Saturday, July 11, 2015

Wild Chamomile Tea

I have a goal this year to use my dehydrator more. I have a beautiful dehydrator and all I've managed to make with it before this summer is mucky fruit leather and strawberries that were so crispy I had to pry them off the tray with a knife...bit by bit.

Before we hayed the field, the wild chamomile was in bloom. I wanted to gather some blossoms for tea before we cut and baled. So my friend Stacey and I went out with our baskets in tow and picked a whole bunch!

When we came back in, we washed the blossoms 4 times in a colander under running water. Aphids seem to be drawn to chamomile so we double checked for those. 

We pressed as much water out of the blossoms as we could in a folded, clean towel. 

When the blossoms were clean, we laid them out on the dhydrater trays in a single layer.

I set the dehydrater for 95 degrees, for 12 hours.

When I checked them the next day, the centers were still a bit damp, so I put them on for an additional 12 hours.

When they were done they looked like this.

And filled a half gallon mason jar.

I don't care for the flavor of chamomile tea by itself, so I've been adding a few of the blossoms to pots of other herbal tea. I've since dehydrated some mint varieties from the garden, raspberry leaves and lemon rinds. I enjoy throwing handfuls of this and that into the tea pot and coming up with interesting flavors. 

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