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10 Amazing Things You Can Do With Mint

 

I do believe now that I am into my second summer of backyard farming (a term used very loosely), my thumb is getting greener. I am beyond proud to say that I am slowly, but surely learning how to grow food beyond sprouts.

Throughout this learning curve, one herb has stood by my side growing tall and proud (and extremely aggressively): mint. It takes over gardens because it seems to not only be one of the toughest things to kill but also to control in the garden. You win some, you lose some. Though I dream of being the person with more zucchinis and tomatoes and mustard greens than I know what to do with, for now, I am the person with more mint than I know what to do with.

Mint is my specialty!

I planted it a few years ago along with some other herbs, not realizing how hardy this plant is. I didn’t take any of the precautions you are apparently supposed to take when dealing with mint, such as creating a root barrier (what is this?) and now I have a wild abundance growing in my garden. Well, it’s a good thing for me that I like this stuff. Not only does it taste fresh and delicious, it’s also really good for us.

Fun Health Facts About Mint

  • It activates salivary glands, getting the digestive juices flowing and soothes stomach inflammation.
  • Eases sensations of nausea and when applied topically, is very useful in banishing headaches.
  • Helpful when dealing with congestion as compounds in mint aid in opening up the nasal passage as well as those of the lungs and bronchi.
  • Freshens breath (we all know this one!) and inhibits the growth of bacteria inside the mouth.
  • Soothes the digestive tract and reducing the severity and length of stomach aches.
  • Eases the discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Slows the growth of many of the most harmful bacteria and fungi.
  • Can be helpful for allergies and asthma thanks to the well-documented antifungal properties.
  • Mint contains a phytonutrient called perillyl alcohol, which has been shown to prevent the formation of colon, skin and lung cancer.

I’ve made a ton of mint tea, minty smoothies and I’ve even juiced it. I’m trying to think outside the box though and have come up with a bunch of fun ideas in case any of you find yourselves in a similar mint-ful situation.

10 Amazing Things You Can Do With Mint

Mint and lemon water

  1. Salad Ingredient: Chop up a few leaves and add them to your salad along with some freshly grated ginger and lemon zest. The flavour combo is amazing and adds a great summery flare to your favourite salad.
  2. Jazz Up Your Water: Flavour your water or lemonade with some smashed mint leaves.
  3. Fancy Ice Cubes: Adding chopped mint leaves or even peppermint tea to your ice cube tray is super cute and makes for fun summer sipping. Pop these ice cubes into your guests’ drinks at a party or into your blender for a minty smoothie.
  4. Homemade Potpourri: Dry mint leaves in your dehydrator or oven at the lowest temperature. Once dried, chop slightly and put into a little sachet or piece of cheesecloth. Secure with a ribbon and hang on your doorknobs or tuck inside your drawers.
  5. Add To Chocolate: I think many of us can agree that mint-chocolate is a match made in heaven. Take your raw cacao loving to a whole new level by adding a few mint leaves into recipes. My personal favourite is this Chocolate Avocado Pudding recipe with the addition of 4-5 mint leaves.
  6. Chocolate Dip Them: What!? Yes! Take fresh mint leaves, one by one, and dip them in your favourite homemade or melted chocolate chips and let chill in the fridge until the chocolate has hardened. Amazing!
  7. Juice It: Mint adds an amazing freshness to any pressed juice. Try it with some apple, cucumber and lemon. You might want to swap the apple for watermelon if you have some on hand. Serious refreshment.
  8. Make A Tea: Fresh mint, chopped or even just mashed up a little and added to hot water makes a delicious digestive soothing tea.
  9. Tincture It: Chop up your fresh mint, fill a jar and add some organic vodka to the jar and shake, shake, shake. Shake daily for at least 4 weeks, and then strain out the mint and you have a mint medicine tincture (or a mint-infused cocktail vodka!). More on tincture making here.
  10. Pesto: Need I say more? It’s a summer classic that you can use as a sauce, for dressing, dips and spreads.

10 Things to Do with Mint

Please enjoy this delicious and fresh basil mint pesto, as just one amazing way to use this easy to grow herb.

