For a sweet treat, try infusing honey with herbs, edible flowers and even spices! It’s easy to do, and you can experiment with one or more of your favorite flavours. Buy local honey if possible, and use dried, pesticide-free herbs (the water content in fresh herbs can be a source of mold). For this recipe, I opted for Ontario wildflower and clover honey and purchased the rose petals and lavender in bulk from natural food stores. The resulting infusion was a deep golden colour with a light floral hint. Next time, I’ll start with a milder variety of honey to give the herbs more of a starring role, and I’ll make sure to turn over the jar every day to facilitate the infusion.
Lavender & Rose Petal Honey
What you’ll need:
- Clean glass jar with airtight lid
- Light-flavoured honey
- Equal parts pesticide-free dried rose petals and lavender flowers, enough to fill about ¼ of the jar
- Wooden spoon or pestle
- Fine mesh sieve
- Large measuring cup with spout
- Add the rose petals and lavender to the empty jar. They should take up no more than one quarter of the space to allow for their expansion.
- Using the end of the spoon or a pestle, lightly press the herbs to help release their oils. Try not to crush them, as the fine bits will be difficult to remove later.
- Add some honey and stir, making sure all the herbs are covered, then fill the rest of the jar with honey. The herbs will eventually float to the top.
- Close jar tightly and let sit in a dark place for 1 to 2 weeks. Turn the jar upside down each day to keep the herbs coated and allow the flavours to blend. You may have to open the jar occasionally to check that the expanded herbs are still covered; use this time to test the flavour.
- When the desired strength is reached, strain out the herbs by setting a fine mesh sieve over a large measuring cup. Carefully empty the honey mixture into the sieve (you may have to do this in stages) and let the liquid drain out for several hours. Press gently on the herbs as they drain to help encourage every bit of goodness.
- Wash and dry your infusing jar. Decant the honey into it and enjoy!
Lavender and rose petal honey is delicious in tea, baking, yogurt, salad dressing, or as a topping for ice cream. Use within a year.