Let’s Meet Lemon Balm
If you ever wondered about recipes with lemon balm, you’ve come to the right place!
I could not WAIT to spend time talking about this lovely herb: say “hello” to Lemon balm! This fun, smooth, refreshing herb has so many benefits and is so versatile it is hard to even know where to begin! Let’s start with where we can find this little bundle of zest! It’s time to learn about our November Featured herb and recipes with Lemon Balm!
Lucky for us, Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) has become naturalized all over the world, although it is native to the Middle East. Also found in the Mediterranean, Lemon Balm is part of the mint family and known as the “gladdening herb.” It is known in ancient cultures this herb encourages elation and gladness for a joyful life. It is an uplifting nerving and can be used as a mild antidepressant.
If these wonderful tidbits weren’t winning you over enough on this joyful herb, it also thrives in gardens! Not only does lemon balm do well in rich soil with some moisture, but in dryer, dessert climates will also produce germination! This is amazing! Lemon balm has been used for thousands of years; in medicinal gardens and is proclaimed as one of the easiest herbs to grow.
Lemon Balm Nutritional Benefits
Lemon balm is an extremely versatile herb! Go ahead and think of any recipe and lemon balm can be used! I’m serious, salad dressings, jelly & jams, baked goods, salsas, vinegars, pestos, sauces, liquors. Anything your heart desires, you can create!
Until I started studying herbalism and starting this calling as a clinical herbalist, I never realized how creative I could be with herbs, especially lemon balm. It is truly such a delight working with this beautiful versatile herb. The medicinal and nutritional benefits are a pleasant bonus!
All this talk about recipes and uses as my mouth watering! Let’s get to these recipes, shall we?
Recipes with Lemon Balm and Uses
Awaken and energize a room in the house: place 6-8 drops of lemon balm essential oil in your diffuser and let the magic begin!
Disinfectant and Deodorizer: place a few leaves in your DIY toilet bowl cleaner (distilled vinegar recipe coming soon!), allow to soak for 1-2 hours and use during cleaning.
Herbal Pesto Recipes with Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm Pesto:
Pesto is so simple to make and doesn’t take many ingredients at all! Here is a basic, easy recipe to use with your fresh lemon balm!
2-3 oz lemon balm, fresh
3-5 garlic cloves
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Parmesan, Feta cheese, or nutritional yeast (for non-dairy substitute)
6-8 tbsp (or 2 large) lemons, juiced
1 cup pine nuts, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, etc.
Directions: lightly toast the nuts/seeds of your choice in a skillet on low-medium heat. Add all over ingredients to a high-speed food processor or blender.
Use and enjoy right away or freeze in containers!
Herbal Jam Recipe
Pear-Lemon Balm Jam:
1lbs pears, fresh, organic
1/2 cup stevia sweetener**
1/2 cup honey** (keep in mind the moisture content of these sweeteners is different than regular granulated sugar)
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon, optional
Directions: using high heat, boil fruit and sweeteners for 30-45 minutes. Periodically checking the thickness.
There are SO MANY recipes and uses for lemon balm (as you have seen!) and this is just a few to get you started incorporating this lovely herb into your life! As with any herb, spend time cultivating a relationship with it, and you’ll be amazed how much you will get back in return.
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