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Basil Mint Pesto

Basil Mint Pesto


  • Author: Meghan Telpner
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 15 mins
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups 1x

Description

A simple and fresh dairy-free mint pesto recipe. Perfect for summer!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup walnut halves
  • 1 1/2 cups basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Toast the walnuts in the oven or pan for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally.
  2. Combine the basil, mint and oil in a blender until smooth.
  3. Add the toasted walnuts, sunflower seeds and garlic and blend until puréed.
  4. Add the lemon juice and salt and blend once more.
  5. It’s now ready to be used or stored in the fridge in an airtight container or freeze in an ice cube tray and transfer to a freezer-safe container to use later.
  • Category: Condiment

 

Photo Credits iStock
Lemonade: oksix
Mint Bunch: Murika
Pesto: Boyrcr420

40 Responses to “10 Amazing Things You Can Do With Mint”

  1. Richard mancham said…
    Hi what would one use the mint pesticide for. Maybe with roast lamb or in a stew of lamb or and middle eastern dishes. What do you recommend please. Love your receipies. Thanks Richard and Jenny.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I'm not sure what you mean by "mint pesticide"?
      • Megan Selby said…
        I'm thinking she meant mint pesto.
  2. Richard mancham said…
    I love all the ideas and I cannot believe how useful mint is.
  3. Penny said…
    Yay! Thanks for this, I just found an herb booth at the farmer's market and grabbed my first ever bunch of fresh organic mint. I truly love mint infused water and even added a bit to my chocolate smoothie, but I was needing a few other great ideas. Perfect timing!
  4. Whollycowmilk said…
    Hello Meghan, Thanks to such a wonderful article, Is mint also work as a dental cure??
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      I am not familiar with that application. Do you have any references? I'd be curious to learn more!
  5. We grew a bit of mint last year and it's gone crazy in our roof garden. These are great ideas to make use of it! Thanks.
  6. Angie said…
    My grandma used to put fresh mint in her pot while making peas. Her house Smelled great and she swears the peas taste best cooked with mint
    • Bestrevx said…
      Yeah. Mint is good for everything. Thanks for the ideas.
    • Nik said…
      That's actually a great idea which can be used on many occasions.
  7. Sherrill Carlin said…
    I made mint jello by infusing mint leaves in water then I put Knox unflavored Gelatine in and addeded green food coloring
    • Sherrill Carlin said…
      I forgot, I took the leaves out before putting in ice box
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      It started off sounding awesome- but why the food colouring? I imagine the mint leaves would give the water a nice green hue?
      • Oemsie said…
        Even though most food coloring is obviously safe to eat, it's not really necessary.
  8. Kaijabwango Joseph said…
    I have really love the wonderful session about mint leaves. I thought it can only be eaten in Chicken meat only ,but now I have come to learn that it can be mixed in any soup and taken in tea. Madam Telper : I s it good to take it as tea and mixing sugar? What are some diseases that can be prevented or treated by eating or drinking mint leaves? Madam is it recommended to chew these mint leaves which are an cooked?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Hi there! Yes, you can definitely drink mint tea with a little bit of natural sweetener. You can look through the "Fun Facts About Mint" in the blog post for information as to what conditions mint can help with.
  9. Gwynn Atkinson said…
    And what about the most famous one of all - English mint sauce? Traditionally served with roast lamb or lamb chops. I keep a bottle of it in the fridge always. I use a spoon or two of the vinegar in salad dressings too : Finely chop washed (don’t bother to dry) mint leaves. Put in a small pot with vinegar to just cover. Add about half that amount of water. Add a heaped tsp sugar and a good shake of salt. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pour into a jar and refrigerate. Lasts a long time.
  10. Dawn said…
    Spiders hate mint: mix or blend leaves with water. Or boil and strain. Put in a spray bottle and spray corners of house
  11. Robbye Olive said…
    How do you "clean" it or make it safe after plucking from the garden? Do you just rinse it? Do you boil it? How long does it last and when is it no longer good for using from the garden. I've got so much. It looked so much prettier in the beginning of spring. Now that it's starting to get hot some days it's not as luscious.
