Don't minimize mint by relegating it to a mere garnish. We elevate mint to the status it deserves by making it the focal ingredient in these refreshing recipes.
It’s high time for a resurgence of the refreshing tongue-tingling taste of mint! All too often, fresh mint seems to be an afterthought in a dish—cornered into the role of decorative garnish. Take a closer look and you can start to appreciate why many different cuisines use this unique herb in a plethora of dishes that extend well beyond icy muddled drinks and minty chocolate desserts. Just like other garden herbs, the mint family of plants includes many varieties, each with its own unique flavour profile. From sweet and refreshing, such as apple mint, orange mint, or chocolate mint, to varieties that are more sharp and spicy tasting, such as Moroccan mint or peppermint, mint is an ideal herb to use in all styles of recipes. When eaten on a regular basis, mint may also help promote a healthy digestive system by easing an upset stomach, aiding digestion, and helping to treat headaches, skin irritations, and menstrual cramps. Whether buying mint or gathering it from your garden, make sure to look for bright green, perky leaves with no signs of brown spots or wilting. Once in the kitchen, mint is best stored by placing the stems in a tall glass or container filled with a couple of inches of water. Loosely covered and kept in the refrigerator, mint should last for about one week. To maintain mint’s freshness, change the water every other day. With all that mint has going for it, there is no better time to start experimenting in the kitchen. Stirring garden mint into your favourite summer dishes, no matter which variety you choose, is sure to add a pleasing and unexpected twist that your family and friends will just eat up!
Drying your own garden mint ensures you have a supply at hand throughout the colder months. Here’s how:
A quick search will reveal many more types of mint than those used in the recipes here. Try experimenting with banana mint, lavender mint, pineapple mint, habek mint, or curly spearmint in the following ways.
Like most herbs, dried mint tends to have a more concentrated and potent flavour than its fresh counterpart. In cooking, the general rule is to use 1 tsp (5 mL) dried mint for every 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh mint.