Hi again from Emma. I’ve been busy as heck because summer is coming to a close (Please say it isn’t so!) and I’m trying to pack in as much outside time as I can before our Midwest winter hits. One of the things I’ve been doing is making tomato powder from the skins I remove before canning my tomatoes.
In my first post about mulberries I listed some (many) of the health benefits of this amazing tree. It’s not just the fruit that’s good for you! Since John has been battling cancer since last year I’m going to make a large batch of Mulberry Tea leaves so that he’ll have it available all winter long. It’s a really simple thing to make and store.
First I’m picking a large quantity of leaves. The ones you want to use are mature leaves, free of blemishes. I wash all the leaves and then pat them dry with paper towels. That way I know they’re clean of bird and bug messes.
From there it’s simply a matter of drying the leaves. Drying can be done by spreading the leaves out on a screen in a sunny area, and covering it with another screen to keep the leaves free from insects. I use my dehydrator as it’s easier for me than locating a spot where my curious dogs won’t disturb the drying leaves.
It doesn’t take too long to dry the leaves in a dehydrator. In the sun it will probably take two or three days. You want the leaves to be so dry that you could grind them into a powder but don’t do that. Just break them up into pieces. Remember, they don’t have to be uniform but you want them relatively close in size.
Once dried and broken up you simply store them in a plastic bag or in a jar. They’ll keep quite well if you’ve dried them properly. I’ve temporarily stored this tea in a zip lock bag but I’ll put it in canning jars which I’ll seal with my Food Saver later.
When you’re ready to make a cup of tea just put a few leaves in a cup of boiling water. You really want to be sure the water is screaming hot. If the water isn’t hot enough it will either be extremely weak tea or won’t even really steep at all. The tea should turn out the color of green tea. It has a pleasant taste and can be sweetened if you like. So go out, find a Mulberry tree and get started with your own healthy Mulberry Leaf Tea!