Lemongrass: Backyard Benefits

Lemongrass is an herb that has been used for hundreds of years in Asia and Africa because of its many healing properties, which include lemongrassimproving vision, lowering fevers, clearing skin, and aiding digestion. Lemongrass is also known to be an excellent mosquito repellent.  When planted near walkways or outdoor seating and dining areas, it works great to keep mosquitoes at bay.  This herb can be grown both indoors and outdoors, as long as it receives a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight each day. Frequent lemongrasswatering (don’t let roots dry out but don’t overwater either) and quality, well drained soil will make your Lemongrass thrive and be ready for use in no time! To harvest, make sure the plant is at least a foot tall and then, working from the outside, cut off as many stalks as you need at the soil line.

Most people have probably at least heard of Lemongrass, but how many actually use it to cook with? It’s time to change that! Before you dismiss Lemongrass as something exotic that won’t fit into your daily cooking, try these recipes and see how easy it is to incorporate it into your diet.

Stir-fried Lemongrass Chicken

Lemongrass is used a great deal in Thai cooking, so try this easy stir-fry to bring a taste of Thailand into your kitchen!

-1 Tbsp. brown sugar
-2 Tbsp. unsalted chicken stock
-1 Tbsp. fish sauce
-2 tsp. soy sauce
-1 tsp. ground fresh chile paste (known as sambal oelek)
-2 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
-1 Tbsp. sliced peeled fresh lemongrass
-2 garlic cloves, sliced
-1 c. sliced red bell pepper
-1/2 c. sliced shallots
-8 ounces green beans, trimmed
-1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, thinly sliced
-1/3 c. unsalted cashews
-1 Thai chile, thinly sliced

  1. Combine the brown sugar, chicken stock, fish sauce, soy sauce, and chile paste in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat and add 1 Tbsp. oil, swirling to coat. Add the lemongrass and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  3. Add the bell pepper, shallots, and green beans to the pan and fry for 1-2 minutes before removing from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  4. Add the remaining oil and then place the chicken in the pan in a single layer and cook until browned, about 2 minutes. Add the cashews and chile and cook until chicken is done, about 2 more minutes.
  5. Add the sauce and vegetables back into the pan with the chicken and bring to a boil. Cook until sauce begins to thicken. Serve immediately over rice.

Tropical Lemongrass Smoothielemongrass smoothie

Looking for a healthy way to cool off this summer? Look no further than this tasty smoothie that will make you feel as if you’re on a Caribbean vacation!

-1 c. coconut water
-2 Tbsp. fresh lemongrass, chopped
-2 c. fresh pineapple, chopped
-1/4 c. fresh coconut, chopped

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. For the best results, enjoy with a paper umbrella while sitting by the pool!

Stop by The Family Tree to pick up some easy to grow Lemongrass so that you can experience its fabulous medicinal benefits yourself!

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