Scented Geraniums are known for the fragrant essential oils that can be extracted from the glandular tissue in the leaves. There are over eighty scented geranium varieties including dozens of Rose-scented varieties and lemon, mint, fruit, nut, spice, pungent, and oak-leaved varieties. Rose-scented geraniums have been used for centuries to make perfumes and have also been used as a natural pest deterrent, baking flavor, and dried for potpourri.
Rose-scented geranium leaves are commonly mixed with sugar and left in a warm location for 2-4 weeks. The infused sugar can then be used for baking and teas. Rose-scented geranium leaves can also be used for flavor in sorbets and ice cream, jelly and jams, and fruit punches. Rose-scented geranium leaves will keep up to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
How to make Geranium Lemonade
You will need:
1 cup of sugar
6-7 cups of fresh water
1 cup of fresh lemon or lime juice
8-10 Geranium leaves
3-4 Geranium flowers
You can also decorate your cake with sugared flowers of Geranium, why not?
Use lemon and rose-scented geraniums in sweet vinegar recipes; they combine especially well with Lemon Verbena, Lemon Basil, and Mints. The dried leaves of a scented geranium can also make wonderful flavored teas. Simply steep a couple of teaspoons of dried leaves in a cup of hot water or add a few leaves to your pot.
You may also grind up the leaves and use them for “instant” tea or as a spice. To flavor baked goods, line your pan or cookie sheet with a thin layer of scented geranium leaves, either fresh or dried, and bake on top of them. After baking, remove the leaves, and the flavor remains. Scented geranium leaves can also be used to flavor sangria, fruit punch, lemonade, and sorbet. To make geranium jelly add a few scented leaves to a standard apple jelly recipe.
Drinking tea made from scented geraniums can have a calming effect similar to chamomile and may reduce stress and anxiety. The essential oil of scented geraniums has also been used in perfumes, insect repellents, astringents, and aromatherapy oils.