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Lavender Lemonade (Makes 6 cups)

Most herb enthusiasts are aware that there is lavender used for culinary purposes and also lavender for aromatic uses. Here is one of my favorite ways to use culinary lavender. I first made this wonderful lemonade when doing a presentation on lavender at the Cherry Point Market near Shelby, Michigan

1 cup sugar
5 cups water, divided
1 tablespoon dried lavender blooms
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Ice Cubes
Fresh lavender sprigs for garnish, when available

1. Combine sugar with 2 and 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

2. Add the lavender to the sugar water, cover and remove from heat. Let stand at least 20 minutes (or up to several hours).

3. Strain mixture and discard lavender.

4. Pour infusion into pitcher. Add lemon juice and the remaining 2 and 1/2cups water. Stir well.

5. Pour into glasses half filled with ice or refrigerate until ready to use

6. Garnish with fresh lavender springs, if you wish..

Nutritional information per cup of lemonade:
134 calories, 1 gram protein, 0 grams fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 2 milligrams sodium