Two great things about owning a mint plant: it smells heavenly, and it’s simple to grow. (Quick tip: always place mint in its own container, or it will choke out your garden).
However, if you’re like me, you seem to always have more mint than you know what to do with. Many people feel unsure where to use mint outside of a dessert recipe.
Here’s a secret: Mint itself is not any sweeter than basil or other more common fresh herbs. You just have to get creative (and maybe a little brave) to try it in savory dishes.
What is fresh mint good for? Fresh mint has many uses ranging from digestion issues to boosting your immunity and skin health. It’s ideal for adding into juices, smoothies, and so many recipes.
I can’t wait to share 14 creative ways to use fresh mint throughout your day. (Note: This post originally started as 10 ways to use fresh mint, and I keep adding to it as I find new great ways to use mint!)
Health Benefits of Fresh Mint
Fresh mint is not just delicious; it also has some amazing health benefits.
- Aid in digestion and digestive health (try some to soothe your upset stomach)
- Relieve symptoms of IBS, indigestion, and heartburn
- Possibly relieve tension headaches
- Provide a great source of vitamins & minerals
- Boost your skin health
- Ease nasal breathing
- Balance the oral microbiome
- Serve as a low-calorie, low-glycemic alternative to flavored beverages when mixed with still or sparkling water (mint contains only about 5 calories per 2 tablespoons)
Types of Fresh Mint to Use
Are mint leaves edible? Yes, mint leaves are edible, whether raw or cooked.
When you think of mint, you probably think of peppermint. However, there are a variety of delicious mint variations that you can try.
These can include:
- Wild mint
- Chocolate mint
- Apple mint
Benefits of Growing Your Own Fresh Mint
I absolutely love growing my own fresh mint.
Growing your 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. Plus, you have complete control over how it is grown.
I plant mint, basil, chives, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, green onions, and a few others every year, usually for less than 20 bucks, and I use them almost daily. It’s truly a no-brainer.
How do you preserve fresh mint? You can preserve fresh mint in the refrigerator or dehydrate it for later use.
If you aren’t a plant person or get caught in a bind, you can also pick some fresh mint up at your local grocery store.
Where is fresh mint in the grocery store? Fresh mint is found in the refrigerated herb area, typically near the fresh produce.
If your mint is growing faster than you know what to do with, I’ve got you covered.
14 of the Best Ways to Use Fresh Mint
There are many ways to use fresh mint, from smoothies to pesto to fresh mint face masks. It’s an incredibly versatile, tasty herb.
1. Add Fresh Mint to Greek Yogurt with Berries
I absolutely love pairing these ingredients together. Mix plain unsweetened Greek yogurt with strawberries (or mixed berries) and sprinkle with chopped fresh mint. De-lish.
In fact, mint is an ideal garnish for your average snack and tastes so yummy.
2. Make Tea from Fresh Mint Leaves
One idea for using fresh mint is to make tea from the mint leaves.
Fresh mint tea is loaded with benefits, like:
- Vitamin A
- Only 2 mg of sodium
- 0 cholesterol or fat
- 1% of your daily recommended dose of iron and potassium
- Plenty of antioxidants
Here’s how to make DIY mint tea:
- Use 5-10 big leaves or more, depending on how strong you want it.
- Tear the leaves and place them in a mug.
- In the mug, muddle the leaves for a few seconds with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Pour hot water (not boiling) over the leaves.
- Let steep for 5-10 minutes.
You can remove the leaves or leave them in (like my pun?) — I leave them in and eat them as I sip.
For other fun mint tea recipes, make sure to check out my article on Peppermint Tea Health Benefits.
3. Change Up Your Protein Smoothie
Just imagine this — chocolate and mint, without the high sugar and fat content of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Win-win!
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. It’s packed with flavor and health benefits.
Mint is also fantastic in berry smoothies. Honestly, I’ve never met a smoothie that mint didn’t enhance.
4. Mix Up Your Salad Game
Strawberry, Mint, Basil, and Balsamic Salad
Here is a yummy way to boost any green salad — strawberry, mint, basil, and balsamic. Your friends will be impressed, and it’s honestly so easy.
The measurements are relatively fluid. I’d say you’ll need:
- About 2 cups halved or quartered strawberries
- 10-20 leaves each of chopped mint and basil
- 3-4 tablespoons of a high-quality aged balsamic
- Optional: A dash of lemon juice, if you like a little more “zip”
Simply mix it all together in a bowl, and there you have it.
