Did you know it's very simple to make your own Chamomile tea? We sell a couple Seed Pod Kits that feature Chamomile Seeds. The Fresh Tea Seed Pod Kit, and the Custom Herb Seed Pod Kits.
If you have had any experience growing Chamomile, especially in an AeroGarden, then you know that it grows fast and gives you hundred of little flowers, which is the exact part you need to make the tea.
We recently took down 3 Bounty gardens full of Chamomile flowers, and decided it was a great idea to make some tea here in the office. We used fresh flowers, but you can also use dried. Featured below is recipes on how you can use either method.
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh chamomile flowers
- 1 small, fresh sprig of mint
- 8 ounces boiling water
First you'll want to pick a pot to make your tea in. An infuser teapot, as pictured, is ideal. If you don't have a tea infuser, you can use a doubled over cheese cloth and a piece of string to make a makeshift tea bag. You can even place your flowers into a heat safe bowl or cup and, after steeping, pour your tea into your teacup through a fine mesh strainer.
Once you've selected a pot you'll want to harvest your herbs. For the chamomile flowers, it's ideal to use them the same day they are harvested, as the delicate petals have a short shelf life. Otherwise, they can last a couple of days in the refrigerator, in a plastic bag with a lightly dampened paper towel. To prepare the chamomile for use, pop the head of the flower off the stem. They can even be harvested this way, so that they are immediately ready for use. For the mint, select a small sprig about the size of a quarter off of the tender top of the plant. I selected a variety of mint called apple mint because fresh chamomile also has apple undertones, so they complemented each other perfectly. Peppermint is also delicious.
Fill up your tea kettle with 8 oz of water and begin heating. Place 3-4 Tbsp (4 for a stronger tea) of chamomile and your mint sprig into your teapot or makeshift teabag of choice.
Pour 8 oz of boiling water over the chamomile flowers and mint and then steep for 5 minutes. To serve, pour into a teacup, using a fine mesh strainer as needed.
Recipe and Instructions from: FOOD52
- A handful or more of fresh chamomile;
- A sheet of baking parchment, a paper bag, or a clean piece of screen mesh; and
- A dry, well-ventilated location away from direct sunlight
- An at-home food dehydrator
Open-Air Drying Chamomile
- Spread your chamomile flowers evenly, in a single layer, on clean paper or screen mesh.
- Leave the blossoms to dry in a cool, non-humid, well-ventilated location, away from direct sunlight.
- It should take anywhere from 3-4 days to a week for your chamomile to dry, depending on the size of the blossoms, their moisture content (has it rained lately?), and the level of humidity in your drying room.
Drying Chamomile In A Food Dehydrator
The beauty of drying chamomile in a food dehydrator is that it dries relatively quickly, thanks to the controlled temperature and constant air flow inside the machine.
How will you know when they're done? Pick up a blossom and feel it. If it's crinkly-crunchy, it's fully dried. If it's still flexible, give your chamomile more time in the dehydrator.
IMPORTANT: Use the lowest heat setting on your dehydrator. Please don't be tempted to crank the temperature up to hasten the process. You want your chamomile to dry - not fry!
Oven Drying Chamomile
This is a risky venture because most ovens don't have a low-enough temperature setting to do the job properly (85°F / 29°C). Too much heat cooks the blossoms. Not a good thing!
If you want to give it a try, here's how:
- Set your oven on it's lowest-temperature setting.
- Spread your fresh blossoms out evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Pop the baking sheet into the oven.
- Leave the oven door slightly ajar to allow a little air flow.
- Check the blossoms for done-ness every 15-20 minutes.
Your chamomile should be dry in an hour or two.
Drying Chamomile In A Microwave
Wondering if chamomile flowers are too delicate to handle a zap in the microwave? I wondered the same thing. So I gave it a go.
After a little trial and error, I discovered that these little babies are more resilient than they look!!
How to Microwave-Dry Your Chamomile:
- Spread your freshly picked flower heads evenly on a clean paper towel.
- Put them in the microwave, and cover with another clean paper towel.
- Set the microwave to the lowest setting. For most microwaves, it's the "Defrost" setting.
- Zap at 30-second intervals, allowing 1-2 minutes between zaps for the chamomile flowers to cool off and release their moisture.
Depending on the size of the flower heads and the amount of moisture in them, it'll take anywhere from 5 to 8 zaps for your chamomile to be completely dried.
HINT: After zapping your blossoms 5 or 6 times, take them out of the microwave and let them sit out at room temperature for a half hour. Then rub one of the larger blossoms between your fingers to check for dry-ness by rubbing it between your fingers. When the thickest part of the flower (the yellow part) feels cool, dry and crumbly, your chamomile is ready to go into a jar for storage.
Freezing Fresh Chamomile
Many "experts" claim that fresh chamomile gets all mushy and loses its flavor when it's frozen. I respectfully disagree.
I freeze chamomile all the time with excellent results.
- Start with a handful of freshly harvested chamomile ...
- Wrap the flower heads well in aluminum foil. Get as much air out of the foil packet as possible without squishing the flowers. Be sure to label the packet so you know what's in it.
Store the packet in a the coldest part of your freezer. Preferably in the way-back, so it isn't exposed to warm air each time you open the freezer.
How to Store Your ChamomileDried chamomile
keeps its flavor for up to a year if it's stored in an air-tight glass or metal container, away from heat and humidity, and out of direct light.
Frozen chamomile keeps its flavor for about 6 months as long as it was well wrapped for freezing and hasn't been thawed and re-frozen.
All Drying methods thanks to: DIY Herbal Tea
Whichever method you choose to dry your Chamomile flowers, once they are dry, place them in a tea bag or tea infuser, and make tea how you normally would.
Now are you ready to start growing Chamomile in your AeroGarden?!