What to do with mint?

JoAnn_Fla(8)April 19, 2010

What do you do with your mint and how do you use it? I have 3 kinds of mint right now and I don't know what to do with it. Do you dry yours, or use it fresh, any ideas appreciated.

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imagiro1

Mojitos? Honestly nothing better than a fresh mojito made with fresh mint and sugar cane. Also, vanilla beans added to the simple syrup is the best.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 12:43AM
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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

I always use mint fresh. It's OK frozen, but if dried it's not unlike dry hay.

If you have spearmint (the best, IMO, and the most versatile), it goes especially well with roast lamb. It's delicious chopped into a potato salad, or cooked with peas or carrots. It's the mint used in tabouleh. You can crystallise the leaves and eat them like lollies (ditto peppermint) or coat them with chocolate as after-dinner treats or cake-decorations etc. Try sprinkling watermelon or strawberries or a green salad with finely chopped mint. A sprig of mint in a jug of iced water makes a very refreshing summer drink. Check out recipes from the Middle East for many more ideas.

Peppermint is more the 'dessert' mint. Think of putting it into chocolate cookies, cakes and other desserts. If you don't want bits of green stuff in your chocolate peppermint mousse, infuse the leaves in the liquid called for in the recipe.

These ideas can be adjusted using other kinds of mints, too. For example, you can chop some apple mint into apple sauce and serve it with pork or ham, or even to your apple pie.

Not hungry for mint? Make a tea with it and use it to bathe your tired or burning feet after a hard-day's work - or hiking. Or use the tea to wash your windows (helps to keep flies away). Use it to wipe kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Use some to make your own lip-balm. Place a bunch of mint in your fridge to help keep out unpleasant odours. Put bunches of mint at the entrance of mouse-holes - they hate the stuff. Ants don't like it either. Rub some mint leaves onto a bee sting to ease the pain. Tie some leaves into a piece of cloth and add it to your bath.

If you (or someone else) gets some bad news and is in shock, crush a sprig of mint and smell it. The stronger the smell the better - but believe me, it works well for shock.

Got bags under your eyes? Soak a cloth in some peppermint tea, squeeze out the excess, then lie back with the cloth over your eyes for several minutes. You can use peppermint teabags (cooled!) in the same way.

Search on the internet for countless home-made cosmetics using mint (usually peppermint, but any other will do). Lip balms, face masks, facial cleansers (for oily skin), mouthwashes, hair products.....

Quite useful stuff, mint.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 3:47AM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Dried for teas.

FataMorgana

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 8:10AM
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maxwork

Yes, definitley for mojitos. I use fresh peppermint for a bracing herbal tea, and grow various spearmints to use in salads (whole leaves, just torn off the stem and tossed with lettuces as well as other fresh herbs like oregano, thyme, parsley, cilantro, etc.), vietnamese noodle dishes, and chutneys. Mint also makes a great Lassi.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 10:42AM
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opal52(z7b GA)

Often, I use fresh mint when making iced tea. I put a few (well washed) sprigs of mint in the water while it is coming to a boil, add the tea bags, steep and then strain the tea. It makes a really nice tasting tea, very refreshing in hot weather.

Fresh mint is also good to have for making salads like tabouli. Minted green peas. Add it to salsas.

And sometimes when I'm walking in the garden I will break a sprig to take with me simply because it smells so good.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 2:44PM
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sconnielill

All of the above, plus I like using it in soup - odd I know. I found a recipe for lentil soup on epicurious.com featuring lemon juice and fresh mint.

Also, my cats seem to like mint as much or more than catnip.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 11:33PM
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bookworm21

Mojitos, sometimes in salads, or ice teas =)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 6:16PM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

i make a lovely mango-mint pudding. Love it!

I have lemon mint - it doesn't seem too "minty"

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 5:12PM
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veggiefaery

I have done mojitos, but found I was not overly fond of the type of alcohol used in mojitos. Now all my mint goes to tea.

After I took the screen out of my door and replaced it with a storm window for the fall, I used the door screen to spread my mint out on and dry. I also dried stevia, lemon balm, and chamomile (earlier in the year) for my tea kits. At Christmas time, everyone got a spice bottle full of each of the above herbs to make their own herbal tea.

