“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 September Herb Seminar at Full Moon Natives & Herbs - All About Lemongrass - uses for culinary, tea, aroma, health and the language of herbs. Marvette Bagwell and I teamed up to share everything!
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) can be used in Florida (Zone 9) as a structural element in the garden at the back of the border to add contrast, texture and movement plus it repels flies, fleas and mosquitoes. It also produces green cluster flowers tinged with red in summer which are unusual and attractive. Lemongrass also makes a great upright focal point for a large container, where it does not grow year round, with other tender perennial lemon herbs such as lemon verbena and lemon thyme.
Both the leaves and bulbs of lemongrass may be used for cooking and tea. Cut the stalks at the base of the outside of the plant – they last 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. The leaves may be steeped in water for tea or as a soup base and the bulbs for stir fry, curries or stew - just peel and discard the outer layers then slice the inner portion before use. The sliced lemongrass can also be frozen in zip-lock bags for several months.
For more information see this earlier post on LEMONGRASS.
Marvette demonstrated several recipes using lemongrass and everyone had the opportunity to taste special treats like lemongrass basil frozen yogurt, Thai chicken satay, rice w/lemongrass and green onion, Thai coconut soup along with lemongrass ginger iced tea and sparkling lemongrass tea. Recipes are available at http://fullmoonnatives.com/recipes.htm
Plus I shared one of my favorites for tasting too:
LEMONGRASS TEA BREAD
1Tbs chopped lemongrass
1/2c plain yogurt
1Tbs lime zest
1Tbs grated fresh ginger
1 1/2tsp baking powder
Steep lemongrass in 1/4c boiling water, cool, strain and add to yogurt. Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time then add zest and ginger. Add mixture of flour, baking powder and salt alternately with herbed yogurt just until blended. Pour into buttered loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees for 50 mins or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool. Glaze with a mixture of lime juice and confectioners’ sugar
Finally, my Demo included several other uses for lemongrass including a headache sachet, soup wreath, bath bundles and vinegar!
1Tbs lemon grass leaves
1Tbs lavender flowers
Place the 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.
4 -12” herb sprigs (Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram, Lemongrass)
2 accent herbs/flowers (Bay Leaf, Parsley, Texas Tarragon or Sage)
The completed wreath should be about 4-5” in diameter – the perfect size for a pot of soup. Gather herbs and use rosemary to bend into a 4” loop twisting ends around each other and tie with kitchen twine. Add additional herbs (thyme & marjoram) overlapping the ends of each one until the wreath looks full. Keep in mind wreath will shrink as it dries. Add lemongrass spiraling like a ribbon to secure and give a finished look. Tuck in a small bunch of accent herbs. Tie on ribbon with recipe (see below) or instructions for use.
NOTE: May be used fresh or dried. Dry in a dark, dry, well-ventilated place.
TURKEY NOODLE SOUP
6c turkey stock
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2c celery, chopped
1pkg frozen peas
1pkg frozen carrots
2 c diced cooked turkey
2c egg noodles
Simmer turkey carcass in 6 cups of water with chicken bouillon, 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped celery stalk, 1 chopped carrot & attached soup wreath for 45 minutes. Remove carcass & wreath. Strain broth and discard vegetables. Reheat broth adding 1/2 c chopped celery & 1/2 c chopped onion and simmer until tender and then add frozen peas and carrots, noodles, and diced turkey. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
BASIC VEGETABLE BROTH
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 potato, chopped into large chunks
3 cloves whole garlic
8 cups water
dash salt and pepper
Place all ingredients in a large pot including attached soup wreath and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour. Strain out the vegetables and remove the wreath. This broth can be used as a base for soups, gravies and more.
BATH BUNDLES: Make bundles of lemongrass plus a few sprigs of rosemary and wrap with a rubber band. Toss bundle into a warm bath to relax tried muscles after running a marathon or gardening all day!
LEMON PEPPER VINEGAR
2c rice wine vinegar
1/4c chopped lemongrass
2 chili peppers
Heat vinegar but DO NOT BOIL. Place lemongrass, peppercorns, chili peppers and lemon peel in a sterile glass canning jar, add warmed vinegar, cover with plastic wrap, add lid and store in dark location for 2-3 weeks, shaking jar daily. Strain vinegar in cheesecloth and/or coffee filter. Put fresh lemon peel and a few peppercorns into a smaller sterilized bottle if desired, add vinegar and seal.