Makers Gonna Make: Bergamot

Bergamot is a citrus fruit from the tropical Citrus bergamia plant, which is commonly found in the Mediterranean, Italy, France, and other parts of Europe. The fruit is typically the size of an orange, yet is closer in color to a lime or lemon depending on ripeness.

Many people are familiar with Bergamot because it’s the fruit that gives Earl Grey tea its citrusy scent and distinct flavor. A highly fragrant fruit, Bergamot is also used to make essential oils (which can be used for perfumes, soaps, or oil diffusion) and can be used in a number of recipes. Bergamot flesh and its zest—which is tart, aromatic, acidic, and spicy—has been used as an ingredient in everything from cookies, custards, and marmalades to syrups, cocktails, and even pesto, mayonnaise, and other condiments.

etta + billie bergamot ginger bath + body oil

Bergamot and Lavender Reusable Dryer Sheets: Both environmentally friendly and easy to DIY, these dryer sheets will leave your laundry soft and smelling great! And with the added bonus of not needing to dispose of the dryer sheets with each load.

Bergamot Ginger Bath + Body Oil: With the invigorating combination of citrusy bergamot and spicy ginger, this bath and body oil is perfect for skin that is in desperate need of hydration or a soothing and relaxing bath. This oil can be used directly on the body as a moisturizer or in a bath, and it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy! (If you prefer a standard lotion for moisturizing, check out the Bergamot + Ginger Body Lotion or Skin Balm.)

Bergamot Honey Frappe: This delicious frappe recipe only needs 5 ingredients, takes about 15 minutes to throw together, and is vegan! Perfect for a mid-morning pick-me-up or a refreshing evening drink this combination of flavors will have your taste buds singing.

Bergamot and Lime Deodorant: Whether you’re in a pinch and need to craft up some homemade deodorant or prefer to use deodorants with all natural ingredients (or without aluminum), this recipe will not only have you smelling great but is easy on your skin as well.

Bergamot Ginger Room + Body Spray: Need to refresh your kitchen, bedroom linens, car, or even yourself? This room and body spray can do it all in an instant! Made with simple ingredients that won’t damage or stain anything, you can spray this product on everything knowing its all natural ingredients aren’t harmful to yourself or your home.

Oyster Mushroom Salad with Apple and Bergamot: A unique combination of ingredients, this salad makes a perfect addition to any dinner or could be enjoyed on its own for lunch. With the apple marinated in bergamot juice, this winter salad will be sure to wow anyone who eats it.

In the Kitchen: Kitchen to Shower – Lemongrass

Kitchen to Shower - LemongrassCurries and soap have more in common that you think

Lemongrass, (or Cybopogon citronus for those interested in scientific names), is native to Southeast Asia and Australia, and appears in culinary traditions central to Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam (yum, yum, and yum). In addition to countless health benefits (lemongrass is packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants – the things that fight free radicals), it imparts a subtle citrus flavor that brightens dishes (think Thai Green Curry and this Ramen Soup). It can be ground, chopped or infused into all the tasty things. And put into soap, scrubs and other skin treats.

Before you hit the store

Lemongrass will need some prep before it can be fully incorporated into to your culinary experiments. First, you’ll need to remove the root (the thick heavy base) and the grassy stems at the top of the plant with scissors or a sharp knife. Then you’ll have to deal with the tough outer casing that surrounds the tender, fragrant, stalk inside. How you prep the stalk will depend on what you’re making. You can chop your way up the stalk from the bottom if you plan to grind your lemongrass in with other curry seasonings, or you can beat the stalk with the handle of a heavy kitchen tool in order to break apart the fibers and release the essence of the plant. Hot Tip: bring a defeated-looking stalk of lemongrass back to life by soaking it in cold water for a few minutes. Don’t give up! The lemongrass will spring back quickly after nice cool drink. 

When you get to the heart of the lemongrass, you’ll know. While the outer casing may seem impenetrable (i.e seriously fibrous and tough), the inner core is smooth, soft, white or pale yellow, and ready to eat almost as-is. Once the tough parts are removed, there’s no way to eff the lemongrass up. Its flavor and fragrance are bright but understated, so you won’t overdo it no matter how much you use. This is not one of those less is more situations.  

Here’s a few recipes that sounded particularly fantastic to me. See more on my Pinterest feed. 

Coconut-Lemongrass-Ginger-Popsicles-6

Coconut Ginger Lemongrass Popsicle by Snixy Kitchen

Thai Grilled Corn and Peach Quinoa Salad by Half Baked Harvest

Lemongrass Mint Ginger Kaffir Lime Syrup by Delicious Everyday (this would be awesome in a cocktail)Recipe-Lemongrass-Mint-Kaffir-Lime-and-Ginger-Syrup-Delicious-Everyday-1-91

More lemongrass, please

Ready to get more lemongrass in your day to day routine? Check out E+B limited edition Lemongrass Mint soap, scrub or skin balm. You can bath with it, exfoliate with it and even carry it around with you in your purse. 

Lemongrass Mint Soap

Grow your own!

You can grow lemongrass in your kitchen. Be prepared to commit; the lemongrass will need attention and light and may not thrive if left alone for very long (i.e it would never work for me, the plant destroyer). But if it receives the care it needs, lemongrass can be an excellent kitchen companion. It releases a citrusy, summery, uplifting fragrance all day long, especially when its leaves are touched or crushed.