Refreshing, relaxing and wholesome, our raspberry and lavender ice cream looks amazing and tastes even better! It harnesses the natural power of lavender essential oil to calm the mind and body, creating a deliciously comforting treat. Get ready to meet your new favorite dessert…
Raspberries are a popular ingredient in all sorts of dishes. From breakfast bowls, smoothies and fruit salads to jam, cakes and brownies, their vibrant color and sweet-yet-tart flavor is hard to resist. Not to mention, they pair beautifully with other berries, chocolate, and everything in between. Of course, that list includes lavender – as you’ll see in this raspberry and lavender ice cream recipe! Experts believe the Romans began cultivating raspberries in the 4th century, and are responsible for the fruit’s spread across Europe.(1) While we generally think of raspberries as being red, you can actually find yellow, purple, and black varieties too. People prized the plant for its medicinal qualities and vivid pigment, as well as the taste of its berries. Botanically speaking, raspberries are an aggregate fruit. This is because each tiny drupelet that makes up the berry contains its own seed. A member of the rose family, today farmers grow raspberries in many countries around the world. When choosing your raspberries, you want to pick ones that are brightly colored and plump. Avoid any which are mushy or mouldy. And if there’s juice in the bottom of the punnet, that’s a sign the fruit inside has been squished! Conversely, if the berries still have the hull attached, that indicates they were picked too early and may taste tart. Raspberries are fairly delicate and have a short shelf life. As such, it’s best to only wash them when you’re ready to eat them, and to do so gently. You can also freeze raspberries to make them last longer – perfect for enjoying this lavender ice cream out of season!
The health benefits of raspberries
In addition to their sharp, sweet taste, raspberries have an impressive range of health benefits. To begin with, they are high in antioxidant compounds that help protect our cells from oxidative stress. This can reduce signs of ageing and lower our risk of a variety of chronic conditions such as heart disease.(2) Research also indicates that raspberries have anti-inflammatory properties. This could enable them to ease the symptoms of conditions such as arthritis.(3) Reducing inflammation is likewise beneficial for our cardiovascular system. Moreover, several test tube and animal studies suggest that raspberries may offer protective effects against cancer.(4) However, additional research on humans is required to clarify this. Furthermore, evidence indicates that raspberries might assist with healthy blood sugar management.(5) This could be because they are high in fiber and also tannins, which inhibit the enzymes that break down starch.(6) And because raspberries are naturally sweet but low in calories, they’re a nutritious way to satisfy your dessert cravings! Like many fruits, raspberries are rich in vitamin C. This provides a number of benefits, including helping the body to make collagen, which keeps our skin and joints healthy. The berries also provide us with manganese and vitamin K, both of which are required for blood clotting. Finally, raspberries are a source of zeaxanthin. This helps protect the health of our eyes by warding off age-related macular degeneration and filtering out harmful blue light. Who would have thought raspberry and lavender ice cream could provide so many potential benefits!
A delicious feel-good treat: our raspberry and lavender ice cream recipe
So, let’s get into the details of how to make lavender ice cream. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how simple it is! The best part is that it not only tastes phenomenal, but we’ve also loaded the recipe with healthy ingredients. To create the base, you’ll blend full-fat coconut milk with cashew nuts that you’ve soaked overnight. This ensures they’re soft enough to make the raspberry and lavender ice cream with. Thanks to their high fat content, crafting ice cream with nuts gives it a gorgeous creamy texture without the use of dairy. We also recommend that you add zesty lemon juice, warming vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt to the mix. This results in a greater depth of flavor. Feel free to put your own spin on this lavender ice cream by swapping the lemon for yuzu or lime. The recipe additionally calls for agave nectar to give it a burst of sweetness. However, you can always make honey lavender ice cream instead, or use maple syrup if you prefer. To round things off, add three or four drops of the star ingredient: lavender essential oil. It sounds like a small amount, but trust us – that’s all you need! Then simply blend your lavender ice cream mix until it’s smooth and creamy. At this point, you have a gorgeous lavender ice cream. To take it to the next level, drizzle on half the raspberry puree and gently stir in with a knife. That way, you’ll create a beautiful swirl pattern of raspberry throughout the lavender ice cream. It also provides a delicious variety in texture and flavor as you tuck in. You can then pour the remaining half on top before freezing your ice cream.
