MintMints! Not the surgery candy treats you get at the restaurants but the herbs grown in the garden. That being said, chewing on mint leaves can also combat bad breath the same way – go figure.

Mint also has a lot of other benefits such as aids digestion, clears congestion in the throat, and is a natural stimulant to relieve fatigue. I chuckle when I list these benefits because the way I eat fresh mint is wrapping it with fresh bread and lots of feta cheese.Some would say, the gluttony would offset the benefits but it’s a delicious combination.

Mint compliments our guilty pleasure like cocktails and ice cold treats but also gives off a nice kick to any meal. Not to forget that they make refreshing beverages that are both satisfying and detoxifying. Let’s get started on the 6 ways to use mint: 

Mint is one of my favorite herbs to grow in the garden.  It flourishes with minimal amount of work, which supports my laziness. I just don’t have a green thumb.

When it’s hot outside, I will be one to appreciate a nice cold cocktail (ahem, Mojito).  Instead of providing you with the obvious, a mojito recipe, I will suggest preparing mint syrup. Your cravings for a great cocktail can be delivered with speed and deliciousness at any moment. Let’s just hope it’s not first thing in the morning, but hey you could be lounging at the summer cottage. Simply boil mint leaves with one part sugar to two parts water in order to create this simple syrup. Bottle it up and refrigerate. This will add a kick to any beverage or dessert such as vanilla ice cream. For more, check out this recipe from Epicurious

Whiskey Mint SmashBack to the topic of booze, have you never made a Whiskey Smash with mint? Similar to mojitos but this is for the whisky lovers. After reading this recipe from The Wanderlust Kitchen, I can say, I’ll be come a friend of whiskey. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons mint leaves (about 7 or 8 leaves)
  • half of one lemon, cut into four pieces
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • 1 cup crushed ice
 

Directions

  1. Place the mint, lemon, and sugar in a cocktail shaker. Muddle together until the sugar has dissolved and the lemon has expressed its juices.
  2. Add the whiskey, cover, and shake for 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to an Old Fashioned glass.
  3. Top with crushed ice and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Mint can also get friendly with pasta, especially in a form of a pesto sauce. Mint pesto sauce, where have you been? Something to note, mint is a classic pairing with lamb but I can also say that this pesto sauce would be a delicious seasoning for seafood, meat, and chicken.  For the vegetarians, add mint pesto with fresh goat cheese on top of a crostini. I’m drooling right now. Check out this recipe from Food & Wine.

Ingredients:

  1. 3/4 cup packed mint leaves
  2. 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  3. 2 scallions, thickly sliced
  4. 2 medium garlic cloves
  5. 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  6. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  7. Salt
 

Directions

In a food processor, combine the mint leaves with the parsley, scallions, garlic and lemon zest and pulse until chopped. With the machine on, add the olive oil in a thin stream and process until smooth. Season the pesto with salt.

Watermelon mint popsicleWatermelon and mint is a refreshing combination, and perfect for an ice cold treat such as popsicles. You’ll love this simple (no sugar, only if you want) Watermelon Mint pop recipe from Zoku. And they set high standards for popsicles. Here’s a link to get yourself a Zoku set. 

Ingredients:

12 oz (about 3½ cups) seeded, cubed fresh watermelon
¼ cup cold water
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
6-8 mint leaves
*sugar or agave nectar (optional) 

 

Directions

 In a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth.

You can liven up any salad with mint, and I particularly like this combination: avocados, cucumbers, feta cheese, and mint. Who’s ready? Enjoy. 

Mint Flavor WaterThe summer heat requires you to hydrate but sometimes you just need to liven up your water.  Try adding strawberry, lime, and mint – oh my! It’s refreshing, it’s hydrating and most of all it’s tasty. This recipe calls for cucumber too, but I’m not a fan of it in water.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup sliced cucumbers
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • Ice cubes
  • Water
 

Directions

  1. In a half-gallon jar, or a 2 quart pitcher, layer the strawberries, cucumbers, lime slices, and mint leaves with the ice cubes. Fill jar or pitcher with water. Let chill for 10 minutes, and then enjoy!

Have a minty fresh summer!

1 COMMENT

  1. The Whiskey Smash sounds more like a Whiskey Sour with mint that a Whiskey Mojito to me, but either way I want one as soon as possible Smiley Very Happy

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