Garden Bounty, Growing Green

10 Great Ways to Use Fresh Mint!

Fresh Peppermint in my Herb Box

I planted both peppermint and chocolate mint in my divided herb planter.  Now I have mint running out of my ears so I have been brainstorming on what to do with my abundance of the herb.  A little research shows that mint has lots of good for you vitamins and minerals.  If you need more convincing, here is an entire article on the nutrition of mint, courtesy of www.fitday.com.

So here are a few suggestions…

1.  Toss a small handful in your morning smoothie – gives you an extra pop while remaining very subtle.  I love this use of mint!  It really wakes me up but isn’t overwhelming – remember to use just a small handful though.

2.  Make your own mint tea.  Chop up the leaves and put in a tea strainer in hot water.  Or dehydrate and make dried tea. Enjoy hot or iced!

3.  Chew on a few leaves for an instant and all natural breath freshener.

4.  Toss some in your bath for a refreshing soak.  (Make sure you aren’t allergic first ;)).

5.  Make mint jelly – on my Greek side, we always have this with lamb.  I don’t know why I like it, because it sounds like an odd combination, but it is really good together.  There are lots of recipes online for this odd treat.

6.  Infuse it in your desserts (especially ones containing chocolate, too!) or use a sprig as a dessert garnish.  Alternately, many recipes call for mint – just go to www.allrecipes.com and type “mint” in your search.

7.  Throw a small amount of chopped mint in a summer salad to give it a boost.

8.  Freeze some in ice cubes for a pretty summer drink.

9.  I haven’t tried this but I am thinking that I could gently boil some cream with mint and use that infusion in my ice cream maker to make yummy mint ice cream!

10.  Make some peppermint extract.  Here is a good how-to guide I found on www.crunchybetty.com.

***After some additional research I have found that many people claim it is a natural pest repellent and it is great to have in your medicine cabinet for things from indigestion to headaches.  Many people put it in homemade toothpastes, soaps, deodorants, etc.  There were also some warnings I saw in my research against using mint during pregnancy, though so use appropriate care.

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