Mint is one of those herbs that once planted, can literally take over your garden before you know it. Not that I have a garden. I don’t. But I have in the past and I know others who do. I am however quite skilled at perfecting the Manhattan window box o’ herbs. In any case, mint grows like wildfire and there are only so many ice-tea/lemonades you can drink. So, whether you’re the talented gardener, window boxer, or you’ve just watched it turn brown in the fridge one too many times, the question remains, just what can you do with all that mint?
The 10 Best Uses For Mint (Tea And Lemonade Not Included)
- Use as a salad ingredient. Chop up a few leaves and add them to your salad. Mint adds great summery flare to salads with ginger, citrus, cilantro, beets, nuts, feta, grapes, or parsley.
- Add to a marinade. Mint adds an interesting layer to spicy or citrus-based marinades on poultry or seafood. My go-to: Add chopped mint to orange juice, hot sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper to marinate shrimp before grilling.
- Use in pesto. Toss a handful of mint in with your basil for an updated version of this summer classic.
- Use for crostini. Pulse mint with sweet green peas, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper for a quick and easy crostini topping.
- Use in a side dish. Mix mint into grain salads, such as tabouli, couscous, or faro. Add a handful to whole-wheat pasta salad or to roasted potatoes.
- Add to chocolate. Whether mixed in with baked goods, candies, puddings or ice cream, the mint-chocolate combination is pretty much a match made in heaven. Next to peanut butter and chocolate of course.
- Add to smoothies. Throw a few leaves into a pineapple, melon, or strawberry smoothie for a refreshing and energizing twist.
- Make a sorbet. Use as a palette cleanser in between courses or to finish a meal as a cool way to prepare your taste buds for what’s next. Plus, you’ll impress family/friends.
- Make a cocktail. Nothing says summer like a refreshing, minty cocktail. Muddle fresh mint leaves with agave nectar and lemon; add ice and rum, shake and top with club soda for a delicious mojito.
- Make fancy ice cubes. Add chopped mint leaves to your ice cube trays. Why? Because it’s just plain cute.
Fun and Beneficial Mint Facts:
- Mint activates the salivary glands helping to get our digestive juices flowing.
- Mint eases sensations of nausea.
- When applied topically, mint is helpful in treating headaches.
- Mint aids congestion. The compounds in mint help to open the nasal passage and lungs.
- Mint soothes stomach inflammation.
- Mint freshens breath (duh), but did you know it also inhibits the growth of bacteria inside the mouth.