescake, sorbets, ice-cream, lemonade and more.
Measure 2T Lavender buds for each cup boiling temperature liquid (water) or (organic milk // organic cream).
Steep for 30 minutes. Strain the lavender from the liquid.
Steep 1 t lavender in 1 cup of water for 3-5 minutes.
This is a good recipe for insomnia, or when relaxation is the goal.
1 quart fresh squeezed or pre-made lemonade
1 t to 1T culinary lavender
1C boiling water
Pour the boiling water over the lavender in a heat-proof bowl and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the lavender and add to the lemonade. Serve well chilled.
Lavender-Ginger Apple Cider
This recipe includes Ginger — another one of our 10 helpful-to-diabetics herbs and spices!
1 gallon organic apple cider
6 T organic Culinary Lavender “Signature Blend” (Hood River Lavender Farm)
2 t fresh grated ginger
1 med. culinary muslin bag or some cheese cloth
Bring the apple cider to a simmer, and then turn heat to low. Add the muslin bag filled with culinary lavender and ginger (or several layers of cheesecloth and some thread). Cover, and simmer 15 minutes to infuse. Remove the spice bag. Serve warm.
You can use this as a cool drink, too. The recipe makes 16 cups.
Lavender, Rosemary, Garlic, Black Olive Foccacia Bread
You struck the Mother-Lode. This recipe includes Lavender, Rosemary, and Garlic and Black Pepper or Chili Pepper — more of those diabetic friendly herbs and spices as well as heart-healthy olives!
Prep time: 20 min.
Cooking time: 12-15 min.
1 lb fast pizza dough OR 1 pound frozen bread or pizza dough, thawed
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
¼ C pitted, chopped imported black olives – like Kalamata
2t chopped lavender buds
1 – 2T chopped fresh rosemary
2 cloves minced garlic
1 t coarse Celtic sea salt or other sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste OR a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (better)
Lightly oil a large baking sheet. On a work surface, roll pizza dough out into an 8 x 14 rectangle. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with a clean dish towel, let rise at room temperature for 20 min.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450F.
After this final rising on the baking sheet, gently make dimples into the dough with finger tips.
Brush on 2 Tp olive oil; then add herb mixture, pressing it gently into the top of the dough.
Herb Mix is: 1 -2t chopped lavender, 2T rosemary, 2 cloves minced garlic and the chopped olives.
Sprinkle with 1 t coarse sea salt and a little fresh black pepper or cayenne. Bake 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack, then cut into pieces to serve.
Enjoy the recipes and be sure to check out Hood River Lavender Farm.
Best to all — Em
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