I grew up attending the Pennsylvania Lavender Festival each June with my grandmother, mother, and aunt. It was a day I so looked forward to - taking workshops on the use of lavender and other herbs + flowers in the kitchen, roaming the fields to pick our own lavender bundles, eating calendula cookies and sipping lavender lemonade, and picnicking on the farm for lunch. It was always the dreamiest summer day, and fills my heart just thinking back on it. My memories of this tradition are marked by my great love and reverence for my late grandmother, Jean, with whom I was incredibly close.
Today's recipe is very much inspired by my sweet grandmother and our summer days spent on the lavender farm. Each time I prep this recipe, the scent of the lavender brings me back to these happy, sunny summer days spent alongside a woman I so admired and tried to emulate. It's wild how powerfully our sense of smell is linked to memory! To this day, I cannot smell fresh lavender without lovingly thinking of her. My grandmother was also an avid tea drinker, and living with her for a number of my childhood years was where I first picked up the habit to reach for tea over coffee in the morning. Though we certainly weren't drinking matcha together, this recipe is an ode to her legacy.
Aside from this very personal fondness for lavender, it remains one of my favorite flavors to use in the kitchen for its subtly sweet floral notes. It's undeniably summery. And also a potent mood booster. Lavender essential oil is revered for it's ability to promote calm, reduce anxiety, alleviate depression, and elevate mood via transdermal and nasal passageways. Ingesting lavender has the same positive, medicinal effect on the brain and body.
This recipe actually infuses the milk with lavender, which is then combined with the matcha to create a latte. You could of course do this with coffee, or any variety of tea you prefer. I've also been in the habit of sipping warmed lavender milk in the evening as it's own calming, brain-nourishing tonic.
A note of choosing a variety of matcha: Quality is of the upmost importance. There's a million and one brands selling matcha now, but many are super poor quality (depriving you of matcha's many benefits) and contain fillers and sugars. Ick. Keep in mind, matcha is expensive to harvest, so a quality product should and will cost you much more than your average green tea. Look for ceremonial grade, with matcha as the only ingredient. I am religious about using PANATEA (not sponsored, they truly are just the best).
LAVENDER ICED MATCHA LATTES
PREPARATION: Using a mortar and pestle (or the flat side of a chef knife), gently press down on the lavender to release their aromatic oils.
In a small saucepan, bring your milk to a simmer. Remove from heat, add in the lavender, and cover. Allow to steep for at least 10 minutes before straining lavender from the milk.
Add your matcha to a small bowl and, using a bamboo matcha whisk, repeatedly press down on the matcha to break up the powder. Add in about 4 oz. hot water (not boiling) and whisk the mixture together. Pour matcha over ice and top with lavender milk. Alternatively, you could also combine your matcha, hot water, and milk into a blender, blending on high for about 30 seconds.
Makes 1-2 servings.
I love seeing what you create and getting your feedback on recipes! Leave any questions + comments below, and be sure to follow along on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #SOLFULhealth so I can see! xx