Lemon Balm: the Nerve Charmer

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This is lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a beautiful, versatile, calming, and vibrantly fragrant herb – no wonder bees and butterflies are so attracted to it! Lemon balm is very commonly found growing wild and has a knack for taking over a garden but I would never complain since it is an herb with magical healing properties that dreams are made of (I tend to say this about every herb πŸ’šπŸŒ±πŸ˜Š).

Lemon balm has a way of both uplifting and calming the nerves. I often pick up a leaf and rub it between my hands to smell its uplifting lemony fragrance. If I feel restless, anxious, or cannot fall asleep, I eat it in my salad or make tea from its fresh or dried leaves. If you travel often, this herb is for you!

How else can you benefit from the amazing properties of lemon balm? If you ever get an insect bite, a small cut, or a rash, you can chew up a few of its leaves and place it on the wound. This poultice will clean and soothe the wound and will help it heal faster. You can also makes a tincture or an oil infusion from fresh or dried lemon balm and use it as medicine internally and externally just as you would use the fresh herb.

How can you incorporate lemon balm into your diet? Use it in salads, pesto, lemonade, smoothies, juices, dishes in which you would normally use spinach and other greens, warm or iced tea, salad dressings, as garnish…there are so many possibilities!

Do you have lemon balm in your garden? Enjoy this heavenly herb!!! πŸŒ±βœ¨πŸ’šπŸπŸ’“πŸŒžπŸŒˆπŸ™βœ¨πŸŒ±

Raw Vegan Baklava

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Crust (3 layers):

– ripe bananas
– coconut oil
– vanilla extract or powder
– cinnamon

Filling:

– walnuts, soaked
– dates, soaked (keep date water for the syrup) or date paste
– cinnamon
– clove (optional)
-sea salt

Pour-over Syrup:

– lemon juice
– date water or date paste dissolved in water

Blend bananas, coconut oil, cinnamon, and vanilla together and pour the batter on dehydrator sheets.

Shape the batter into a desired shape making sure that it is not too thin. Make three shapes for three baklava layers.

Dehydrate the layers at 113F for about 10 hours or until the layers are easily peeled off.

To make the filling, combine soaked walnuts with soaked dates (or date paste) and cinnamon (use twice as much walnuts as dates by volume) and pulse in a blender or food processor until the walnuts are finely chopped.

Place the first baklava layer on the bottom of a pie pan.

Add half of the filling you made and spread evenly.

Place the second layer on top and add rest of the filling.

Cover the filling with the last layer.

Cut the baklava into smaller pieces resembling diamonds.

Make the pour-over syrup by combining lemon juice with date water (or dissolve date paste in lemon juice and water). Pour the syrup over the pre-cut baklava.
Pour as much of the syrup as the baklava can absorb.

Enjoy at room temperature or chilled in the fridge. The longer the baklava stays in the fridge, the more its flavors will develop.

This is my parents’s favorite raw vegan dessert recipe! I don’t blame them – it’s yummy, richly sweet, and extremely satisfying. πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜‹πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—