Lemon balm is one of the widely used herbs in the world. It belongs to the mint family. When we talk about green vegetables, lemon balm is worth mentioning. It is used in many dishes and pastes in Asia. People love to use lemon balm in their dishes to give them a good taste.
But have you ever thought, does lemon balm go bad? Like spinach and other leafy and green vegetables, lemon balm will also go bad after completing its shelf life. If you don’t know anything about lemon balm, this article will give you every piece of information.
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How to Store Lemon Balm?
All the vegetable lovers want their vegetables to stay fresh for a long time. Just like that, people who love lemon balm will never want it to go bad. But if you will not store it properly, then it will go bad very quickly. So, storage is very important for every food product.
If you have bought too much lemon balm and you want to use them for a long time, you may be thinking about its storage. This article will briefly explain the storage guidelines and other important things regarding lemon balm. Some of the storage guidelines are given below:
Wash them properly
Whenever you buy lemon balm, you need to do the first thing after you bring it to your home to wash it properly. The leaves of lemon balm are covered with mud and dust so, you should clean all the dirt from the leaves. Otherwise, the dirt will affect the quality and freshness of the lemon balm. Washed lemon balm will stay fresh for a long time.
Store in plastic bags
You should store your lemon balm in plastic bags or airtight containers after washing them properly. The airtight containers will prevent the lemon balm from dust and dirt. As a result, it will stay fresh for a long time.
Store in the fridge
Do not store the lemon balm for too long at room temperature. The quality of lemon balm gets affected at high temperatures. The leaves get dried, and then you will not use them once the leaves get dried. The fridge provides the best cool and calm place for the lemon balm to stay fresh and last for a long time.
Store in the freezer
For long-term storage, you can store lemon balm in the freezer. Freezer extends the shelf life of lemon balm. If you have bought too much lemon balm and want to store it for a long time, you should store it in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Lemon Balm?
As I have mentioned above, you can store lemon balm in the freezer for a long time for long-term storage. There are many ways to store lemon balm in the freezer. You can also put the whole bunch of it in the freezer.
You can also store chopped lemon balm in the freezer. Ensure that you transfer it first in the freezer bags or airtight containers and then store them in the freezer. Lemon balm can stay fresh for many months in the freezer.
How Long Does Lemon Balm Last?
Lemon balm is a shelf-stable product. It doesn’t go bad very quickly. Moreover, if you store it properly, then it will not go bad very quickly. The shelf life of lemon balm also depends upon its storage conditions. It will last longer if stored properly.
Lemon balm can stay fresh at room temperature for almost a week. If you don’t want to use it within a week, you should store it in the fridge. It can retain its peak quality and freshness for almost six months in the fridge.
On the other hand, if you store it in the freezer, it will last for almost eight months. The cold environment of the freezer prevents the lemon balm from going bad and preserves its taste, quality and freshness.
How to Tell If Lemon Balm Is Bad?
Whenever we check a product to tell if it is bad, we look for some common signs of spoilage. Similarly, to check lemon balm, whether it is fresh or not, we will have to see spoilage signs. The taste, colour and smell of lemon balm changes when it goes bad.
Check for the following things to tell whether your lemon balm is bad or not:
- Check for any mold or dark spots on the surface of the leaves. If you see any, discard them at once.
- If the leaves of the lemon balm get softer or mushier, it will be best for you to get rid of them at once.
- Check the smell of the lemon balm. If it smells bad, then it is of no use. Bad smell is one of the most common traits of spoiled vegetables.
What does Lemon Balm Look Like?
Lemon Balm has light green leaves. The shape of its leaves resembles the shape of mint. While growing, the plant turns a little bushy. The maximum height of the Lemon Balm plant is around 100 cm. While its heart-shaped leaves can grow for about 2 cm to 8 cm. They have a comparatively rough texture.
They are hairy, and the edges are scalloped. Besides, the plant is also filled with small flowers. These flowers either have white, pale pink, or yellow colors. Due to the bright color, the flowers attract a lot of bees and other insects.
Where does Lemon Balm Come From?
Botanically, Lemon Balm comes from a tree of the mint family. The leaves of this tree are used for various purposes, especially for tea. In addition, the plant is grown as an ornament, while in some regions, its oil is also a reason behind its production. Besides, the cultivation of this herb started in the 16th century.
While regionally, Lemon Balm came from South-Central Europe, Iran, Central Asia, and Mediterranean Basin, as stated in the above paragraphs.
How is Lemon Balm Made?
Lemon Balm’s production and growth depend upon the type of soil and location. But once the plant grows and gets ready to harvest, the work becomes easier. The leaves of Lemon Balm are usually used fresh. So, you just have to pluck the leaves when they get ready for use. Besides, some portions of these leaves are also dried.
For that, first, you have to pick the leaves and trash the stems. Then, rinse the leaves well under running water to clean off the mud and dust, etc. Afterward, place the leaves on any paper and let it soak the water. Once done, place it somewhere it can dry well.
What Does Lemon Balm Taste Like?
As evident from the word lemon in the name, the Lemon Balm has a lemon-like flavor. However, it also gives a little flavor of mint. Besides, if you taste the fresh stems and leaves, they will taste a little sweet. That’s why its other names include the word sweet in them.
How is Lemon Balm Used in Cooking?
For cooking with Lemon Balm, you can use both fresh and dried leaves. You can add the dry leaves like all other ingredients and spices like celery and the recipe if you want it to release its flavor. You can also use its fresh leaves as a garnishing ingredient while cooking. But we recommend you add fresh leaves at the end.
What Types of Cuisines Use Lemon Balm?
Lemon Balm can be used in almost every cuisine. Some common uses of this herb are found in desserts, seafood, salads, vinaigrettes, soups, and sauces used in different cuisines. Lemon Balm is also famous for its use in tea and other drinks.
What is a Lemon Balm Substitute?
If you get out of Lemon Balm, you can use some other ingredients to replace its taste and aroma. Some good substitutes are freshly grated lemon, fresh mint, and fresh lemon basil. You can use the combination of these ingredients to get the same flavor as the Lemon Balm.
Where to Buy Lemon Balm?
Since Lemon Bal is widely used for making tea, it is easily available in almost every store. But make sure to always look for quality before purchasing one. For high quality, we are recommending few best products for you. These have a nice aroma, quality, and above all, they are affordable. These products are stated in the following list.
- Lemon Balm Leaf Cut & Sifted Organic – Melissa officinalis, 4 Oz
- Lemon Balm Tea (Bulk Herbal Tea): Bulk Lemon Balm Leaf (Melissa Officinalis Caffeine Free) – Herbal Balm, Bulk Balm Leaf (Cut and Sifted), 1lb (16Oz) U.S. Wellness Bulk Tea
- The Tao of Tea, Lemon Balm Herbal Tea, Loose Leaf, 2.0 Ounce Tin
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