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It might not look like much but as soon as you touch lemon balm, you’ll want to plant it on your balcony. It exudes a unique fresh scent and taste which you can use in the kitchen in a number of ways.
Lemon balm adds a special flavour to salads thanks to its fresh and aromatic tones. The fragrant lemon balm blends nicely with all kinds of salad ingredients. It is a wonderful accompaniment to fruity salads containing different varieties of berries, and also hearty recipes containing beans or pasta. Use lemon or lime juice to enhance the fresh aroma. Unlike the name suggests, lemon balm does not actually contain acid like lemons do. Tip: use freshly picked leaves. Otherwise, it will quickly lose its unique aroma.
What many people do not know is that lemon balm is also wonderful for seasoning fish and meat dishes and vegetables. Use the lemony taste to refine salmon, plaice, veal roulade, pork dishes or grilled vegetables. Remember that you shouldn’t cook with the lemon balm because its aroma then evaporates. It's better to season with fresh or dried herbs at the end.
Of course, the queen of freshness also makes an exquisite ingredient in beverages. It has a cooling effect on hot summer days in particular. Again, combine lemon balm with limes to add a tangy tartness to your soft drink. Remember to add sugar to sweeten. Lemon balm is also a superb accompaniment to fruity punches containing peaches, strawberries and blueberries.
Lemon balm, which originates in the Middle East, is held in very high esteem when it comes to herbal medicine. It can help fight off viruses thanks to its essential oils. It is also said to have a calming effect on brain activity and is beneficial for the memory. Make tea with lemon balm, take a bath or use a scented pillow to benefit from the healing properties.
We eat with our eyes. So don't just use lemon balm as an ingredient added to fresh dishes, but also as a garnish. You should always keep some leaves back which you can use to embellish your dishes. The leaves are particularly suitable for pepping up desserts, punches, fruit salads and liqueurs. Your drinks will be eye-catching if you put the leaves in ice cubes and serve them in drinks.