Growing Mint? Here Are 10 Clever Ways To Use It
If you’re like many, you grew mint this year thinking a sprig or two would be refreshing in your summer iced tea. But as you may have already discovered, mint is a very prolific plant and now you’ve got more of it than you know what to do with. We’ve got some clever uses for all that mint so it doesn’t go to waste!
1. Add It To Drinks
Whether you’re making mojitos, mocktails, iced tea, or fresh lemonade, your garden mint can add the perfect refreshing taste to any summer drink. Just toss a few sprigs in each glass or pitcher!
2. Freshen Up Your Fresh Spring Rolls
Fresh spring rolls are a delicious and healthy meal on a hot summer night and are a great way to make use of your mint. Give them a try with this recipe here.
3. Make Mint Ice Cubes
Freeze a mint leaf in a large silicone cube tray (available at most dollar stores) to add pizzaz to your summer drinks. Your guests will love them!
4. Make Your Own Mint Tea
You can buy pre-made mint tea bags, but it’s so easy to make your own! Just steep your fresh mint leaves in boiling water for about five minutes and serve. Sweeten with honey if desired. It’s a great digestive aid after a big meal.
5. Add It To Your Fruit Salad And Fruit Salsas
Mix a few leaves in for a refreshing treat.
6. Make A Fresh Mint Oil Rub
For an effective home remedy for sore muscles, crush fresh mint leaves with a mallet or a mortar and pestle to release the oils. Place the mint in a jar and cover it with about 2 oz. of a flavorless, odorless carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or almond oil. Shake to combine. Place the jar in a warm place for 24 hours, then strain the oil through a piece of cheesecloth to remove the mint leaves. Apply topically to soothe sore muscles.
7. Whip Up A Batch Of Healthy Tabouleh Salad
One of the key ingredients in tabouleh (besides bulghur wheat) is fresh mint. It’s a tasty dish that’s easy to make and so good for you!
Cool And Healthy Tabouleh Salad
Tabouleh is a classic Middle Eastern salad served cold that’s so flavorful and good for you. Great on its own, or served with homemade pita bread and hummus to make a perfect summertime meal.
- 1 cup bulgur wheat* (See instructions below.)
- 1 cup boiling water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 fresh lemons juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
- ¼ cup scallions, sliced
- 2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1½ cups cucumbers, chopped
- 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- ¾ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- Place bulgur wheat in a large bowl and add boiling water. Let it sit for 30 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. Let cool completely.
- While the bulgur is soaking, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Add the minced garlic and set aside.
- When the bulgur is ready, add the scallions, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and fresh mint. Top with dressing and toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill for 1 hour. Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Salad will keep for 2 days.
- Bulgur wheat is available in the rice and grains section of your supermarket. You may substitute quinoa for bulgur wheat to make the salad gluten-free. You may also add a can of drained chickpeas if you want to add more protein.
8. Make A Sachet Of Homemade Mint Potpourri
Dry fresh mint leaves in your dehydrator or in the oven at the lowest temperature. Once dried, chop them and place them in a cloth bag. Secure with a ribbon and keep them inside drawers, or give them as gifts this holiday season—tell your friends and neighbors it’s mint from your garden!
9. Use Mint To Repel Bugs
Many critters find mint unpleasant. Try these repellent ideas:
- Make a spray repellent by adding fresh mint leaves and a few citrus peels in a small pan covered with water. Bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to sit overnight, and then strain out the solids. Add 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol and add to a spray bottle. Then spray on your body before going outdoors (be careful of clothing to avoid staining).
- Use the oil of fresh mint to repel biting insects. If there’s no time to create a spray, just crush a few leaves and rub the oils on your skin. Note: Garden mint is not safe for pets.
- In places where ants are a problem, crush some mint leaves in your hand to release the oils, then scatter them around where you see ants in your home.
10. Make A Healthy “Shamrock” Milkshake For St. Patrick’s Day (Or Any Day!)
- 2½ cups milk (dairy or non-dairy, such as coconut milk, almond milk, or oat milk)
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 banana
- ½ avocado
- 8 fresh mint leaves
- Optional: honey or maple syrup to sweeten
- Optional Healthy Toppings: Cacao nibs, mint leaves
- Place everything except whipped coconut cream and toppings in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses and top with whipped coconut cream, and sprinkle with toppings of your choice. Serves 2.
Article written by the Farmers’ Almanac Staff.
Printed courtesy of Farmers’ Almanac.