Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cinnamon Basil Tea

I have a pot of cinnamon basils that are growing pretty well in my balcony.

I find them much easier to grow than sweet basils. They are not as fussy about watering - If I miss a day in watering, they don't complain with droopy leaves.

Once in a while, I pick a whole bunch of leaves from the plant so that they can grow more leaves. I find that the more often I do this, the more leaves the plant seems to grow.

I usually just pick the leaves off the plant, from all parts of the plant to use. But I've read that pinching off the top leaves encourage more growth. As with sweet basils, once the plant goes into flowering stage, much of the flavours are lost, so flower stalks should be cut off unless one is trying to flower the basil for seeds.

There are many things you can do with cinnamon basil leaves.

They can be used to add to pasta - you'd get the taste of basil with a light hint of cinnamon. You can also put them in olive oil to get a flavoured olive oil, or cook them with sugar syrup to get flavoured syrup. Some can be added when cooking apples for apple pies (be sure to remove the leaves before putting the apples into the pie), or added to meat dishes when cooking.

You can also make potpourri with them, to put in the bathroom or wardrobe. A mixture of dried flowers, cinnamon bark, and cinnamon basil makes a nice potpourri.

Personally, I like to make cinnamon basil tea with the leaves. It is really not a tea actually, since tea means a drink with leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant. It is more like an infusion. What I do is to pick a good bunch of the cinnamon basil leaves, wash them and put them in a cup. Pour some hot water in, add honey to taste and I get a nice soothing cup of Cinammon Basil tea.

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