Lemon Verbena is a multi-purpose plant. The leaves can be used for both medical and culinary purposes. It has long, pointy leaves with a rough texture. The lemon verbena is so-called because of its lemon-ish fragrance. You can feel the smell by rubbing the leaves. You can also find it as the name of lemon beebrush.
Think of a place where you can use lemon verbena. You name it, and lemon verbena won’t disappoint you. Be it medicines, savory desserts, or drinks; lemon verbena will add freshness to it. Lemon verbena is merely a leafy thing. Once you nip them off, they will wrinkle away in days. To give them long life, you will have to keep some points in mind. Otherwise, get ready to wave goodbye to your lovely lemon verbena.
How to store lemon verbena?
Lemon verbena is a versatile plant. It can be used for various purposes. People usually tend to grow lemon verbena in their mini kitchen garden. Whenever desired, they can nip off some leaves and use them. If you do not have a lemon verbena plant, you can buy it from the nearest grocery store. You will have to be a little heedful while storing them. But you know what? You do not have to worry about it. We have got your back.
The Fresher; the Better
The scent of fresh lemon verbena leaves is out of the world. It will give a different kick to your dishes. It is better that you bring fresh leaves when you have to cook with them. To make them look fresh, do not keep them under sunlight.
Also, try to keep them away from heat sources. The heat will make them dry and they will wrinkle off. The heat also destroys the smell slightly. If you can use the lemon verbena leaves within a week, spray little water on them from time to time.
Place them in the refrigerator
The verbena leaves can be refrigerated to prolong the freshness. The refrigerator helps the verbena leaves retain their moisture. It also locks in aroma in them. The leaves stay crisp and good as new. You need to keep them in a plastic bag.
Do not close the bag properly. Leave some space for ventilation. Otherwise, the lemon verbena leaves will wilt off soon. The plastic bag will also help in preventing contamination from the smell of other food around. The aroma of the lemon verbena leaves could also infuse with the food. It might make them go bad.
Drying the leaves for a more extended use
Do you live at a place where you can not find lemon verbena leaves regularly? You know there’s nothing to worry about, for we have a hack for you. You can dry your verbena leaves so you can use them later on. First, you will have to wash away any dirt if present.
Spread them on a paper towel and place them under the fan. Do not bake them to dry them quickly; the aroma will be lost. It will take a few days, but the struggle is worth the result. You can use them for a long time.
Can you freeze lemon verbena?
Yes! You can freeze your lemon verbena leaves. But you can not freeze them directly. If you place your lemon verbena leaves directly, they will give a mushy texture when thawed. It does not look appealing, and you might not want to use them that way. Here is what you can do
If you have to use the lemon verbena leaves for your savory dishes, you can freeze them in oil. You will require an ice cube tray, your favorite oil, and verbena leaves. Cut your leaves, place them in the ice cube trays, and pour oil over them. Place it in the freezer. If you need to make a dessert or a beverage, you can freeze them by following the same steps but replacing water with oil.
How long does lemon verbena last?
Well, the storage life depends on the storage conditions. You will have a continuous fresh supply of verbena if you have grown its plant. The shelf kept verbena will dry out within a week. It will not even survive three days if it is kept near a heat source. The refrigerated ones will be all good for up to two weeks. The frozen verbena will be good until it is frozen. You can not refreeze the thawed ones. The dry verbena lasts the longest and can be stored for up to a year.
How to tell if lemon verbena is bad?
There is no rocket science in identifying bad lemon verbena. You only need to know some key identification points, which are listed below.
- If there is any fungus on the leaves, discard them away.
- Sometimes, the verbena leaves are invaded by insects, and holes appear on them. It is advised not to use them.
- If the leaves have become mushy and give a sticky smell, say them a bye-bye.