How To: Grow, Cook & Use Fresh Mint
Mint is very prolific, it’s no wonder the question I get asked most often is what to do with it.
I happen to love the refreshing taste, smell and feel of mint so I have no problem coming up with ways to use it.
If you would like to learn more about How To Grow, Cook & Use Fresh Mint, I have the perfect tips for you!
Growing Fresh Mint
The most common mints are Peppermint and Spearmint.
I have also grown and enjoyed: Chocolate Mint, Pineapple Mint, Apple Mint and many more.
If you’re confused by the mint family, don’t worry, you are not alone.
With over 6,000 species and over 200 genera, it’s easy to get confused.
Officially named Lamiaceae, the Mint Family includes some of the most important and popular plants for gardens – and kitchens! Worldwide there are over 200 genera and over 6,000 species, mostly herbaceous plants but some shrubs and trees (such as teak). Many of them offer a triple whammy of benefits: beauty, taste, and scent.
Some key points to remember when growing mint are:
- Plant it once and enjoy it year after year
- Mint prefers fertile soil with a pH from 6.0 to 7.0
- It is a Fast-growing, spreading plant.
- Ideal for planting in pots
- Makes a good ground cover
When planting mint, select a damp area in your garden in either full sun or part shade.
Always plant mint in a pot unless you want it to be a ground cover.
I purposely plant mint in the ground so it will be a ground cover.
Because of the vast amount of shade we have, we can’t grow grass, but we can grow mint.
I also harvest it regularly so I never feel overwhelmed by it- I love my mint!
Cooking (Eating) Fresh Mint
Mint oil is often used in toothpaste, gum, candy and beauty products.
The leaves are used either fresh or dried for teas and food.
Some of the more popular uses are:
- Teas: How to Make Mint Tea
- Desserts: Lemon Mint Sherbet
- Drinks (Mint Julep)
- Vitamin Water (recipe below)
- Fruit Dishes: Summer Fruit Salad with Mint Dressing
- Lamb: Roast Rack of Lamb with Mint Sauce
- Middle Eastern Dishes: Tabbouleh
- Fresh Salads
- Mint Candy
- Asian Rolls: Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls
Herb Infused Water (Vitamin Water)
- 1 Cup of Fruit -cleaned and chopped in big chunks, do not chop berries (see below for fruit suggestions)
- ¼ Cup Fresh Herb Leaves. Any variety of mint: peppermint, spearmint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint, or apple mint.
- Pitcher of Filtered Water
- Add fruit to water.
- Rub herbs between hands to bruise the herb and release the oils, add to water.
- Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours or in the fridge for 3-4 hours. The longer you infuse the water, the stronger the flavor.
- Discard fruit and herbs after 48 hours to prevent from spoiling. Store vitamin water in fridge up to three days.
Pair Up Your Herbs With
Grapefruit, limes or lemons
Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or Strawberries
Using Fresh Mint for Medicine & Health
Mint has one of the highest antioxidant capacities of any food.
We often boast about berries and other “Super Foods” when talking about antioxidants but overlook herbs.
Learning how to use fresh herbs and spices like mint when cooking can also help to cut down on sodium intake.
- Mint possesses astringent, antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties
- It aids in: Indigestion , IBS, Colds, Allergies and Oral Care
- It is rich in essential oils, vitamins and dietary fiber, which helps to control blood cholesterol and blood pressure
- Peppermint-herb is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin C and vitamin A
To incorporate more mint into your diet, you can: drink mint tea, chew on mint leaves (also helps freshen breath), add fresh mint to salads and fruits, and drink mint infused vitamin water (recipe above).
Other Amazing Ways You Can Use Mint
In addition to all the wonderful ways you can use fresh mint mentioned above, I have some other articles that include mint.
What is one way you use Fresh Mint?