Overgrown herbs must be harvested!: Uses for mint and lemonbalm

Posted by: on Jun 27, 2014 | 2 Comments

Our herbs were getting out of hand, so I harvested today. I trimmed back the lemon balm first and it doesn’t even look like I touched it! Then I harvested mint, thyme, marjoram, stevia, and our three kinds of basil: Thai, sweet, and lemon.

lemon balm, mint, stevia, thyme, marjoram

lemon balm, mint, stevia, thyme, marjoram

Thai, lemon, sweet basil

Thai, lemon, sweet basil

And then I realized, having harvested all these delicious leaves, I had to do something with them. I dug out the dehydrator (Note to self: Never put the dehydrator away dirty and then forget about it for 9 months of cold winter… bad Hali).

Looks like we dehydrated a whole ton of tomatoes in here...

Looks like we dehydrated a whole ton of tomatoes in here…

I plucked the lemon balm, mint, and basil leaves off the stems before setting them in the dehydrator but left the rest for later. The thyme and marjoram will be easier to dry on the stem and easier to remove once dry. Drying herbs is the quick and easy way to deal with an abundance. I also wanted to use some of them fresh. While I have a few go to recipes (posted below), I also found some good uses of lemon balm at The Nerdy Farm Wife. Lemon balm is calming, relaxing, and soothing, making it a great bed time tea. It also can be used to soothe bug bites and upset stomachs.

Lemon balm leaves make great tea!

Lemon balm leaves make great tea!

stevia, thyme, marjoram

stevia, thyme, marjoram

I also made tea using lemon balm, mint, and stevia leaves. I made simple syrup for mojitos. And I placed a gallon jar of water, lemons, lemon balm, and spearmint in the fridge. I got this last idea from The Nerdy Farm Wife but have spearmint too so I threw it in there.

Tea with lemon balm, mint, and stevia

Tea with lemon balm, mint, and stevia

Mint Simple Syrup

1 cup water
1  cup sugar
handful of fresh mint leaves

Bring the water and sugar to a boil on the stove, turn down and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. This should only take a few minutes. Allow the simple syrup to cool a little then throw your mint leaves in. Let sit until it tastes minty enough for you. Use in your favorite mint cocktail. I love to use this in mojitos or mint juleps.

Lemon Balm Tea

A handful each of lemon balm and mint
Stevia to your preferred sweetness (I only used a few leaves)
4-6 cups of hot water

Place the herbs in a jar (or whatever you have to stick in the fridge and pour out of). Heat the water on the stove until steaming but not boiling. Pour the hot water over the herbs and allow to steep. You can also use a few cups of hot water and a few cups of room temperature water (I actually did 3 and 3 today. Now I have the tea sitting in the sun on the porch.). This is a very light tea. It’s great iced on a hot summer day or you can drink it before bed for the relaxing properties of lemon balm.

2 Comments

  1. Diane
    June 27, 2014

    Hi, Hali, Isn’t it amazing how quickly the herbs come on, and go from just right to bolting in a few days? If you don’t have a dehydrator (I don’t, yet) I’ve had really good luck with ice cube trays. Put the herbs (especially savory ones) in a blender or processor with just enough water to cover, pour into trays, freeze, and label and store in ziplock bags.Great for winter soups and stews, really convenient, no chopping! and you can make teas with the mint and lemon balm.

    Reply
    • Hali
      June 27, 2014

      Great tip! I may end up doing some of that as well.

      Reply

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