Storage Tips: Fresh Lemon Balm leaves should be washed and dried, then stored in a clear plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Lemon Balm can also be stored in an infused oil. To prepare, wash and thoroughly dry the leaves then place them in a clean, sterilized glass jar. Fill the jar with oil and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Use as a cooking oil or as a dressing for salads and cooked vegetables.
Whole leaves can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to six months.
Usage Ideas: Fresh Lemon Balm leaves combine well with other herbs including bay leaves, mint, rosemary, and thyme.
Lemon Balm is a great addition to sweet dishes such as fruit salad, juices and lemonades, and even sorbet and ice cream. It can also be used in stuffing for meat and poultry, or in a sauce for fish or seafood.
Try this recipe for homemade Lemon Balm Tea: Combine 1 tsp fresh lemon zest with 2 Tbsp mint leaves, and 2 Tbsp lemon balm. Cover with 2 cups of boiling water and let steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and serve warm with honey and a touch of cream or milk.
Fun Facts: Lemon Balm is a citrus-flavored herb native to the southern regions of Europe and northernmost regions of Africa (10)
Folklore stories claim that drinking a tea infused with Lemon Balm was used to promote longer living (3)
The volatile oils in Lemon Balm are also thought to have a connection between the nervous system and the digestive tract, perhaps why this herb is also commonly used a home remedy for stomach aches (10)