Discovered the Article written by Brenda Hyde posted below because some friends gave us Lemon Verbena as a gift ... although we grow our own Herbs and dehydrate them... (they make great gifts too), we have never grown this one, so I was eager to give it a try and to attempt to make some Lemon Verbena Essential Oil out of it, (see results at end of this Post).

Lemon Balm was the lemony Herb I discovered initially and have grown and given away for years. It self sows... so if you choose to grow Lemon Balm, do put it in a place where you don't mind babies... (which can be potted and not only given away but used to Barter with or sell for additional cash ... fresh or dryed). Lemon Balm can be used in the Recipes below as well, which also includes non food related ideas such as Potpourri and Hair Rinses.

I am posting this particular Article on Herbs presently because it has Recipes which you may want to try to use the Premixed Snack Cake Master Mix published in previous post as a Substitute for some of the Ingredients listed, (Recipes highlighted below).

Enjoy!

Using and Growing Lemon Verbena

If you've never rubbed a leaf of lemon verbena it's impossible to explain its lovely scent. Yes, it's lemon, but yet it's also a captivating fragrance that almost instantly relaxes you. To me, it's the ultimate in aromatherapy. If you grow just one lemon scented herb it should be lemon verbena. Although to grow just one lemon herb would be a shame, since they are all so wonderful.
Lemon verbena, aloysia triphylla (formally Lippia citriodora), is a native of Chile and Peru, where it grows ten to fifteen foot tall. I've read it can grow 5 foot or more in one season, but mine is only about a foot and a half tall at this point. We have had some cool nights this summer, plus I can't resist harvesting it often, which I'm sure keeps it from growing to it's full potential. Lemon verbena needs at least 6 hours of sun, and I found it did better in a traditional herb soil that was on the dry side as well. Mine started out in a bed of good soil with compost and organic fertilizer, but did not branch out or start growing until I moved it to my kitchen herb bed where it was slightly drier and had no added compost.

Lemon Verbena will not survive frost, but in cold climates it may be brought inside. Be prepared, because it will lose it's leaves, but keep it in a sunny window and water once a week to keep it from drying out. By spring it will have leaves again, and after the danger of frost has passed you can place the pot outside, burying it to the rim in your garden. It's only hardy in Zones 9 and 10, and won't withstand temperatures below 40 degrees.

Unlike some herbs, lemon verbena will retain its scent for years when dried, which is why it's not only a popular culinary herb, but also a potpourri ingredient. I dried mine in the oven on the lowest setting by placing it on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. I was very pleased with the results and it only took 2-3 hours to dry. I combined it with pineapple and apple mint, which made a nice tea.

I have also used it in herb vinegars this year combined with other lemon herbs as well as in mixtures with rosemary and thyme.

You can use lemon verbena in place of lemon zest in recipes. Virtually any fruit salad can be enhanced with its finely chopped leaves. Bury 6 lemon verbena leaves in a cup of sugar that has been placed in a covered jar or container. Use this sugar to top muffins, fruit, or sprinkle on the top of muffin batter before baking. Because the leaf is rather tough you'll need to mince it very fine if you plan on leaving it in a dish, or add it whole and remove before serving. Dried, it should be crumbed before adding to recipes.
Process 10-15 lemon verbena leaves in a food processor with the sugar from your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Continue with the recipe as directed after processing the two together.

The following recipes can also be used with fresh and dried lemon verbena or if it's not available try substituting lemon grass or lemon balm.

Lemon Verbena Potpourri

You will need:
  • dried peel of one lemon
  • 2 cups dried lemon verbena leaves
  • 1 cup dried chamomile flowers
  • 6 inch cinnamon stick, crushed
  • 1 cup dried calendula petals
  • 1 tsp. orris root powder
  • 2-3 drops lemon verbena *essential oil (optional)
Dry the lemon peel by scraping it off the lemon with a vegetable peeler, spread on paper and dry in a warm place for about 2 weeks, until crisp. Mix all the ingredients together. Seal in a tin and put in a warm place for about 2-3 weeks, shaking occasionally. Use to scent a room, or for sachets. Add more essential oil as the smell fades. Adapted from Kitchen and Herb Gardener by Richard Bird and Jessica Houdret

Lemon Verbena Syrup

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup lemon verbena leaves
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
Blanch the lemon verbena leaves in boiling water briefly to brighten the color, then immediately plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and cool. Place the lemon verbena and cooled syrup in a blender and pulse on high for 2 minutes. Chill overnight, then strain through a fine mesh strainer. Keep leftovers refrigerated. Use with ice cream, pound cake or other light desserts, as well as fruit.

