When you are lucky enough to have edible native species in the garden, like Lemon Scented Myrtle, the drying process of the leaves is easy.

The older the leaves the stronger the flavour the powder you make will be.  Using fresh growth will see a more subtle scent/flavour.  A little trial and error with leaves will ensure you know just how much to add to your recipes.

We used a mix of both but it is important to remember that when cooking with Lemon Scented Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) not to be too heavy handed as it can be very over powering.

processing lemon myrtle leaves
The Drying Process

1. Pick the cleanest leaves, (without sooty mould or other disease) trying to get a mix of new and old leaves.

2. Wash the leaves and pat them dry with a tea towel or paper towel.

3. Lay the leaves out on a rack or tray lined with paper towel and cover with a tea towel or paper towel to keep clean.

4. Depending on the humidity will depend on how long they take to dry out but the will require a number of weeks to dry out naturally.  You can finish them in a low

120°C. oven ensuring they don’t burn.

5. Place the dry leaves in a blender and blend until you have a fine powder.

To give you an idea of the amount to use in recipes, we added 3 tsp to a biscuit recipe.  We also mixed 3 tsp of Lemon Scented Myrtle powder with equal amounts of garlic & onion powders to sprinkle over a whole fresh chicken or chicken pieces. This should just be used as a guide due to the variation in strength based on the leaves that you use.

Lemon Scented Myrtle has also been used to in candles & soaps should you be feeling a little crafty.

Either way this Native Species bring great culinary options to your kitchen seeing it a wonderful inclusion when cooking fish.

Enjoy!

 

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