Lemon Balm is called “Heart’s Delight” in southern Europe, and for good reason. In the summer, there is nearly always an iced pitcher of Lemon Balm tea on the kitchen counter, and not only is it delicious, thirst-quenching and deeply refreshing, but it also keeps the household chilled out with its calming and soothing abilities.
To get the best of lemon balm, you need to grow her. She loses flavor when dried, so to get the delicious flavor, snip off the top 6 inches or so of some lemon balm stems, and twist and tear them into a quart jar, filling about 1/3 to 1/2 full with green. Then, fix one of two ways:
Cold water: pour filtered room temperature water over, cap and let sit overnight to draw through.
Hot water: pour filtered hot (but not boiling) water over, cap and let sit an hour to draw through.
Both methods work fine, but the cold water infusion does give a slightly better flavor.
After steeping, strain and dilute to taste, serving over ice.
Some wonderful combinations include any of these herbs: spearmint (far better to grow than peppermint, and our favorite to grow is called Kentucky Colonel), rose, holy basil. Delicious!
Lemon balm is also wonderful blended into honey, steeped in wine, or made as a syrup or a jelly. A few sprigs in the bath or a foot soak are divine.
When growing lemon balm, know that the taste will change when the plant flowers, so to get the most out of your lemon balm keep an eye on it, and when it starts to flower cut the entire plant down to about 4 to 6 inches. You will get another flush of new growth and keep the lemon balm deliciousness going all summer long.
Lemon Balm Popsicles
Blend in blender and freeze in popsicle molds:
Handful of fresh lemon balm
Half a handful of chopped spearmint
Water (around 2-1/2 cups)
Organic lemon juice (around 1/3 cup)
Raw honey (around 2 T.)
2 to 3 squirts plain or lemon stevia
Optional add-ins: fresh ginger (1” piece or so)
Note: if you have low thyroid, don’t over-do lemon balm. That being said, we have never seen that be an issue, but everyone is different.
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