Lemon Rose Tea

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup torn lemon verbena leaves
  • 1/4 cup rose hips
  • Honey
Place 4 cups of water in a teakettle or medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the lemon verbena and rose hips. Remove from the heat and steep for about 15 minutes. Return to the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Pour into individual tea cups or mugs, sweeten with honey and serve.

Lemon Verbena Cake ~ Try using 2 Cups of Snack Cake Mix in place of Flour, Salt, Sugar and Shortening in Recipe Below

Ingredients:
  • 1-2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 2 drops lemon extract
  • 2 cups cake flour or regular flour sifted several times
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Lemon Verbena leaves
  • 5 eggs
Cream together the sugar and shortening until well mixed. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing for one minute after each addition. Add dry ingredients gradually, scraping down the sides. Add the extract and the verbena leaves. Pour into a Bundt or tube pan, which is well coated with the shortening and floured. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden brown (testing with a toothpick). Remove to a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan onto a serving plate. Drizzle with glaze or dust with confectioners' sugar.

Lemon Verbena Scones ~ Try using 2 Cups of Snack Cake Mix in place of Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Sugar, and Shortening in Recipe Below

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh lemon verbena leaves
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425º F. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar. Cut in the butter with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the lemon verbena leaves; mix until combined just combined. Make a well in the center of flour mixture. Add the egg, yogurt, and milk, stirring well. Mix in with the flour mixture to form a soft dough. Coat a12-inch cast iron skillet with a non-stick cooking spray. With floured hands, pat the dough into skillet. Cut with a sharp, serrated knife into eight wedges. (You can also pat the dough into a circle this same size on a baking sheet, and then cut into wedges.) Bake at 425º F for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve warm.
Makes 8 servings.

Raspberry-Lemon Verbena Butter
From The Herb Companion

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
  • 4 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries (not in syrup)
  • 1 small handful young, tender lemon verbena leaves
Thaw the raspberries if frozen, and pour off any excess liquid. With all ingredients at room temperature, blend butter, sugar, and raspberries until smooth (about 3 minutes). Strip out any large veins in the lemon verbena leaves, then add the leaves (chopped if you're mixing by hand) and blend until the texture is pleasing.

Lemon Butter

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon
  • 4 to 6 fresh very finely minced lemon verbena leaves
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Refrigerate covered about 2 hours until firm.

Lemon Verbena Hair Rinse

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons lemon verbena leaves
  • 1 cup boiling water
Pour the boiling water over the lemon verbena leaves. Steep for about an hour. Strain the mixture, discarding herb. Use as a rinse after shampoo and conditioning your hair.

Salt-Free Herb Seasoning

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup dried dill weed
  • 1 tbsp. dried lemon verbena
  • 1/2 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 tbsp. dried lovage, or celery seeds
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder 2 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. paprika 1 tbsp. dried marjoram
In batches, grind all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container out of the sunlight and away from heat.

About The Author
Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. Stop by and visit her garden blog, Click: Garden of Grace & Whimsy.

After growing Lemon Verbena I would like to add: I like this Herb for it's scent. It is strong... and smells wonderful when you brush up against it or pick it and rub it on your hands. I decided to experiment with it and make some *Lemon Verbena Essential Oil and filled a small jar with the leaves, after allowing them to dry overnight to get some of the moisture out. I covered them with some Extra Virgin Olive Oil in an attempt to make Lemon Scented Oil to be used in other Projects, such as Homemade Hand Lotion or Body Spray and Room Refreshener. The Article I read also recommended the leaves simply sit in the oil (other types of Oil can be used) for up to 3-6 months in a cool dark place. I did the same thing with some Rosemary leaves... which were completely dry. It's been 3 months and I tested them today. I was disappointed to discover the Lemon Verbena Oil had more of a greenery smell than a lemony one... it definitely needs to soak longer. On the other hand... the Rosemary Oil smells a bit stronger, but it too needs to marinade longer. Will let you know how it turned out in the Spring!

For those interested in making their own Essential Oils here is a Link: www.aromatherapy-at-home.com/homemade-essential-oils.html I have not tried this Recipe yet. Plan to do so at a later date.

Here are a few more links for Lemon Verbena and it's various uses


The Pic in this next Link is of Lemon Balm and not Lemon Verbena www.ehow.com/how_5115178_make-moisturizing-oil-lemon-verbena.html


Enjoy!  Happy Gardening...






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1 comments:

On 11:01 PM , Sharon said...

I recently bought a wonderful bar of lemon verbena soap!Oh my goodness,is it ever lovely and oh so fragrant!Love lemon verbena!Blessings~Sharon