Put your extra herbs to good use by drying them and making your own herbal tea. You’ll have a good, fresh cup straight out of the garden, and the health benefits of these magical plants too.
How to make herbal tea
Step One: Snip your herbs straight from the garden, ensuring you do not remove more than one-third of the entire plant. After rinsing thoroughly, dry your herbs one of four ways:
1. Bunch them together, tie them with string, and hang them in a warm, dry place for a few weeks, away from direct sunlight.
2. Place them on a microwaveable plate and microwave on high for 3 minutes, stopping to turn the leaves at 30-second intervals. Never leave them in for the full three minutes without stopping as the leaves can burn or start a fire.
3. Dry herbs in the oven by spreading them onto an oven tray and drying them on the lowest possible heat for 3-4 hours
4. Dry in a standard food dehydrator until crisp.
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Step Two: Make your preferred tea mixes by combining compatible flavours into a single bowl. Avoid crushing them to preserve the strong flavour. Try spearmint and lavender for a calming, stress-relieving tea, or ginger and lemon balm for a digestive kick.
Step Three: Place your mixes into individual bags or airtight containers to preserve them. The mixes should last between six and twelve months.
Step Four: When you’re ready to test your homemade herbal tea, simply add boiling water and strain or place a few teaspoons of leaves into a tea strainer. Don’t use too much at one time – the flavours of freshly dried herbs are far more potent than those from the grocery store.
TIP: Try mint, lavender, lemon balm, sage or thyme mixed with dried spices like ginger for a unique blend.
Originally written for Garden&Home Magazine.