If you’ve been following me on instagram you know I recently got my hands on some fresh chamomile and quickly became obsessed. In vases around my kitchen, gifted to the preschool teachers and made into tea, the uses for chamomile seem endless. So when my friend Meg (my party partner in crime) asked me for natural, healthy ideas for ways to help chill out, chamomile was an obvious suggestion.
A recipe brainstorm session quickly turned into a full on creative meeting and the outcome — a new collaborative series focused on the healing art of edible flowers, was born. It only makes sense to launch this collaboration with our current obsession, so head over to Beard and Bonnet to read 5 delicious ways we’ve found to indulge with fresh chamomile.
I often drink chamomile tea before bed because it helps promote rest and relaxation. But I wasn’t aware of just how healing chamomile can be. It can also boost the immune system, ward off depression, ease an upset stomach and even help calm menstrual cramps. This tiny little flower packs a powerful punch. Inspired by Meg’s love of fizzy drinks and the desire to enjoy the benefits of chamomile in the day without getting sleepy, we created this delicate and delicious Chamomile Citrus Italian Cream Soda. I’m not a fan of traditional soft drinks, for obvious reasons, but I do love a good homemade soda, especially as the days warm up. The flavor of this bubbly drink is light and subtly sweet. The recipe may be simple but this drink is anything but basic! Chamomile and orange infused simple syrup stirred into bubbly water is all you need to relax into the blooming days of Spring. Coconut milk replaces the typical half and half to keep your heart healthy, but feel free to leave it out all together.
FOR THE CHAMOMILE CITRUS SIMPLE SYRUP
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 heaping tablespoons of chamomile blossoms
peel of 1 orange cut into strips (be careful to avoid the white pith)
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the water and sugar. Stir well and cook until the sugar has dissolved completely. Add the chamomile blossoms and strips of orange peel into the sugar water. Allow to cool completely before transeferring to a mason jar. Refrigerate overnight then strain and discard the solids.
TO MAKE THE ITALIAN SODA
1 oz Chamomile Citrus Simple Syrup
1/4 cup coconut milk
Add Chamomile Citrus Simple Syrup to an 8 ounce glass with ice. Pour in sparkling water and top with coconut milk. Allow the milk to naturally blend into the soda, or gently stir to combine for a creamy taste in each sip.
The best part about italian sodas is how easy it is to make a single glass but don’t be surprised if you find yourself inviting friends over just to share this quirkly little delightful drink. Don’t forget to check out other ways you can enjoy the healing properties of chamomile and continue to keep your eyes peeled for more fresh ideas using edible flowers!