Infused sugars and bathing salts

Mon. Dec. 18, 2017

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Infused sugars and bathing salts

This time of year our calendars are filled with party dates.  Hostess gifts are sometimes one of those last minute thoughts.  Today I thought I’d give you a little prompt and suggest some fun, easy  yet thoughtful ideas.

Infused sugar - lavender essentials

Infused sugars.  A sweet small token of appreciation in a cool looking jar.  Start with organic sugar and a dried herb or spice.  I buy at our local coop.

Infused sugar - lavender

Combine the sugar and herb or spice into an airtight container in a 2 to 1 ratio of sugar to spice.  Approximately.  Some of those herbs/spices do not need to be that strong!  Experimentation is the key.

After about 2 weeks, the sugar will be infused and it will keep well for at least 3 months.  There are lots of herbs and spices that go well with sugar.

  • Vanilla, use vanilla bean
  • Mint, dried any kind
  • Orange or lemon peel
  • Dried rosehips (although I’ve heard people using the petals and didn’t like it)
  • Lavender
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Nutmeg
  • Cayenne
  • Juniper berries
  • Chili pepper
  • Fennel seed – tastes like licorice
  • Whatever you can think of!

Infused sugar - orange peel with peeler

You can package your  sweet treat in any number of containers.  The only must is that they be airtight. well, clean too!  Thrift stores are great for finding fun stuff.  Do sanitize the jars.  PS I dried the orange peel and zest in my dehydrator.

Infused sugar - orange

After your sugar has been infused, you can either sift out the herb or spice or leave it in.  I like the way it looks left in the jar.  Add suggestions on the use of the infused sugar and be sure to add that they should sift the sugar if there are large pieces.

  • Sprinkle on sugar cookies
  • Sweeten coffee or tea
  • Sprinkle on fresh fruit
  • Fold into cookie, muffin, cupcake or bread batter
  • Rim a cocktail glass

Infused sugar - vanilla

and Bathing Salts…………

Ahhh, soothing bath salts or invigorating salts!  Another hostess gift idea.

Bath salts - lavender and rosehips

Bath salts – lavender and rosehips

Historically baths were a way of treating ailments..  Holistic practitioners  use salt and herbs for a number of maladies.  There are different types of salts as well.  Epsom is probably the most popular and the one we’ll focus on. It’s actually magnesium and sulfate, minerals known for their medicinal value as well as beauty and garden products.

Bath salts - types

Bath salts – types

To make a bath salt, start by measuring the salt into a glass or stainless steel bowl.  Add the essential oil, adjusting the amount for a lighter or stronger scent.  Mix thoroughly.  Stir in the herbs, reserving a few for decoration.  Pour into a pint jar.  Place reserved herb sprigs or petals on top of the salt before sealing the jar.

Bath salts - making

Epsom salt, lavender, rosehips

Bath salts with essential oil

Lavender, rosehips and lavender essential oil

For invigoration:

mix 2 cups salt with 4 to 8 drops of peppermint essential oil and 1 or 2 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves.

For sore muscles:

Mix 4 to 8 drops of wintergreen or lemongrass essential oil ( or a mix of the two) with 2 cups salt and 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried lemon verbena leaves.

For relaxation:

2 cups salt mixed with 4 to 8 drops of essential lavender oil and 1 or 2 tablespoons of dried lavender flowers and rosebuds.  I was able to use the lavender from my own garden as well as the rosebuds.

You can add beet powder for festive color.  It won’t stain you or your tub!

I found this site that has a lot of information about Bath Salts and other simple home products to add to your bath for a variety of reasons!  Salt Works