Snacking in the Garden

023At this time of year when I walk through the garden I’m always looking for blueberries! They are ripening daily now so just a handful has to keep me content and I’m actually thankful for each one.

Besides blueberries, I now look for my daily “herb snacks.” What are those you must wonder.  This has been the year for me to discover amazing herbs, so I’ve planted several, enjoy watching them grow, and above all learning about their uses as well as tasting them.  I tell my children I snack on herbs when I’m out working in the garden.

One of my very favorite herbs is peppermint and I do love chocolate too, so when I planted chocolate mint (Mentha piperita), I didn’t know what a treat I was in for.  Chewing on a leaf of this plant is very minty and actually has a hint of chocolate.  My daughter made a delicious raspberry and chocolate mint sauce to pour over coconut milk ice-cream last Sunday.  You can also steep the leaves fresh or dried in a cup of hot tea.  Use as an edible food garnish.  015

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a delightful herb, another member of the mint family, with a mild and soothing lemon flavor.  Like lemon in your tea? Put in a couple lemon balm leaves.  So happy to have met lemon balm! More about lemon balm here. How fun to chew on a tender lemon balm leaf while digging in the garden dirt!

034Do you like the taste of licorice? Holy basil leaves have a mild sweet licorice taste.  This is one of my very favorite herbs now.  My daughter and I enjoyed a cup of holy basil tea yesterday evening and when I was passing by the plant today of course I picked off a leaf to snack on as I watered the tomato plants.  Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) is an important medicinal herb with many uses.

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“What is Paradise? But a Garden, an Orchard of Trees and Herbs, full of pleasure, and nothing there but delights.”

William Lawson, 1618