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How to dry lemon balm

How to dry lemon balm


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How to dry lemon balm: instructions on drying lemon balm. When to harvest for leaves rich in aromatic compounds and advice on storage methods.

It is important to know how to dry (and therefore preserve) the lemon balm leaves but it is equally essential to understand when the time is right to harvest.

Dry the lemon balm for herbal teas and infusions

The dried lemon balm can be used in the kitchen or to prepare infusions and herbal teas. For the infusions, you should chop the dried lemon balm into small pieces of 2 - 3 mm. In this way you will not go to waste precious active ingredients and you will be able to fully benefit from the properties of lemon balm.

When to harvest lemon balm

The collection of thelemon balmit is carried out before flowering in order to obtain leaves rich in aromatic compounds and precious active ingredients. After flowering, the organoleptic characteristics of the plant deteriorate and the leaves become more difficult to manipulate.

The leaves of lemon balm to drythey are harvested in the middle of the morning, when the dew has now disappeared and the surface of the leaves is completely dry.

Therelemon balmit should be kept in a partial shade position because when exposed to full sun, the plant stops the production of active ingredients. It is important to irrigate the lemon balm for the entire duration of cultivation in order to obtain leaves rich in aromatic compounds and able to fully express the beneficial properties of this plant.

How to dry lemon balm

After the harvest, thelemon balmcan be started atdrying. Drying the lemon balm means depriving all the leaves of the water. The plant tissues, lacking in water, will not be able to carry on the metabolic and enzymatic processes that would deteriorate the plant. Thanks to'drying all biological processes of the plant cell will be blocked. The water content, with thedrying, will have to be reduced to a percentage of 12 - 15%.

With excessive drying (amount of water less than 11%), the leaves will tend to break too easily or even pulverize.

The drying of lemon balm can be considered completed when the leaves are fragile and crunchy, when they begin to crumble (be careful, they crumble but do not pulverize!).

How to dry lemon balm naturally

If you want to carry out natural drying, you can arrange the plants on trellises or sieves placed in a well-ventilated (but not ventilated) area, with a dry climate (without humidity) and away from direct sunlight (in a shaded area or covered).

If you want to dry the lemon balm outdoors, perhaps in your home garden, you must be careful to "come home" the sieves during the night, transferring the lemon balm to a sheltered area away from the humidity of the late afternoon. In the morning, when the air is dry, you can take the lemon balm leaves outside again and continue like this until you notice the driest leaves that begin to crumble.

Dryer

The dryer is a very useful tool for drying aromatic herbs, citrus peel, mushrooms, chillies, tomatoes, courgettes and many other vegetables.

If you like to dry and store spices and vegetables, it is worth buying a new appliance to use when needed. If you carry out the process once a year, only for lemon balm, I do not recommend buying it ... it is still an appliance that takes up space unnecessarily when not in use!

A good dryer can be bought for a few tens of euros. The Severi OD 2940 model can be bought on Amazon at the promotional price of 49.99 euros with free shipping costs. It is composed of 5 separate fillings where you can arrange the herbs (or fruit, vegetables) to be dried. For all information, I invite you to visit the Amazon page: Severin OD 2940. I have reported this product because I was able to try it firsthand and confirm the positive reviews left by other users.

How to dry lemon balm in the oven

I do not recommend this procedure because a second of distraction is enough to pulverize the herbs and end up with a product that is no longer dried but burned or cooked. In the oven there is a risk of compromising the properties of lemon balm by deactivating the precious active ingredients.

Those who want to try, will have to place the lemon balm leaves (dry) on baking paper and set the oven to minimum (never more than 45 ° C) and keep the oven door half open. Good luck!

You may be interested in: growing lemon balm


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