“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
I Peter 4:10
Today was the second Herb Seminar at Full Moon Natives & Herbs and it was All About Lemon Herbs - uses for culinary, tea, aroma, health and the language of herbs. Marvette Bagwell and I teamed up to share everything lemon!
A whole world of flavor is in lemon-scented herbs. They include edibles great for flavoring plus they add scent to bouquets and potpourri blends. Each has its own characteristics that make it unique in the garden and on the table. Combined they make a refreshing herbscape and may be visually enhanced with lemon-colored perennials such as Lanceleaf, Goldenmane or Tickseed Coreopsis; Black Eye Susan and Rosinweed or yellow flowering herbs such as Calendula and Texas Tarragon.
Lemon Balm – Melissa officinalis
a foolproof herb that grows just about anywhere with a fresh picked lemon scent used especially for a soothing and relaxing tea with a dash of honey
Lemon Grass - Cymbopogon Citratus
a structural element in the garden with its tall spiky leaves, it is commonly used for its sharp lemon flavor in stir fry and tea
Lemon Verbena – Aloysia triphylla
by far the most robust lemon fragrance, but deciduous woody perennial that’s best grown in a large pot and used chopped in cakes and cookies
Lemon Thyme – Thymus citrodora
a lovely spreading mound of dark green leaves or a variegated version with yellow edged leaves great for salads, vegetables, fish & chicken
Lemon Basil – Ocimun basilicum citriodorum ‘Mrs. Burns’
a treat with bright green large leaves and a bright lemon aroma and flavor that lends a zip to pesto and is also delicious in sauces for chicken.
“Lemon Dessert” Marigolds - Tagetes lemmonii
small yellow lemon-scented edible flower petals with a spicy, citrus flavor
Lemon Mint – Monarda citriodora
a distinctive combination of lemon and mint used to garnish beverages and dried for arrangements
Lemon Geranium – Pelagonium crispum
crisp and crinkly small leafed scented geranium with distinctive lemon scent and used to line lemon cake pans or as a potpourri base
Marvette demonstrated several recipes using lemon balm, lemon grass, lemon verbena and lemon basil. Everything was easy and yummy plus the lemon tea was so refreshing – the recipes using lemon herbs and more are here including my recipe for these easy tea cakes:
LEMON HERB TEA CAKES: Combine 1 c milk and 1Tbs each of the following Lemon Herbs: lemongrass, lemon verbena & lemon thyme. Bring almost to a boil, then steep 20 minutes. Strain and combine with 1/2 c plain yogurt and zest of a lemon. Combine a yellow cake mix with wet ingredients and whisk just until mixed. Pour into greased mini muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins. Drizzle with a mixture of the juice from a lemon plus confectioners’ sugar.
Then it was my turn to demonstrate other uses for the three most popular lemon herbs plus a lemon herb combo:
RELAXING TUB TEA
1/4c each lemon balm, lavender, rose petals, chamomile and loose leaf green tea
1/4c old fashioned oatmeal
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Place 1/4c blend into a muslin bag. To use: Steep in boiling water for 15 minutes, then add everything into tub and enjoy!
LEMON VERBENA POTPOURRI
dried peel of one lemon
1c dried lemon verbena leaves
1/2c dried chamomile flowers
1/2c dried calendula petals
6” cinnamon stick, crushed/1/4c cinnamon chips
Dry the lemon peel by scraping it off the lemon with a vegetable peeler, spread on paper and dry in a warm place for about 2 weeks, until crisp. Mix all the ingredients together. Seal in a tin and put in a warm place for about 2-3 weeks, shaking occasionally. Use to scent a room, or for sachets.
1Tbs lemon grass leaves
1Tbs lavender flowers
Directions for Use:
Place this mixture in sachet bags and sniff as needed to relieve tension headaches. Tuck a bag into your pillow to soothe a headache as you rest. This mixture also relieves bad dreams and eases insomnia.
MIXED LEMON HERBS
LEMON HERB CLEANING VINEGAR
1 quart white vinegar
1 cup fresh lemon herbs from the garden: any combination of lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lemon scented geranium, lemon balm, lemongrass, lemon basil
Remove one or two cups of vinegar from gallon jug. Add fresh herb sprigs. Add vinegar to fill jug. Cap. Allow to steep for two weeks. Strain out herbs and use for herbal cleaning. The essential oils scent and anti-bacterial properties from the herbs will be in the vinegar.
LEMON HERB GLASS CLEANER
4oz LEMON HERB CLEANING VINEGAR
1tsp liquid soap
Place ingredients in a spray bottle. Spray to clean glass, windows and kitchen surfaces.