A hint of lemon balm and a healthy amount of sweet watermelon in this recipe turn ordinary green iced tea into a refreshing summer cooler.
It was finally hot. The kind of heat where you get out of the shower and by the time you’re done toweling off, you’re covered in a thin layer of sweat. It’s the type of air that is thick in your lungs, hangs in front of your face in waves, blurring your view of the green grass and the weed-filled garden.
Though, in my world where air conditioning is a luxury not afforded to my family this isn’t exactly the type of heat I’ve been pining for all summer. Yet there is something about its arrival that feels right.
I reluctantly turned on a single burner to boil a pot of pasta early before the heat of the day has settled into the floor boards and braved the backyard to water the garden where the lemon balm was vigilantly attempting to rule the herb garden, growing up and over the basil and straight through the mound of sorrel. I pulled it from its volunteer areas and returned to my now rolling pot of water, fragrant greenery in hand.
A few hours of cold-steeping watermelon, green tea, bruised lemon balm leaves and a bit of homemade watermelon “syrup” will yield you a refreshing iced tea like none other. The watermelon adds a subtle sweetness and overall cooling effect on the tea, while the lemon balm gives it a bit of a citrus hit on the finish.
It’s hard to imagine a picnic without watermelon. It is arguably the quintessential summer picnic fare, and yet, without the help of our buzzing bee friends, there would be no watermelon. Watermelon is just one item on a long list that would be eradicated without bees, but honey and crop pollination are not the only ways honeybees provide for us. Bees have been on the defensive against parasites, pesticides, and urban sprawl for several years now.
Whole Foods and The Xerces Society have come together with several partners to support the bees and Share the Buzz by raising awareness and education of the issue. When they asked if I’d be interested in participating in spreading the word, the answer was obvious as it’s a subject I see as important. Here are a few ways you can help at home.
- Grow bee-friendly plants, flowers, and herbs and make your yard habitable to bees. Plant a variety of native wildflowers and herbs in your gardens and unused portions of your lawn to give bees a healthy source of pollen and nectar. Provide a water source and have a brush area for native bees to nest.
- Avoid insecticides and pesticides, especially organophosphates, n-methyl carbamates, and neonictinoids, and pesticides with a residual effect longer than eight hours. If you must spray, choose honeybee-safe pesticides or spray in the evening, so bees are not pollinating the plants at the time of application.
- Support local beekeepers by purchasing local honey. Real honey by beekeepers who care for their hive and their bees responsibly is worth the effort to seek out. Avoid honey that may contain corn syrup and other sweeteners, and if you can’t find a good source of trustworthy honey near you, consider alternatives to honey like maple syrup, agave, or fruit syrups.
- Eat organic and no-spray produce whenever possible. Show retailers you’re concerned by purchasing products that are committed to healthy farming practices and avoiding harmful pesticides and insecticides.
Lemon Balm and Watermelon Green Iced Tea
Because I must: All words, thoughts, opinions are my own, thank you, and I wasn’t monetarily compensated. However, Whole Foods did generously send a gift card to cover the cost of ingredients, and because I shop there and know we need to raise awareness on the issue, I said yes.
Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen says
This is just lovely. As much as my family loves watermelon I know they would absolutely love this iced tea!
Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living says
Love how pretty this refreshing summer drink looks! Thanks for helping to raise awareness about keeping our bees healthy and happy.
I love, love, love this!! Such pretty photos and that board is so pretty. The white with the patches of blue is so summery and it works so well paired with the watermelon! Perfect looking summer drink!
Lemon Balm – what a lovely idea, along with raising awareness about the bees and local honey! I wonder if lemon balm would grow in my garden too? I’ve got watermelon and a lot of herbs, but no lemon balm. Looking forward to trying this pretty drink!
This recipe sounds wonderful. Perfect on a hot day! And you take beautiful pictures, by the way!
This looks perfect for summer!
Incredibly delicious and gorgeous photos!
Chelsea @ A Duck's Oven says
This tea looks absolutely lovely, and I have a lemon balm plant that I’ve had few ideas for! Even though watermelon is the ultimate summer snack… I, sadly, am allergic. I think I’ll try a blackberry variation 🙂
This is such a good idea, it looks so refreshing! Check out my food blog at http://www.mattscreativekitchen.wordpress.com
Sylvie | Gourmande in the Kitchen says
Sounds like the perfect summer quencher!
aakanksha soni says
it looks sooo refreshing. the combination of mint and watermelon is amazing in hot summer. thanks for sharing this delicious idea with us 🙂
Paula - bell'alimento says
I all kinds of love this.
so pretty! I love lemon balm and bet it’s great with watermelon.
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc says
Sandra - Kids Best Nutrition says
I wish I could find Lemon Balm at a local grocer to try this out. I’ll have to wait until my next venture 50 miles south to the nearest Whole Foods.
You should try growing it. Mine comes back year after year, even after the coldest of winters and months of ignoring it.
We’re having the most mild winter I can remember here in Texas (75-85 degree days!), so I’m wishing I could get my hands on some watermelon to make this delicious tea. I’ve never used lemon balm, but it sounds like it could be a great addition to our little garden.
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Thank You for sharing this food-related Information…
Wellway tea is the best online tea store, located in Rajkot India providing high-quality branded tea and tea accessories that entirely fit your lifestyle so shop through us!
things to do says
What a nice recipe for summer~ Thank you so much!