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In the Mood for Mint

By Alana Sugar, July 13, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
MintHot weather brings cooling herbs and the "coolest" by far is fresh mint. If you planted some in your garden this year, it's probably going crazy growing about now! We all know the pleasing flavor of mint - it's in everything from toothpaste to gum and, of course, "mints." That initial peppery bite of mint is followed by a deep coolness - perfect for the hot months of summer. As an added bonus, mint promotes healthy digestion - making it a perfect addition to your favorite dishes. According to garden experts, there are over 15 varieties of the mint plant. Red mints of the peppermint variety are stronger in flavor and aroma than spearmint and other varieties of green mints, but they all share that common cooling taste. It's really a personal preference as to which you choose to use. Check our produce departments or your local farmers' market if you don't have a personal supply of fresh mint. Fresh herbs generally taste best when used raw or in recipes that are cooked for a short period of time. If your dish needs to cook a while, just add some fresh mint at the end and cook for a minute or two more. If your recipe calls for dried mint, try substituting two tablespoons fresh mint for every one teaspoon of dried. There are no hard and fast rules, so feel free to vary according to taste. Cucomber Mint SoupI think fresh mint is just perfect for cooling drinks as well as fruit and vegetable salads. It's also delicious in marinades and dressings or simply slivered and sprinkled over just about anything you've grilled out-doors. Want to add more mint to your diet and your life? Try these ideas:
  • Add fresh mint to smoothies - especially wonderful with berries and stone fruit.
  • Add fresh mint to any grain salad - tabbouleh, couscous, quinoa, wild rice, etc. Try this refreshing barley salad with mint.
  • Add fresh mint slivers to salad dressings and dips, or puree the ingredients all together in the blender.
  • Add mint to chilled fruit soup - especially wonderful with melon!
  • Add mint to Gazpacho or cold cucumber soup.
  • Sprinkle mint over grilled lamb or seafood. Or try these lamb patties.
  • Lamb Stir FryAdd fresh mint to a stir fry. Try Rosemary and Mint Lamb Stir Fry with Apricot Couscous.
  • Stir fresh mint into yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream or ricotta cheese.
  • Add fresh mint to vegetables salads, grilled or raw.
  • Fresh mint is perfect with summer fruits - toss into a salad or sprinkle over berries or melon. This one is unique: Tomato and Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint.
  • Moroccan Mint TeaMake simple hot mint tea by pouring hot water over finely minced fresh mint leaves and steep for 5-10 minutes. Add honey or agave if desired. For extra tummy soothing, mix in a little fresh grated ginger root. Try this delightful Moroccan Mint Tea.
  • Brewing iced tea? Mint is great with black, white, green or herbal tea.
  • Blend brewed mint tea with fruit juice such as apple or pomegranate.
  • Try a couple of mint leaves along with lettuce or baby spinach leaves on your sandwich.
  • Minted Strawberry FoolStir a little mint into cooked peas and carrots.
  • Garnish vegetable soup with mint.
  • Add mint to homemade or prepared pesto sauce.
  • Try some fresh mint in pasta salad.
  • Add some minced mint leaves to ice cream or frozen yogurt. Or make a Minted Strawberry Fool.
Got any favorite ways to use fresh mint? I would love to hear.
Category: Healthy Eating

 

9 Comments

Comments

Linda says ...
I add a handful of chopped mint along with several other herbs and a tablespoon of capers to mmy pasta primavera. It takes the flavors way over the top.
07/19/2009 12:53:29 PM CDT
Jennifer says ...
Make a mojito!
07/21/2009 1:51:33 PM CDT
Bertha says ...
I have very special memories from when I was a young girl of going out into my grandmother's back yard and picking fresh mint in the summer to add to each glass of ice tea. I have some of that same mint. We doug up some of the roots and transfered to our yard. To this day I like to pick fresh mint and add it to my ice tea.
07/24/2009 8:18:07 AM CDT
Karim says ...
Check out my Moroccan mint tea recipe :) http://www.moroccan-recipes.com I love whole foods.
12/06/2009 11:44:08 AM CST
Gil says ...
Why is it that any time I am looking for a product, I can never simply find it. This site is too diffucult to maneuver and find what I am looking for with just one key word. Can any body help me out. It would be nice to have a search engine to get at what I need as soon as I pull up the main page.
03/31/2010 8:02:19 PM CDT
vaughnm says ...
Since our product selection varies from store to store, our product section online is meant more as a food guide than a comprehensive list of items we carry. Please check in with your local store/s for any questions or requests about specific products. Thanks! http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/all/index.php
04/02/2010 8:54:29 AM CDT
Cathy McDonald says ...
I have cultivated a beautiful, prolific patch of spearmint, lemon mint and one that has funky leaves! This year, I have bruised the leaves and made a wonderful sugar base for drinks to cool off with, from Sangria to lemonade! Thanks for these additions to my growing repertoire. Oh, just steep the green leaves over the stove or in a tea pot to drink and smell for relief of cold and stuffiness!
06/24/2010 11:14:39 AM CDT
Michelle McIntyre says ...
Do you have any fresh mint or peppermint leaves in stock right now?
05/07/2013 10:05:10 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MICHELLE - While mint and peppermint are commonly carried in our stores, the availability of fresh product can vary between stores. Check with your local store to see if they have some in stock!
05/09/2013 12:19:50 PM CDT