Do you have some mint in your garden or on your balcony? If yes, you probably have realized mint is a fast-growing herb. Mint can easily take over the entire space. You should take care of your mint, that other plants nearby won’t suffer. Last weekend we had to cut a lot of mint and we were wondering what we can do with it. Making fresh mint tea was one option. However, the amount of mint was so much, that we would have a very hard time drinking all the tea. So we investigated …
The first thing which came to our mind was drying the mint for tea and herb infusions in the winter. Drying mint is easy and preserves the mint for a long time. Simply follow these instructions:
- Get a lot of mint, get it with the stems, not just the leaves.
- Discard all limp and brown leaves.
- Create bundles of the stems with the leaves.
- Hang to dry at a dark and warm place. Direct sunlight will turn the leaves into a brown color. This is not what you want.
- Drying process is done once all leaves rustle.
- Harvest the dried leaves by simply removing the stems.
- Put the dry leaves into an airtight container or a tea box. Store mint in whole leaves and crush it just before using it. The flavor and aroma will last longer this way.
- Label the container with the current date.
- Enjoy some tea and herb infusion.
What to do with the dried Mint?
You can use your dried mint in different ways. In general, mint is a common ingredient in middle eastern cuisine. Mint is often used as a refreshing ingredient if combined in hearty dishes. Think of this garlicky and slightly spicy mint yogurt you had last time with your BBQ. Moroccans drink mint tea since it provides cooling effects during hot days. Here are a few examples what you can do with your mint:
- Mint Yoghurt Sauce
- Greek style Tzatziki
- Mint Gremolata (not only perfect with meat, also goes super well with potatoes and other root vegetables fresh from the grill)
- Mint Tea
Health Facts about Mint
Mint has a bunch of positive health effects. Menthol from mint essential oils has most positive effects. Here is a list of mint’s health benefits.
- Activates salivary glands, getting the digestive juices flowing and soothes stomach inflammation.
- Eases sensations of nausea and when applied topically, is very useful in banishing headaches.
- Helpful when dealing with congestion as compounds in mint aid in opening up the nasal passage as well as those of the lungs and bronchi.
- Freshens breath (we all know this one!) and inhibits the growth of bacteria inside the mouth.
- Soothes the digestive tract and reducing the severity and length of stomach aches.
- Eases the discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
- Slows the growth of many of the most harmful bacteria and fungi.
- Can be helpful for allergies and asthma thanks to the well-documented antifungal properties.
- Mint contains a phytonutrient called perillyl alcohol, which has been shown to prevent the formation of colon, skin, and lung cancer.