Mint is a wonderful herb. Not only because of the pleasing scent but because of the benefits it has internally and externally for your body.
The plant itself is easy to grow and thrives even in harsh and cold climates. With a pleasing aroma to humans, it is surprising that you can use it as a deterrent to keep animals out of your garden or away from your flowers.
Mint has a multitude of varieties and because of this, you’ll be able to pick the one that best suits your senses and needs.
Along with using the fresh petals, you can also make use of the stem, dried leaves, and oil produced by the herb, mint.
USING MINT IN OIL FORM
- In oil form, mint, and its varieties can be diffused to create a fresh scent which will heighten your senses and fill your home.
- If you suffer from headaches, then simply take a drop or two of oil and rub it on your temples. Be careful not to use more than 2 drops as the oil will cause your eyes to water. Wash your hands with soap afterward.
- Do you have sore muscles? Peppermint oil can be rubbed on them to give you a little relief. You can apply it directly or mix it with a carrier oil, like olive or coconut, which will make it a little easier to apply.
HOW TO USE FRESH AND DRIED MINT IN CULINARY DISHES AND COOKING
With its flavorful leaves, people have used mint in culinary cooking for years. Whether you pluck fresh leaves from the plant or buy them from your local market/store, mint will add a unique and pleasing flavor to your dish.
What about the stem? Glad you asked. The stem can also be used for cooking as I will explain below.
- In Leaf, form infuse blended or individual mints (peppermint or spearmint) to make a tea.
- Flavor soups, stews, and sauces with fresh or dried leaves and or the stem.
- Finely chop and add into dips like guacamole or salsa
- Sprinkle into main courses
- Infuse the stems in vinegar or oil and let it sit for a few days.
- Add mint stems to your vegetables when grilling letting their flavor sink into the food.
- Make a mint sauce and use with chocolate in a dessert.
MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
YIELDS 1 DOZEN
Chocolate chip cookies made with real fresh mint!
1 hr, 20 Prep Time
11 min Cook Time
1 hr, 31 Total Time
- Unsalted butter, 1/2 cup (1 stick)
- Firmly packed fresh mint, roughly chopped, 1/2 cup
- Firmly packed dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup
- Granulated sugar, 1/2 cup
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- Vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon
- All-purpose unbleached flour, 1 1/2 cups
- Baking soda, 1 teaspoon
- Fine sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon
- Semisweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup
- Place the butter and mint in a small saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter, swirling occasionally. After about 2-3 minutes, when you can smell the mint, turn the heat off and let the butter continue to steep for 30 minutes.
- Strain the butter, pressing the leaves to extract all of the butter from the leaves.
- Meanwhile, line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Beat until light and creamy, 3-5 minutes.
- Next, add the egg and vanilla and beat for an additional minute.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixer while running, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary.
- Finally, add the chocolate chips and mix just until combined.
- Remove the cookie dough from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap, and press flat into a disk. Chill for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions, rolling into 12 balls. Space 6 balls on each cookie sheet (the cookies will spread considerably).
- Bake for 11-12 minutes, rotating the pans half-way through.
- Let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
HOW TO USE MINT AS A DETOXER/CLEANSER
Whether you want to feel healthier or trying to lose weight, simply drinking 6-8 glasses of water will help aid you in your attempt. Water helps detox and flushes out your system plus it keeps you hydrated.
When fresh fruit or herbs are added to water, it can create a detoxing/cleansing effect.
MINTY LIME DRINK
Recipe by Heather Earles
This recipe will make one pitcher/ 2 liters.
- One, lime sliced
- Two liters or half a gallon pitcher of water
- Six leaves of fresh mint pressed
- Sweetener such as stevia (optional)
- Fill your pitcher about half full.
- Add about half of your lime slices after squeezing them a touch to get the juice out.
- Press your mint leaves together to release the oils and drop them into your water.
- Remember this is supposed to be a cleanser so I normally don’t add any sweetener. However, if you are using this drink as a substitute for a less sugary drink or for kids in replace of soda then add a sweetener like stevia. You can also use carbonated water for a special occasion, but again, on a daily basis, I would stick to the recipe above.
- Now give your mixture a good stir.
- Finish adding enough water to fill the pitcher, while leaving a little room for ice.
- The extra lime I use to put on the side of individual glasses. You can also put them in a glass container and save for making another pitcher.
- Sit back, relax and enjoy!
HOW TO USE IT FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES
Long ago herbs of every kind have been used for medicinal type purposes. From making pastes, teas or helping a stomach they are widely used. Samuel Stearn’s American Herbal (1801) listed this and other virtues:
- Peppermint leaves infused in tea form can aid in digestion, influenza, and colds.
Spearmint and peppermint teas are fabulous iced, or hot. Although you can buy packaged herbal teas at any supermarket, teas from dried or fresh mint leaves purchased in bulk or ones that you’ve grown yourself are the best.
- For two cups of tea, place 2 teaspoons of dried mint leaf (or 2 tablespoons of fresh) in a tea ball, place the ball in a heated teapot, pour in 2 cups of boiling water, cover and steep for about 10 minutes.
- For a nice sun tea, press a large handful of fresh mint leaves to release the essential oil, add them to a gallon jar, and fill the jar with cold water. Place the jar in the sun for about an hour. Although the color is not dark, the flavor is strong. Serve over ice, sweetened if you like.
HOW TO USE IT FOR OUTDOOR AND INDOOR USE
- When you’re wanting to deter aphids, plant spearmint or peppermint near roses or other plants.
- Scatter dried or fresh (spearmint or peppermint) leaves around food to keep the mice away.
- Use as a potpourri in a bowl or place in an herb bag.
- When mint (pennyroyal) leaves are placed in cupboards and or beds, it helps keep ants and fleas away.
With the benefits presented in this article, you should now have a better appreciation and knowledge of the herb, mint, and ways you can use it to kick start your health.
Thanks for reading and please take time to comment below. It can be about the article itself or other question you have regarding your health.
Cheers -Heather Earles