Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sun Tea

We have a wonderful abundance of Lemon Balm growing in our garden. Actually, not just our garden, but in many gardens and fields and any empty space it seems in the neighbourhood!

Lemon Balm is a wonderful herb, very prolific. It is part of the Mint Family, so grows very well. It is beneficial for many uses.. here are some culinary and medicinal uses. I found this information on the, an encyclopedia of spices

"Culinary Uses
Because of its delicate lemon flavour, lemon balm has a wide culinary potential. Apart from using fresh leaves as an attractive garnish, Chopped fresh leaves can be used to to add zest to sweet or tangy dishes. It combines well with allspice, bay leaves, mint, pepper, rosemary and thyme. A wonderful addition to fruit salads, green salads, herb butters, fruit drinks, sorbets.

Attributed Medicinal Properties
Lemon balm tea was known to have powers of longevity. Today the tea is taken to treat colds and flu, lower blood pressure and for insomnia and indigestion.
The Arabs introduced it as medicinal herb, a tea that was taken for anxiety and depression. Melissa tea is still known in France today as a remedy for fatigue and headaches"

With the lemon balm growing to epic proportions , I made some great Sun Tea.
Here is how you make it:

Sun Tea
750ml clear jar of spring water
2 cups of lemon balm leaves

Put the leaves in the water. Let sit in the sun all day. The sun will warm the water, and the flavour and properties of the leaves will migrate into the water.

You can use this as a refreshing beverage as is, or put in fridge and let it get cold for Ice Tea.

You can also use the tea and the leaves in place of water or mylk in smoothies.

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