Saturday, July 12, 2008
These are the lemongrass plants growing profusely in pots of my balcony 'garden'. This fragrant plant is easy to grow, I have more than enough that I need for everyday cooking. I often share with family and friends several stalks at a time or else, the pots would not be able to hold all the leaves!
I am happy I have this plant so that I can easily get them fresh. Most of what are available in the market are already dried ones. They do not lose their flavor though, so even the dried lemongrass can still be used for cooking.
Usually, we use the stalk, the white part near the root (where there is more concentration of the citrusy smell) as flavoring for cooking soups, curries or stews. It is used for stuffing roast chicken, for pounding into sauces. What about the leaves? Sometimes, we include those into cooking as well. But more often than not, we infuse the leaves into tea.
It is very simple actually. I use 10 leaves, cut them up into 2 to 3 inches. Wash them well and boil them in a liter of water. The resulting liquid is very fragrant, rich lemon gold in color, very refreshing!
You can drink it hot or cold. (I prefer it hot, no sugar added.) You can drink it as is, or add a simple sugar syrup, or add a sugar substitute such as stevia, if preferred.
To make sugar syrup, just boil 1 cup water with 1 cup whit sugar until sugar is melted and the liquid turns a little syrupy consistency. Add to any of your preferred drinks.
Last week, a friend forwarded to me an email citing a study done by the Ben Gurion University at Negev, Israel. The study shows lemongrass can be a cure for cancer. Read the full transcript here. The study says that lemongrass contains "citral" the component that gives lemongrass its citrusy scent and aroma; and that this component causes the cancer cells in our body to die. The cancer cells die while the healthy cells live, thus helping the cancer patient to be healed.
Hubby and I tend to believe that the anti-cancer properties of the lemongrass is true, not just because of the testimonies of many people but because we believe that God has indeed gifted us many natural herbs and medicines that can be found in nature, in plants. Further studies are being conducted to confirm this initial findings. Meanwhile, we can enjoy this delicious, refreshing lemony tea that may have healing effects on our bodies as well.
This is my entry to Grow Your Own, a twice-a-month blogging event that celebrates the foods we grow or raise ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products. This event is launched and hosted by Andrea of Andrea's Recipes. Please check out her blog after the 15th to see the delicious round-ups.