Since I lost my job and was only able to find a part time job, giving tea kits turned out be a very cheap (money-wise), but very thoughtful gift.

This year I am growing even more chamomile, and have much better established mint and lemon balm plants (only have room for one each) so I am hoping I will be able to create even more tea kits for Christmas.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 12:03AM
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JoAnn_Fla(8)

Just what is a tea kit and how do you make them?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 9:52PM
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Daisyduckworth(Aust)

A tea-kit, to my way of thinking, is a collection of whatever is required to make tea. That might include an infuser of some description, and/or a cup, and/or a teapot - and (it goes without saying!) a selection of dried herbs.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 4:24AM
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tracydr(9b)

When making mint tea is it better to dry the mint? What's the best way to dry it? I've been thinking about getting a dehydrator. The $35.00 one at Walmart is the round unit that I used to have (pre-divorce) and worked pretty well for jerky. Wondering if I should get that again or upgrade, as I'm thinking about drying some tomatoes and okra as well.
My favorite use for mint is mint chutney. Mint, lemon juice and hot peppers pureed in the food processor. You can use up to half cilantro if it's in season and you need more herb. It uses tons of mint. My second favorite is tabouli. Bulgar wheat, lemon juice, garlic (or green onion), tomatoes, olive oil, mint, flat parsley, a little sea salt. I do it all to taste but there are tons of recipes on the internet. I think it would be good with cous cous and other grains as well.
I also like to use mint and lemon balm for marinades and soups. Thai foods use lots of it.
I've been thinking of making a mint extract or maybe a syrup with stevia to use to flavor water for the summer. I just love this mint flavored water that I buy for $1.50 a 16oz bottle when I'm at the health food store, I'd like to replicate it. It's not sweet so I'm thinking extract. Anyone have a recipe for extract?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 10:35AM
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bookworm21

I agree, you cant go wrong with a mojito. Also I like the idea of adding it to iced tea!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 2:55PM
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tracydr(9b)

What is a Lassie? I'd also like to find a recipe for mint extract or a mint syrup with stevia. Anybody have one?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 1:39AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I think Daisyd and I share a cultural heritage when it comes to roast lamb and mint sauce. The other classic is mint on new potatoes. Apart from that I chop mint into pretty well anything when it takes my fancy. Has anyone mentioned tsatsiki or raita yet? Basically mint chopped into yoghurt for an easy version. A tasty low fat sauce for any kind of grilled meat but make sure you give it time to steep a bit.

ps all these ideas are for spearmint. I'm not a fan of peppermint tea but will force it down for a queasy stomach.

Lassi - a yoghurt based drink. Can be sweet or salty.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 4:22AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

I tried mint in a salad of lettuce, cuke and toms and did not like it.

Those who do salads with mint - any recipes to share?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:48AM
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tracydr(9b)

Tomato mozarella salad!! I just made it with mint instead of basil because my basil isn't thriving. It's amazing!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 3:10PM
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prariechic(3a)

I pinched some mint leaves off my plant today and following a recipe made my first mint iced tea! The recipe was 5 cups water, 6 green tea bags, 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 lime juice. I boiled the mixture for 15 minutes then strained the leaves and transfered to a pitcher... It's delicious, but the mint leaves are very strong even when just sniffing the tea. It is very herbally, definitely not for everyone (my dad wouldn't touch the stuff, but my boyfriend adores it.)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 12:34AM
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jacquesue_comcast_net

I am also interested in ways to use mint. I got a Spearmint and a Chocolate Mint plants for Mothers day and I have no idea what to do with them. I have already pinched some leaves, washed them and have them sitting on some paper towels right now wondering what the heck I am going to do with them. *LOL* I did read not to plant them in the ground unless you have room for it to spread so I planted mine in hanging pots. Any online sites for ideas would be wonderful. Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2011 at 8:17PM
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rain1950(W. WA z8)

You can contain mint's sprawling habit by planting in a bottomless pot.

