Mint is a joy to grow and it deserves to take place in any kitchen herb garden. It is a little invasive and spreads quickly and you might end up with an abundance of this zesty herb at the end of the growing season. You don’t have to worry about that, just learn all you need to know about harvesting and using homegrown mint.
How to Harvest & Prepare Mint
Frequently harvest small amounts of the leaves for your culinary and medicinal uses because that will keep your mint at its best. You’ll be encouraging the herb to fill out and you’ll be using the young leaves which have more flavor.
Don’t harvest more than one-third of the entire plant at any one time until the end of the season.
Cut the stems to one inch from the ground right before it starts to flower, but only in case your plant is growing outdoors. Harvest one mint plant two or three times in one growing season.
The leaves can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days and the mint springs will keep for a few days in water. It’s best to use them immediately or preserve them by freezing or air-drying.
Fantastic Ways To Use Your Beautifully Fragrant Mint Leaves
As a Food:
Vinegar & Oils
This is one of the most convenient ways to use up mint leaves. Mint flavored vinegar works amazingly with apple cider vinegar and peppercorns. It is a perfect for salad dressings or homemade flavored mayonnaise.
Using mint when flavoring broth can enliven some fantastic summer soups. Orange, carrot, and mint are a delicious combination, but a fresh, creamy and healthy pea and mint soup is always a winner.
Sauces, Chutneys, and Dips
Sauces and dips can have a stunning flavor thanks to mint. There is a fantastic traditional mint sauce with roast lamb if you love a classic English flavor. Whip up a mint pesto using parsley, garlic, lemon, and oil and use it for flavoring all manner of meat or vegetable dishes.
Summer is all about refreshing drinks and most of them are based around mint. Try a verbena mint cocktail or a delicious Lady Grey tea. It is a delicious lemon and mint vodka drink which can also be made alcohol free. A minty lemonade or a cucumber, apple and mint smoothie is also a perfect way to start the day.
As a Medicine:
Mint Essential Oil
Make your own mint essential oil from your organic and homegrown plant. In that way, you’ll reap its many health benefits such as relief from nausea, stress, indigestion, respiratory problems, allergies, and more. Simply infuse mint leaves in a carrier oil for three to six weeks, leaving in a warm and sunny place.
Stress Relieving Bath
One if the easiest and most blissful ways to relax and unwind after a hard day is to take a bath in soothing warm water. Adding a little mint oil or some fresh mint leaves to the tub may double its stress relieving effect. The menthol acts as a muscle relaxant, helping work out stress-induced aches and pains.
Quell Nausea and Aid Digestion
Peppermint helps to soothe an upset stomach and aid digestion as it relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract. Also, it makes the flow of bile more efficient and helps to ease gas and associated symptoms.
Natural Body Deodorizer
Eat more fresh mint and smell sweet naturally. There are natural body deodorizers and mint is one of them. Reduce your body odor naturally by eating more mint.