In an earlier post, we explored ways to use more fresh herbs in your kitchen, starting with parsley, one of the most nutritious, inexpensive, and versatile herbs. Remember, cooking with herbs adds a ton of fresh, vibrant flavor to meals, which helps you cut back on the amount of salt you use in everything you cook. Cooking with herbs is also one of the simplest ways to power up your plate with extra vitamins, minerals and health-protective phytochemicals – because herbs are simply packed with nutrients. Today I’d like to share some recipes with you using and cooking with mint, another one of my favorite herbs.
You can usually buy mint in small packages at the market, but if you have a garden, or mint in a pot on a sunny patio, you might already know how easy it is to grow your own.
In fact, once mint has started to grow somewhere, it can be challenging to keep it under control.
So, chances are; if you have mint growing somewhere, there is a lot of it, so let’s see how we can use it in the kitchen!
Mint comes in lots of different varieties – spearmint, peppermint, and a bunch of different flavors, like pineapple, apple, and even chocolate. Some are milder than others, so you might want to sample the mint that you have before cooking with it – to help you determine how much to use. The flavor of some mints can be pretty strong, so it is best to start with a small amount in your dishes. You can always add more mint if you want more flavor. And, you might want to choose different kinds of mint for different dishes.
One of my very favorite ways to use mint is to flavor pitchers of water with it. Watch video for spa water demonstration or click on the link below for the complete recipe.
Another simple way to use mint is to add it to fruit, vegetable and grain salads for a fresh burst of flavor and nutrients. Mint goes well with any type of lettuce, grains, noodles, a bunch of different vegetables, and is especially good tossed with fruit. It is also a common herb in many different cuisines, including Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Thai and Vietnamese meals.
Because mint leaves are a bit chewy, I like to slice them into thin strips before adding them to some dishes. The technique used for cutting herbs and green leafy vegetables into thin strips is called chiffonade. It’s a handy technique that can make fresh herbs and leafy vegetables pretty to look at and nice to eat.
Mint is used a lot in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking, where it is often served on a plate with other fresh herbs, like basil and parsley, and is eaten alongside the main meal, with fresh bread and olive oil or butter. It is also found all over the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean in many variations of salads featuring tomatoes, onion, and lemon. Here’s my own version of a Middle Eastern chopped salad and cabbage salad with lime and orange. (click video to view demonstration or links below for the complete recipes).
As you can see, herbs like mint can transform basic foods and dishes into something refreshing and flavorful without much extra time or money. Using herbs really reduces the amount of salt you need to add to foods and remember; herbs are some of the most nutritious foods available in the market or your garden.
What a delicious way to enjoy better health!
Thanks for joining me and I’ll see you next time, in Your Healthy Kitchen!
or click here to watch Cooking with Mint on YouTube.
Download the Mint Goes Well with These Foods .pdf: mint-goes-well-with-these-foods
Download the Spa Water with Mint, Ginger, Lemon and Cucumbers Recipe: spa-water-with-mint-ginger-lemon-and-cucumbers
Download the Fruit Parfait with Coconut and Mint Recipe: fruit-parfait-with-coconut-and-mint
Download the Middle Eastern Chopped Salad Recipe: middle-eastern-chopped-salad
Download the Simple Cabbage Salad with Mint and Orange Recipe: simple-cabbage-salad-with-mint-and-orange
Download the Rice or Soba Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Herbs Recipe: rice-or-soba-noodle-salad-with-vegetables-and-herbs