Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Perfectly Practical #128 - 25 Uses for Mint Leaves

A lovely friend bought some organic mint on clearance then proceeded to promptly message me asking what she should/could/would do with it.  I was all too happy to oblige in regaling her with options for her mint.

Here's what I told her:

  1. Extract - Bruise mint, put it in a jar or decanter and cover it with vodka. Put a lid on it and place it in a dark cupboard. Shake it every couple of weeks for about 6 months and voila! Mint extract to be used in baking (like these meringues.)
  2. Flavored Vodka - Follow instructions as above but don't let it sit as long, about 3 months.  Strain and decant into smaller bottles if giving as gifts.
  3. Syrup - Bruise mint and put in a saucepan with 2 c. sugar and 1 c. water. Bring up to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves then turn off heat. Cover saucepan and leave it to cool. Once cool, strain out mint and put in a jar and keep refrigerated. Put in iced (or hot) tea to flavor and sweeten or in fruit salads.
  4. Jelly - Boil the mint in water.  Strain and follow general herb jelly making practices.  Or you could add it to fruit jellies for a gourmet flair.
  5. Sauce - This is a traditional English accompaniment to roasted lamb.
  6. Tea - Brew with boiling water and sweeten it where it is almost a syrup (if you want the traditional Middle Eastern way) I like it not that sweet.  Drink hot or cold.  
  7. Sorbet - Make a great palate cleanser or light dessert.
  8. Breath Freshener - Chew the leaves to freshen breath.
  9. Dried - Put it in your dehydrator or in a low oven with the door cracked open for several hours so it can be saved for later
  10. Frozen - Throw it in a ziptop in the freezer.
  11. Pulverized -  Use it as a secret ingredient in mint chocolate chip brownies or cake both in the mix and the icing.
  12. Potpourri - Use the dried mint crushed in bowls to scent a room 
  13. Sachets - Use dried in pouches to fragrance your drawers and to deter pests.
  14. Cake Decorations - Paint the fresh leaves with egg whites and coat with sugar and leave on the counter to dry.  
  15. Chocolate Decorations - Paint the fresh leaves with melted chocolate.  Let them cool then peel the leaf away.  Alternatively, you could dip the leaf in chocolate.
  16. Flavor Beverages - Fresh mint in sun tea takes me back to my childhood at my Maw-Maw's house.  I love that flavor.  You can also use mint to flavor water (I often do that for brunches) or lemonade.  Of course what is a Mint Julep without the mint?  :)
  17. Salads - I like fresh mint in green, fruit, or grain salads.
  18. Tummy Ache Relief - Chew on fresh mint or make a tea from it to help relieve tummy issues like indigestion and diarrhea.
  19. Nightcap - Mint has calming properties as does warm milk.  Heat some milk in a saucepan with fresh mint for a great bedtime drink.
  20. Flavored Coffee - Dried Mint or mint extract can be mixed in with coffee grounds to lightly flavor you morning brew.  Or you could use the syrup to sweeten and flavor it.
  21. Gravy - If you are making gravy for lamb, put a pinch of dried mint in it for a little brightness.
  22. Flavored Sugar - Put dried mint in a jar of sugar and shake it every once and awhile for several months.  It will flavor your sugar to be used in coffee, tea, or on sugar cookies.
  23. Infusions - Infuse vinegar or oil by heating them slightly and then pouring the warm liquid over some bruised mint leaves in a jar.  Keep in a dark place for several months shaking the jar every once and awhile.  Use in salad dressings.
  24. Flavored Cream - use the mint extract in place of vanilla to make flavored whipped cream.
  25. Headache Relief - Use directions above for Tummy Ache Relief. 

That's what I came up with but I would love to know:  what interesting things you would do with mint?




This is part of Works for Me Wednesday.

6 comments:

  1. I love the mint extract idea. That is going on my list of gifts to make. I think I'll add mint to my herb garden!

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    1. Just make sure you plant the mint in a pot even if you plant it in the ground. That little booger can get out of control! :) Alternatively, if you don't want to mow the grass in one area of the lawn, plant it there as ground cover. ;)

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  2. I love mint...everything! I really love it in lemonade, delish!

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  3. that is awesome! I had no idea there were so many options!! PS I tried to respond to your comment the other day but you do not have an email set up with your account... :( Just thought I would let you know! *you can change that by going to your settings :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for letting me know Ms. Allie. :)

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Your turn! Let me know what perfectly practical comments you have.

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