Farm to School Taste Test: Herbal Teas
by Mia Finkle
What are herbs and what can we use them for? In our Farm to School lessons this month, we explored the different uses and benefits of herbs. Students learned that herbs are plants or parts of plants (including the root, stem, leaf, and flower), and that herbs have many uses in both traditional medicine and in cooking.
Students used their senses to explore a variety of herbs. Many students found that smelling chamomile made them feel calm and relaxed. One student exclaimed, "I want to fall asleep, this makes me so calm!" Students also discovered that the aroma of mint made them feel refreshed and energized!
Students taste-tested herbs with a caffeine-free tea made from mint leaves. Students made great observations as they sipped their tea, many of them noting with surprise that even though the mint tea was warm, it had a cooling effect in their mouths.
Looking for more herbal teas to try? As students might guess from their explorations, chamomile tea can have a soothing effect. A visit to the tea aisle or bulk tea bins at the grocery store will introduce many more possibilities! And, of course, when it comes to culinary uses for herbs, there are many more ways to enjoy them.
We welcome your feedback! If you try cooking with herbs at home with your children, we invite you to share your recipes and experiences!
Farm to School Recipe: Herbal Tea
What You Need:
1–2 tablespoons of loose-leaf herbal tea leaves (for example: mint, chamomile, lemon balm)
Teapot (or heat-safe jar)Directions
- Heat water to a boil.
- Place tea leaves in the teapot or other heat-safe container. (1 tablespoon per 6 ounces of water, or
- Let the tea steep for 5–20 minutes. (according to personal preference)
- Strain the tea leaves, and enjoy your tea!