The herb chamomile has been valued for centuries for its calming properties as well as its usefulness as an anti-inflammatory. Its name is derived from Greek words meaning, “ground” and “apple,” because the scent of the flowers is reminiscent of apples. Its flavor has that same hint of apple and a bit of sweetness.
Chamomile can be used to make tea that can be served hot or on ice. To make an infusion, put . cup of bruised fresh chamomile flowers into a warmed teapot or canning jar and add four cups of gently boiling water. Cover the jar or teapot to prevent evaporation and let the tea steep for about ten to fifteen minutes. To make an iced tea, add twice the amount of chamomile to the recipe and let it chill in the fridge before you poor over ice.
Adventures with chamomile aren’t limited to the teacup however; it can be used to complement the flavors of foods ranging from pork, to rice, to jelly, to soups, to oatmeal.
You can experiment with recipes pairing the citrus in your box with your chamomile flowers to add some zing to your tea or desserts.
Separate the flowers from the stems and break the flowers up between your fingers to release the flavor. Very small flowers can be left whole.
The chamomile flowers can be used as a garnish or set out as a centerpiece for a touch of springtime on your diner table.
Fresh chamomile should be stored in a plastic bag the refrigerator or like a bunch of flowers in a jar with water and used within a four or five days.
Store dried in a cool dry place. A glass container with a tight-fitting lid is a great way to store dried chamomile.