Is your mint plant exploding to the point that you feel guilty for not using it?
Yeah, me too.
The great thing about mint is that it smells heavenly and it’s super easy to grow. (Quick tip: always give it it’s own container or it will choke out your garden.) The not-so-great thing about mint is that no one really knows what to do with it, in the US at least, because we mostly see mint in sweet-tasting preparations.
Not anymore! Mint itself is not any sweeter than basil or other more common herbs, you just have to get creative (and maybe a little brave) to try it in savory dishes. It’s really great in just about everything.
Beyond all of that, growing your own herbs is one of the most cost-effective ways to eat well and add a gourmet touch to your food. A sprouted herb plant is only about $3 (even the organic ones!) and will yield food for months, maybe even years. Buying a small packet of herbs at the store is usually $3 or more, and it’s only enough for one recipe. I plant mint, basil, chives, rosemary, thyme, and a few others every year, usually for less than 20 bucks, and I use them almost daily. It’s a no-brainer.
Back to the mint. If you have more mint than you know what to do with this should help…
Berries and mint pair beautifully. Mix plain unsweetened Greek yogurt with strawberries (or mixed berries) and sprinkle with chopped fresh mint. De-lish.
Use 5-10 big leaves or more depending on how strong you want it. Tear the leaves and place in a mug, then muddle the leaves for a few seconds with the back of a wooden spoon. Pour hot (not boiling) water over the leaves and let steep 5-10 minutes. You can remove the leaves or leave them in (punny!) – I leave them in and eat them as I sip.
Add 3-4 fresh mint leaves to your chocolate protein smoothie for a delicious variety. I love ice, water, chocolate protein powder, flax seeds, and mint whipped up in the blender. Mint is wonderful in berry smoothies, too.
This combo is DELICIOUS alone as a side or on top of mixed greens as a salad, or use it as a bruschetta topper with a whole grain baguette and goat cheese. Your friends will be impressed. The measurements are fluid, I’d say about 2 cups halved or quartered strawberries mixed with 10-20 leaves each of chopped mint and basil. 3-4 tablespoons of a high-quality aged balsamic will finish it perfectly.
Muddle 5-8 mint leaves in the bottom of a glass. Add ice, a healthy squeeze of lime and club soda with a few drops of stevia to sweeten. (Is it 5 o’clock somewhere? Turn this into a low-sugar mojito by adding an ounce of white rum if you so please.)
Just four ingredients and this salad will wow you. Add a sprinkle of sea salt to round out the flavors. Again, the measurements are fluid, use the same measurements as the strawberry salad above.
Homemade popsicles are an easy, healthy, and delicious treat. These pops require only 4 ingredients and you will love them. Grab my Watermelon Mint Pops recipe here.
A handful of fresh mint makes any pesto pop. Give it a try here with my favorite vegan pesto recipe.
You can also try mint in any one of these great salads:
Add fresh mint to plain or sparkling water, or even freeze whole leaves in ice cubes to add beautiful color to your beverage.
Freeze whole mint leaves into ice cubes for a pretty (and tasty) addition to your water. Place 2-3 small whole mint leaves (or a few torn large ones) into an ice cube tray (look for a BFA-free or silicone one). Add purified water and freeze. If you boil the water your ice cubes will be crystal clear; let it cool to room temp before adding it to your ice cube trays.
These ideas will get you started so we can all finally stop the mint guilt.
Do you have any other great ways to use up fresh mint? Add it in the comments below to share with other readers in our community.
Instead of prescribing what I think you should do, I help you find what works for you.