Lemon balm is prolific. It’s also medicinal and edible. Let’s focus on the many edible uses today with these delicious lemon balm recipes.
Lemon Balm as Food
Lemon balm does have a lemon flavor which makes it ideal for sweet and savory recipes.
Harvest it fresh and use it like you’d use any fresh herb, like oregano, where that hit of lemon would be welcome. Tucked up under the skin of a roasting chicken, for example.
Use it in sweet recipes as substitute for lemon zest. The conversion isn’t exact – you’ll need more lemon balm but the idea is similar. Use lemon balm in cookies and cakes.
Lemon Balm as a Drink
Lemon balm tea is always delicious. To brew a hot cup, Use 2 Tablespoons of fresh chopped leaves to every 8 ounces of boiling water. Double the lemon balm if you plan to pour it over ice.
More than just plain tea, however; lemon balm can be used like mint in many drinks for adults and kids alike. Simply muddle and add seltzer water or your favorite spirit for a fun summer drink.
Getting the Most Flavor from Lemon Balm
Lemon balm is milder than actual lemons, of course, but still the lemon flavor is ever present. To get the most flavor from fresh lemon balm, follow these tips.
Cream with butter. Give that butter and lemon balm a good beating with the mixer or wooden spoon. The more the herb is pounded, especially into a fat, the more flavorful, volatile oils are released.
Steep for a while. If incorporating lemon balm with a liquid, give it a good strong steeping. Warm the herb (double what you would use for tea) in milk or water, for example, and add that to your recipe.
Chop finely. Give the herbs a good chop with a sharp knife. The more the bits are chopped the more incorporated it will be in the final product.
Puree. Puree the herbs with liquid and add to recipes. This will also make the final product green (most likely) but that’s not always a bad thing.