During the summer we vacationed on Salt Spring Island, a small heavenly oasis in British Columbia’s Southern Gulf Islands. There isn’t a single traffic light on the island and the roads are dotted with farm stands where you pay for produce based on the honour system. While we’ve visited twice before, we’ve never been during the peak of summer and there were three main things we noticed:
- Deer jump into the road like gangbusters.
- Wild blackberries are everywhere. Everywhere. We plucked them off during hikes and enticed the dog with them as ‘treats’.
- A new lavender farm opened since last year.
If you ever need a pick-me-up, visit a lavender farm on a sunny day. We were blessed to receive a full behind-the-scenes tour of how essential oils are made, and a detailed walk-through of how each product was carefully formulated. I walked away with some organic lavender essential oil, a beautiful aromatherapy bracelet and perfume. Perfume! I rarely buy perfume, but I couldn’t help myself.
You’re probably accustomed to seeing lavender (or smelling lavender, I should say) in beauty care and aromatherapy products. Lavender is calming to the nervous system and has anti-inflammatory properties, and of course the scent is so sweet and floral. I love using lavender essential oil in my diffuser of course, but it’s also amazing in a culinary context.
You can use lavender essential oil in:
- Baked goods – breads, cookies, gluten-free doughnuts, cakes, etc.
- Infused honey or sea salt
- Homemade chocolate
- This amazing dairy-free ice cream
The key is buying food-grade lavender essential oil. Not all lavender is safe for internal use – so be sure to choose carefully. Here is a great guide to buying essential oils.
For this recipe, I drew upon my homemade blueberry compote. If you don’t have any on hand, you can toss in fresh blueberries or your favourite blueberry jam. You may also need to experiment with how much oil you add, as every brand of oil will likely have a different strength. Start off with fewer drops, and add more if you need to.
- Whisk the coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla and lavender. Taste and add more lavender if desired.
- Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions. During the last five minutes of churning, add in the compote.
- If you don't have an ice cream maker, blend all ingredients together and freeze.