This combo is delicious alone as a side dish, or on top of mixed greens as a salad. You can also use it as a bruschetta topper with a whole grain baguette and goat cheese.
Watermelon, Basil, and Mint Salad with Feta
With just 4 ingredients, this salad will seriously wow you. Add a sprinkle of sea salt to round out the flavors. Simply mix together:
- 2 cups of chopped watermelon
- 10-20 leaves each of chopped mint and basil
- 1 cup of feta cheese
You can also try mint in any one of these great salads:
- Quinoa Tabouli With Parsley & Mint
- Chopped Summer Kale Salad Recipe
- Mediterranean Herb Quinoa Salad Recipe
5. Mint Sauce and Mint Jelly
Fresh mint is the perfect way to boost your mint sauce and mint jelly.
If it’s your first time trying out mint-based condiments, there’s a slight difference between the two. Mint sauce is more vinegar-based, whereas mint jelly is sweeter.
Mint-based sauce and jellies can be found in many traditional Middle Eastern, South Indian, or lamb-based dishes.
6. Make a Mint Lime Fizzler
A mint lime fizzler is the perfect summer drink. To make your own:
- Muddle 5-8 mint leaves in the bottom of a glass.
- Add ice, a healthy squeeze of lime, and club soda.
- Optionally, use a few drops of stevia to sweeten.
Adult version: Turn this into a low-sugar mojito by adding an ounce of white rum if you fancy a little afternoon cocktail. Is it 5 o’clock yet?
7. Cool Off This Summer with Watermelon Mint Popsicles
Is there any better treat for a hot summer day than a popsicle? Imagine the delicious flavors of watermelon, lime, mint, and a dash of honey. Talk about tasty.
Try my recipe for the yummiest homemade Watermelon Mint Popsicles for a quick summer treat.
8. Add Fresh Mint to Basil Pesto (or any pesto, really)
A handful of fresh mint makes any pesto pop. Give it a try here with my favorite vegan pesto recipe. Plus, it’s gluten-free — a double win for both health and tastebuds.
9. Spruce Up Your Water
Add fresh mint to plain or sparkling water to imbue it with taste without adding sugar or many calories. Plus, it looks vibrant.
If you’d like to take it a step further, mint ice cubes are a pretty and flavorful option for your water. Here’s how to do it:
- 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.
Note: If you boil the water, your ice cubes will be crystal clear, which is the look I prefer. Just be sure to let it cool to room temp before adding it to your ice cube trays.
10. Give Your Lemonade a Twist
Those mint ice cubes can be used in more than just water.
Next time you pour a glass of lemonade, add a few mint ice cubes or a sprig of mint to your drink for a refreshing twist. Lemon and mint are a perfect match.
11. Try Making a Watermelon Fruit Pizza with Mint
I know, I know this sounds odd. Fruit and pizza aren’t usually paired together.
It’s not quite what you think. This watermelon pizza is made only from fresh fruit. It has a watermelon base topped with the most delicious fruits, vanilla coconut cream sauce, and mint.
12. Mint Up Your Fresh Juices
I love adding a sprig or two of mint while I’m juicing. It can help cut down on acidic tastes from leafy veggies and add a twist to sweeter juices.
I use fresh mint in my Watermelon Juice recipe, but it’s applicable in almost any of my other juice recipes like:
13. Fresh Mint Face Mask
Now, this one may sound a little weird, but hold your judgment. Have you ever heard of Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty?
The crowning jewel of this mask is its refreshing minty smell and feel on the skin from using peppermint essential oil and mint. Try crushing a few peppermint leaves and adding them to your favorite clay mask mixture for an at-home dupe. Your skin will look and feel refreshed.
14. Dry Mint Leaves for an At-Home Spa Experience
Take a few sprigs of fresh mint leaves and hang them upside down for a few days to fully dry. Once the mint leaves are dry, you can add these to Epsom salts to make a nice mix for your next bath.
Try experimenting with some essential oils like lavender and sweet orange to add to the minty Epsom salt soak.
What Are Your Favorite Ways to Use Fresh Mint?
These ideas will get you started, but there are truly almost endless ways to incorporate mint into your home, diet, and self-care.
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.
- The mechanism of action of peppermint oil on gastrointestinal smooth muscle: an analysis using patch clamp electrophysiology and isolated tissue pharmacology in rabbit and guinea pig.
- The effects of oral administration of (—)‐menthol on nasal resistance to airflow and nasal sensation of airflow in subjects suffering from nasal congestion associated with the common cold.
- Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents.