14 Wonderful Ways to Use Fresh Mint
If the only minty things you sample are peppermint candy or spearmint gum, it’s time to get mint-savvy. Fresh mint is as versatile an herb as there is; it can flavour a glass of water, give lift to salads or lamb dishes, and serve as a natural medicine for stress or upset stomach. Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to grow. Nestle a few plants in a pot, put them out in the sun, and you’ll soon have plenty. Here are just a few things to do with your mint leaves:
- Need a quick, refreshing lift while gardening? Pluck a few leaves off your mint plant, give a quick rinse, and chew them up. Or, merely drop several leaves into a pitcher of ice water for a subtle minty refresher.
- Brighten the flavour of scrambled eggs and omelettes—especially egg substitutes—with chopped mint.
- Peas and mint are a common pairing, but don’t stop there. Try adding finely chopped mint leaves as you cook carrots, potatoes, eggplant, beans, or corn.
- Add fresh mint leaves into salads for a little extra flavour among the more neutral-flavoured greens.
- Make minty zucchini-feta pancakes: Shred a few zucchini, add mashed feta cheese, breadcrumbs, an egg, shallots, 2–3 tablespoons (30–45 ml) chopped mint, and salt and pepper to taste. Shape into pancakes, dust with flour. Fry in a little olive oil. Is it brunch yet?
- A natural with lamb, mint is also a wonderful flavour enhancer and garnish in any recipe featuring pork.
- Upset tummy? Make a soothing, delicious, caffeine-free mint tea: Put a handful of leaves in a cup and pour in boiling water. Steep for a few minutes; remove leaves with a strainer. Sweeten with honey.
- Make your next pesto with mint instead of basil or parsley. It’s a terrific condiment on a roasted lamb sandwich, or toss with some pasta and shrimp.
- Add finely minced mint to your next batch of chocolate frosting before slathering it on a cake or cupcakes. Garnish with mint leaves. Kids will love it!
- It’s cocktail hour! Try a Cojito. Make as you would a mojito but use white rum, coconut rum, lime juice and mint.
- Want an environmentally friendly insect repellent? Rub mint leaves on you hands or scatter mint leaves outdoors. No more mosquitoes or ants!
- To discourage mice from hanging out in your home, put mint leaves in places where you see droppings.
- Chewing on a few mint leaves will freshen your breath faster than you can say “mouthwash.”
- Chopping garlic or onions? Freshen those pungent fingers with mint. Wash your hands, then take a few mint leaves and rub them between your hands. Bad odours are gone.