If you don’t have a basil plant, you really should think about one. I got mine at Trader Joe’s for less than I would have purchased one lone package of fresh basil for a homemade tomato soup recipe I am going to be making.
When I asked the clerk at Trader Joe’s where I could find the basil, and she suggested just getting one of the basil plants there instead, I was a little intimidated. Oh, the clerk was providing a real service to me. She was being fantastically nice and was trying to save money on my part. I couldn’t be more grateful than I was for such a sweet clerk there! However, I was intimidated as to what to do with a basil plant!
Still, I figured, it must not be that hard to figure out, and besides… I thought…. if I only get my few little leaves off the plant for my tomato basil soup before I kill the dog gone thing (by accident or neglect of course, lol), I’d still have gotten what I went there for… my fresh basil leaves.
Figuring out what to do with that basil plant was only icing on the cake… an experiment … a new learned skill perhaps!
So I purchased the plant, and let’s not mention that I quizzed the cashier at Trader Joe’s a little bit too, OK? All right… I just opened the door a little bit, and he gave me some good points like:
1. They like to be watered but make sure the plant drains and the plant is above sitting water so the plant is not just bathing in water from the bottom all the time, and
2. They like a lot of sunlight but don’t like to be TOO close to a cold winter. His poor mom lost a basil plant via the sniffles it got by a cold window. Poor lady. Poor basil plant.
Oh, back to my story.
So I came home from the store that day with my basil for soup plus a basil plant I was now at least a little less afraid of. I could do this!
Well of course, since basil is an herb (how did I even know that much????), I thought one thing I might be able to figure out was how to make a cup of basil tea. If I could do that one thing even just one time, if I could figure out how to make basil tea from fresh basil AND have what I needed for my tomato basil soup recipe, I’d be set up big time as far as getting use of my new plant before I killed it!
What I discovered is this:
It is EASY to make basil tea from basil leaves, and this homemade herbal tea is so good, I want to make sure I take care of my basil plant for a long, long time!
Here is my basil tea recipe:
How to Make Basil Tea From a Basil Plant
- 4 – 6 large basil leaves (approximately 2 – 3 Tablespoons)
- Cup of hot water
- 1 tsp or so sweetener or your choice
- Pinch (don’t cut, just pinch) 4 – 5 larger leaves off the basil plant.
- Rinse the leaves gently under water.
- On a chopping board, cut the stems from the leafy part and discard the stems.
- Chop the basil leaves up a little with a knife.
- Pour hot (not boiling at the time but still very hot) water over the leaves.
- Let it set for 4 to 5 minutes, COVERED. (Covering your brewing tea keeps your beverage hotter, plus you keep nutrients in the cup instead of letting them steam away into the room.) I poured my hot water over my leaves in a small mason jar and covered with a mason jar lid which served the purposes of keeping the steam in AND making me feel good I was using my mason jars which I love to use whenever possible!
- After approximately 5 minutes, not much longer though as long-sitting basil can become bitter tasting if left too long, pour basil infused water into a cup through a sieve (Those little tea sieves, maybe they call them strainers sometimes, are great!)
- Sweeten if you like (I really like that new natural sweetener called Skoopz, one package was just perfect for my cup of basil tea!)
By the way, when I made my cup of hot tea, I had a little more than my cup would hold, so I poured the rest into my iced tea pitcher (made with a mixture of green and black tea bags) which was in the fridge. Oh wow, THAT was great too! The flavor of iced basil tea with the benefits of green tea just seems to scream the words “healthy drink beverage here!”
When you make your own herbal teas, you’re also doing a good thing for your health and your family’s health. Since coming home with my new basil plant, I read that basil is a very good herbal remedy for indigestion, coughs and colds, heart ailments, even arthritis, constipation, high blood pressure and sugar counts, and a great herbal remedy for the flu, and that if you want to make basil tea for helping your body heal naturally, you could sometimes even use a few more leaves than just what you might normally for a cup of tea.
For regular basil tea though, just use the 4 – 5, maybe 6, larger leaves. You’ll have a nice smooth cup of tea to drink, and you’ll still get the health benefits over a longer term basis.
Just to make sure that’s clear, lol, here’s the approximate amount of basil to use to make tea:
4 – 6 larger leaves from a plant
2-3 Tablespoons if you’re using fresh basil leaves off the plant
Or a little less than 1 Tablespoon of dried basil leaves
You’ll find that basil has a lot of healthy healing properties that are worth taking advantage of. What’s more…. or should I say what I discovered and am sharing with you today, is that when you learn how to make tea from a basil plant, you’ll also find that hot basil tea is just a great hot beverage to enjoy too!
OK, I’ve been drinking a cup of basil tea as I wrote this article, and it’s gone now, sniff, sniff. Maybe it’s time to go back and see what I need to do about that stupid coffee maker now. Coffee…. well… maybe not as exciting as a great herbal tea recipe, and from looking at my counter top, coffee is a lot messier too sometimes, but still… I would still like a cup of morning coffee sometimes too. It’s only fair.
Hey… Should I check Trader Joe’s for some kind of coffee plant next time I’m there perhaps? I have no clue what to do with one, but who knows what the future holds! Who knows?