Besides the culinary and beverage use; Deters white cabbage moths, ants, rodents, flea beetles, fleas, aphids and improves the health of cabbage and tomatoes. Use cuttings as a mulch around members of the brassica family. Mint flowers attract hoverflies and predatory wasps. Earthworms are quite attracted to mint plantings. Be careful where you plant it as mint is an incredibly invasive perennial. We have found that placing peppermint cuttings (fresh or dried) where mice are a problem is very effective in driving them off!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 11:03PM
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tracydr(9b)

I use 1/4-1/2 cup chopped chocolate mint in a chocolate chip cookie or brownie recipe. It's amazing!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 8:14PM
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tracydr(9b)

Love it with sweet peas or tabouli! How about infusing your ice cream before freezing it, then straining for mint chocolate chip ice cream?
I'm rooting some chocolate mint now because I use too much for one plant to keep up.
Where's a good place to buy other flavors of mint? I'd like some orange, lemon and spearmint.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 5:48PM
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firstmmo

Watermelon cubed with mint chopped on top...can add tomatoes too like a caprese salad with mint. Or try peach slices with mint on top. Works well with fruits!

I chop up mint to put on lamb chops. Love that!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 2:40AM
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pvel

Mojitos. I made some the other day using spearmint and it was delicious. Mint is now my new favorite herb. Has anyone used different types of mint for Mojitos? Which is the best?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 10:34PM
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mlpgarden(7)

I found a chocolate mint plant at the Farmer's Market yesterday for just $3. I took some of the fresh leaves off and stepped it in some homemade hot chocolate, it was SO GOOD. My son put a leaf of it in his strawberry smoothie and said he loved it.
If you can't find a chocolate mint plant I'd say peppermint is the closest thing and would work also.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 11:51AM
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tracydr(9b)

Has anyone tried mangoes with mint? I was thinking of trying that tonight, fresh mangoes with chocolat mint.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 8:16PM
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DocHudson(6 / NYC)

Don't know if you will like it but give a try for Indian style Mint chutney with sandwiches.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR1U9lbt9-Y

Here is a link that might be useful: Mint Chutney

    Bookmark   October 22, 2012 at 5:00PM
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rockwhisperer(6a)

I made mint wine years and years ago. I don't have the recipe anymore but seems like it was just strong mint tea with sugar, allowed to ferment in a big glass jug with a balloon on it. My parents came up for vacation about the time it was ready, my mother couldn't stay out of it and even took the last of it home with her. At least I got a taste and it was good, especially cold, on a hot day. Could probably find the recipe online somewhere.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 10:36AM
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mirendajean(Donegal, Ireland)

Boiled with new potatoes. As a rinse in my hair (make strength tea and add a small bit of olive oil). In sachets with chamomile used in the guests pillows. To settle a nervous stomach....I find the uses to be endless.

My 11yr old son "collects" mint. Everytime he buy every " new to him " variety of mint he discovers garden centres. He is always finding new uses for it.

M

    Bookmark   November 15, 2012 at 5:58AM
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linda_tx8(8)

I use Mojito Mint or Spearmint for mojito drinks. A friend of mine makes chicken wings with minty sauce on them. One thing...as far as tea, I prefer adding mint AFTER boiling and cooling slightly. It seems better that way. Also I can just make iced tea and add mint to it.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:53PM
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WonderWeasel

I use all of my mint varieties (traditional mint, chocolate mint, and lemon balm) to make simple syrups for tea. 1:1 ratio of sugar and water and a cup of loosely packed mint leaves. Bring all three ingredients to a boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain through a wire mesh strainer, and store for up to 1 month in the fridge. Also, I like to put a few mint leaves in the bottom of the pan when I make a chocolate cake.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 1:49AM
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bonsailover(9)

I like to mix a spearmint simple syrup with pineapple or peaches, for a twist on pineapple upside down cake. I also add the mint syrup to pineapple juice or pineapple or orange koolaid. That is great as a summer cooler, but if you add some coconut rum, it's heaven. I saw an old recipe for mint julep that used peach brandy or cognac instead of bourbon. And last, but not least, rubbed spearmint is a lovely treatment for melancholy.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 3:48PM
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