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If you grow mint, you will have excess mint to use. I hate wasting my garden production, so I learned a ton of ways to use my excess produce from the garden.
If you have excess mint, there are several enjoyable and practical ways to use it. Mint is a versatile herb that can be used in various culinary and non-culinary applications. Here are some ideas for the mint you grow.
Culinary Uses for Mint
- Excess mint leaves can be added to drinks like water, iced tea, lemonade, or cocktails for a refreshing twist.
- Mint can be used to make sauces like mint chutney or tzatziki. And you can make pesto with mint instead of basil.
- Use mint leaves as a garnish for salads, soups, desserts, or even savory dishes like curries and grilled meats.
- Mint can be used to flavor baked goods like cookies, cakes, and brownies. Make minty desserts: Create mint-flavored desserts such as mint chocolate chip ice cream, mint chocolate truffles, or mint panna cotta.
- Make homemade mint tea by steeping fresh or dried mint leaves in hot water. You can enjoy it hot or cold and even combine it with other herbs or tea leaves for unique flavors.
- Minty marinades: Incorporate mint into marinades for meats, especially lamb or chicken.
Cucumber mint water
Make mint-infused water. Cucumber mint water is a personal favorite of ours. It’s so refreshing and puts a little pep in your step. There are a lot of combinations of infused waters such as mint water. Experiment with a few and enjoy the refreshing and benefits they offer.
Mint water benefits
Making mint water has a ton of benefits, here are a few:
- Improved digestion: Mint has long been used to help alleviate digestive issues. Drinking mint water can help soothe an upset stomach, reduce gas, and relieve indigestion. The menthol in mint can relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, promoting smoother digestion.
- Reduced nausea: Mint water may help alleviate nausea and motion sickness. The aroma of mint can have a calming effect on the stomach and may reduce feelings of queasiness.
- Fresh breath: Mint is known for its ability to freshen breath. Drinking mint water can help combat bad breath, and the menthol in mint can provide a cooling sensation in the mouth and throat.
- Hydration: Mint water is a great way to make plain water more appealing, encouraging you to drink more and stay hydrated. Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and well-being.
- Antioxidant properties: Mint contains antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants may also support overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Stress relief: The aroma of mint can have a calming effect on the mind and body. Sipping on mint water may help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
- Weight management: Some people find that drinking mint water can help control their appetite and reduce cravings for unhealthy snacks. Mint’s flavor can be satisfying and may curb the desire for sugary or high-calorie beverages.
- Skin benefits: Topical application of mint water or using it as a facial toner can help soothe irritated skin and reduce redness or inflammation.
- Allergy relief: Mint may have mild anti-inflammatory properties that can provide relief from seasonal allergies and respiratory discomfort.
- Improved focus and alertness: The scent of mint is invigorating and may help improve mental clarity, focus, and alertness.
There are several ways to preserve mint for later use, we like to do both of these:
- Freeze mint leaves: Wash and chop the mint leaves, then freeze them in ice cube trays with a bit of water. These mint cubes can be used in beverages or cooking throughout the year.
- Dry mint leaves: Hang bundles of mint upside down in a cool, dark place to air dry. Once dried, store the leaves in an airtight container for use in teas and cooking.
You can also make homemade mint extract to use in baking throughout the year. It has a different flavor than store-bought mint extract and is so lovely. I much prefer it over the artificial-tasting stuff you can buy.
Homemade Beauty and Personal Care
Mint-infused oils: Make mint-infused oils by steeping mint leaves in a carrier oil like olive oil. These oils can be used for massage, as a hair treatment, or in homemade skincare products. b. Minty bath: Add a handful of fresh mint leaves to your bath for a relaxing and invigorating experience.
Gift or Share: If you have more mint than you can use, consider giving some to friends, family, or neighbors who might appreciate it. Create homemade gifts like mint-infused oils, mint-scented candles, or mint sugar scrubs to share with others.
Peppermint mosquito repellant
Planting mint in your garden to help repel pests like ants and flies. Mint’s strong scent can deter these insects. It also can deter deer and other animals that destroy gardens. And you can make homemade mosquito spray to help keep the biting insects off you in the summer.
Remember that mint is a fast-growing herb, so it’s a good idea to regularly trim it to prevent it from taking over your garden. You can use the trimmings in all these ways mentioned and more. Enjoy the versatility and freshness that excess mint can bring to your culinary and daily life. There’s nothing else like it!