From the monthly archives:

April 2010

Herb of the Week – Lemon Balm

by Julie Kohl on April 27, 2010

Lemon Balm (also known as Melissa)

Lemon Balm is a really great, really under-appreciated herb which has great culinary and medicinal uses.  This herb is native to Southern Europe and Northern Africa and has been used for over 2000 years.

Medicinal Uses

A popular use of the herb is Melissa Tea.  The tea is thought to cure headaches, insomnia, cold and flu, lower blood pressure and even help with indigestion.  Not only is Melissa Tea helpful for many ailments but it is also a refreshing beverage.

A Lemon Balm Tincture is highly concentrated and keeps for a long time.  The tincture can be added to drinks, lotions, and salves and can help with the ailments listed above and is also thought to help lower stress.  The tincture can be sparingly applied directly into the mouth to help ease the pain of a tooth ache.

Lemon Balm leaves are also said to be an effective mosquito repellant!  Rub the leaves on exposed skin to ward of the little blood suckers!

Culinary Uses

Lemon Balm is great when added to cakes and cookies adding a slightly tart, delicate lemon flavor to the dish.  The leaves can be chopped and added into any batter or steeped in the required liquid before preparation.  It can also be added to homemade sorbets and ice creams.

Lemon balm is wonderful in savory dishes and pairs well with poultry, pork and fish.  It is great when added to sauces, marinades or even stuffing.  Chopped leaves can be added directly into your favorite dish.

Storage

Fresh leaves can be stored in a plastic bag for several days in the fridge.  Leaves can also be frozen.  Leaves can be spread out to dry in a dark airy place and can then be stored in airtight containers for several months.  Dried leaves do lose some of their flavor.

Please remember that when using herbs for medicinal properties you should always consult your doctor first.  No medicinal qualities listed above have been proven and are only suggestions for use and should not be used in place of visiting with your physician.

Recipes – Below you will find several recipes for Lemon Balm.  For printable recipe cards, click the titles of each recipe or click the Recipe Cards Tab at the top of the page.

Melissa (Lemon Balm) Tea

Fresh Lemon Balm Leaves or dried Lemon Balm Leaves
Water
Sugar, honey or other sweetener

Hot Tea – Use 2 Tbs. of fresh chopped leaves or 1 tbs. dried leaves per cup of boiling water.  Place the leaves in a mesh tea ball and pour boiling water over it.  Allow the leaves to steep for about 5 minutes or until desired taste is achieved.  Add sugar to taste and enjoy hot.

Iced Tea – Prepare tea as above. Place tea into a pitcher and store in the refrigerator.  Drink within 2 days.

Sun Tea – In a large 2 quart jar add approximately ½ cup (more or less to taste) of torn fresh lemon balm leaves.  Cover leaves with cool water and seal the jar.  Place in a sunny location for a few hours.  Strain out the leaves, add ice and sugar as desired and enjoy.

Note- Mint, chamomile and black tea leaves make a great addition to any of the methods above.

Lemon Balm Tincture

¼ cup Dried Lemon Balm leaves                    Sterile Glass Jar
½ cup Vodka                                                           Dark Glass Jar with dropper
½ cup water

Lemon Balm Tincture is best made with DRIED Lemon Balm Leaves.

Chop ¼ cup of dried lemon balm leaves in a food processor or clean coffee grinder.  Place the chopped leaves into a sterile glass jar.  Cover the herbs with the vodka and water.  Tightly seal the jar.

Allow the jar to remain covered in a cool dark place for two weeks.  Vigorously shake the jar daily to help with the infusion of the herbs.  After two weeks, strain out the herbs and store the liquid in a dark glass jar with a dropper.  Be sure to label your jar.

Adults take 4-6 ml of the tincture daily.  Remember to consult your physician when using for medicinal purposes.

 

{ 2 comments }

Searcy Farmers Market Opening

by Julie Kohl on April 20, 2010

Saturday was the opening day of the 2010 Searcy Farmers Market.  First of all I would like to thank EVERYONE who came by and purchased eggs from me, visited with me and just came to check out the market.  It was a very successful day for everyone.  It is still early in the season but each week you will find more and more in season produce.  We are also expecting 6-8 more vendors and several more might be signing up! It will only get better as the season goes on!

I will not be at the market on the 24th but I will be back on the 1st of May with  Eggs, Lemon Balm and possibly some Dill and Basil.  I will also be doing Kids Crafts all day.

{ 0 comments }

Printable Recipe Cards

April 16, 2010

Click on each of the recipes below for a free printable 4×6 recipe card.  Print them on cardstock and add them to your recipe file.    To print two cards per page, select and print your first card.  Turn your paper and return it to your printer.  Print the second card on the other half of […]

Read the full article →

Fritatta…failure???

April 15, 2010

The winner of the last contest suggested Frittata as a great weeknight dinner option.  Not only had the winner suggested this but another contest entrant did as well.  I had never had a frittata before but it had been described to me as a cross between an omelet and a quiche.  I LOVE quiche, I […]

Read the full article →

Farm Photos

April 10, 2010

Just a few photos from around the farm! Enjoy!

Read the full article →

Onion-skin Dyed Eggs

April 6, 2010

I read about Onion -skin dyed eggs over at the Proactive Bridesmaid and was amazed!  I’ve seen these somewhere before and thought that they were cool but never gave them much thought beyond that.  Well now that I have my own chickens and enough eggs to warrant their own refrigerator, I am constantly looking at new […]

Read the full article →

Garden Journal 4-2

April 3, 2010

WOW! I can not believe it has been nearly a MONTH since my last garden journal post. A lot has been happening here!  As I mentioned in my post about starting a garden last year I had a progressive plan to add more raised beds.  Last year I started with four 4×4 beds.  These were […]

Read the full article →

Last updated by at .