Lavender: nature’s most aromatic sleep aid
Lavender is arguably most famous as a natural way to improve the quality of your sleep. Studies have repeatedly shown that inhaling the flower’s delicate fragrance has a calming effect on people. It helps to relax the body and mind, enabling us to enjoy a longer and deeper sleep. As such, it could function as an effective alternative to medication for those with mild sleep disturbances.(7) As anyone who has suffered from insomnia will know, this is a hugely important benefit. Sleep is vital for our physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing. A lack of it raises your risk of all sorts of negative conditions, from obesity and heart disease to depression.(8) Conversely, being well-rested helps ensure that we can think clearly, concentrate more easily, and generally perform at our cognitive best.(9) Research indicates that lavender aroma increases slow-wave sleep.(10) This is what’s referred to as deep sleep, and experts believe it’s when the brain flushes out toxic materials. Slow-wave sleep is therefore key for maintaining brain health and staving off neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s. All of which means that lavender ice cream is the perfect sweet treat to enjoy in the evening before bed!
Lavender’s wealth of health benefits
Lavender offers numerous other advantages besides helping you sleep. For instance, its calming influence can ease feelings of stress and worry during your waking life too. Some studies have found lavender to be as effective as pharmaceutical drugs at treating anxiety – without the unwanted side effects.(11) Moreover, lavender is naturally antimicrobial and antibacterial. This means it can be greatly beneficial for your skin, clearing up symptoms of acne and soothing redness. Its antifungal properties could also help to keep conditions such as eczema at bay. Studies even suggest that lavender might play a useful role in healing wounds and reducing scarring.(12) Lavender essential oil is additionally rich in antioxidants. These work to protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Including lavender in your beauty routine could therefore help fight skin ageing and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Unfortunately, you only get these skincare benefits when using lavender topically – not simply from eating lavender ice cream!
Introducing our lavender essential oil
We create our Organic Lavender Essential Oil from the very highest quality lavender. Farmers grow the flowers on a small, family-run estate that we work with directly, in the Provence region of France. The plants have been a key crop here for centuries, transforming the countryside into stunning shades of purple every year. Workers pick the flowers by hand, and they’re then steam distilled to extract the oil. We don’t use any additives, so what you receive is 100% pure lavender essential oil. Our team ships it out in environmentally friendly glass bottles, ready for you to reuse or recycle once empty. Most importantly for this raspberry and lavender ice cream recipe, our essential oil is food grade quality. This means that, as well as using it therapeutically, the oil is safe for you to consume in small amounts. In addition to making lavender ice cream, you can add a drop or two to all kinds of other recipes. It’s a simple way to bring a soothing dash of floral fragrance and flavor to your favorite drink or dessert. Taste-wise, lavender pairs especially well with honey, berries, citrus and chocolate. Personally, here at Erbology, we love using lavender oil in tea and hot chocolate for an extra-relaxing bedtime beverage!
Other ways to use lavender essential oil
Of course, including our essential oil in lavender ice cream is far from the only way to harness its benefits! It also makes a fantastic addition to your skincare regime. As mentioned above, lavender oil can help to reduce symptoms of acne, minimize wrinkles, and even out skin tone. The key thing to remember is that you shouldn’t put any essential oils onto your skin without diluting them first. We recommend mixing five drops of lavender essential oil into 10 millilitres of a carrier such as almond oil. Then gently massage the blend on your face and body to reap the benefits. If you’re interested in using lavender to improve your sleep, there are a number of ways to do so. Firstly, as discussed, you can enjoy lavender ice cream or a lavender-infused drink in the evening. Alternatively, try popping a couple of drops of lavender essential oil onto your pillow before bed. That way, you’ll be able to inhale the relax