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      It's wonderful that you have so much mint! With most fresh herbs, I will soak them in a bowl of water to release the dirt, and then rinse them off in a strainer. When dried off and wrapped in a towel, they should last for about a week. There are a few ways you can preserve them - you can dry them out, or blitz them in a food processor and freeze in ice cube trays for later use. Or you can give some of the fresh mint away to friends!
  12. Latonya McGee said…
    I REALLY LOVE YOUR IDEAS ABOUT MINT PLANTS. I ALSO HAVE QUITE A BIT, AND AM GROWING IT IN MY AREO GRADEN.
  13. Ginny said…
    Thanks for the wonderful information and recipe on mint. Had planted some in my Italian Kitchen Garden last year, and just discovered that this perennial plant had hopped out and rooted itself near a wall. Looking forward to using it quite a bit this summer. Enjoyed your website.
  14. Tamara Bell said…
    Hi there what can I do with Basil mint Pesto?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Hi! You can use it as a dip or spread, add it to grains, eggs or omelettes, put it on pasta, use it as a salad dressing, or put it on roasted vegetables. There are a lot of possibilities!
  15. Stephanie said…
    I am so happy I came across this; I am also the owner of a few out of control mint plants. I have a few different flavors also. Mint, spearmint, chocolate mint. I haven’t had any luck drying it out. Every time I try it loses all of its “mint” flavor. Any ideas on how to do this? I’d like to dry it for mint tea. Thanks a bunch ;)
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      It depends on how you dry it - not sure if you are doing it in the oven, using a dehydrator, or hanging it upside down. If you cook it in the oven for too long that may affect the taste.
  16. Rhonda said…
    I don't have sunflower seeds, what should i use as a substitute?
  17. Dolores said…
    10 mint leaves equal how muc in teaspoons or tablespoons for spaghetti sauce
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Hi Dolores! The teaspoon or tablespoon amount will depend on how finely you chop the mint. I'd say add chopped mint leaves to taste, starting off with 1/2 tsp and work up from there.
  18. Fiona Manonn said…
    Hi Meghan, I'm growing mint leaves in my garden and just knew a few uses of it. I was quite surprised to know all these other uses of the mint leaves and loved it completely. I'm definitely gonna try these.
  19. Caroline Rodricks said… July 3, 2020
    Hi Meghan Dear even I love mint and I to hv grown them in my small kitchen garden there are these small white flees that sit on the backside of the leaves I tried homemade remedies like dishes detergent,vinegar and diluted with water but the mint leaves started like getting burt so I stopped spraying them just did it once and now the leaves also are growing very small in size they were very helyhy in the beinging so please can you advise they are spreemint will be waiting for your reply. Thankyou
    • Hi Caroline! I'm not an expert at gardening or pest control - but you could try putting a ring of diatomaceous earth around the bottom of the plant and see if that repels them.
  20. Emily said… August 5, 2020
    Hi! Wondering if there is anything I can sub for sunflower seeds? Pumpkin seeds? More walnuts?
    • Hi Emily! Yes, you can sub out the seeds for something else. Walnuts, almonds, cashews or hemp seeds would work. You could try pumpkin seeds, though they can have a strong flavour.
  21. Earlyne Lancaster said… November 9, 2020
    Will start using bay leaves tea I am a Diebetic and will be drinking the tea thanks
  22. Polly Campbell said… December 2, 2020
    Need gardening encourage-mint?? Mint is the perfect plant to turn your thumb green...make that both thumbs!!! (You'll be using both to pull up all the wayward shoots invading your garden!) Thanks for compiling a list of useful ways to use it up.
  23. Kathy D Abbasspour said… June 9, 2021
    Mint makes an amazing condiment. Finely chopped Vadalia onion, slow fried in avacado oil until browned well beyond golden. Add equal part finely chopped mint, fry together thoroughly with a tiny pinch of salt. Serve dollop of mixture over soups, stir fried veges, on plain yogurt or cheesey pasta dishes or quiches, as a spread on sandwiches or on pizza as the main event. It's limitless. Add pine nuts as an option.

Before you post your comment, please note that I am unable to offer nutritional advice or recommendations via my blog.

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