What Will I Do With All That Mint?
I recently divided all my mint plants into new containers. It looks like this year will be a bumper crop. Right now I have peppermint, orange mint, apple mint and chocolate mint growing on the deck. Spearmint will soon follow. I had a reader ask, “What are the other uses for mint besides tea?” Here’s my answer.
Mint is such a versatile herb; no garden should be without it. Growing tip: plant it in damp places to produce strongly scented leaves.
Also, mint can be propagated through cuttings. So, if you’ve bought a mint plant that you’d like to grow in your garden, just cut the stem below a node from where leaves sprout, remove most of the leaves except for the top ones, and place the cutting in either damp soil or water away from direct sunlight.
To boost your chances of success, use a natural rooting hormone on the cuttings while your at it. Check out our posts on making natural rooting hormone at home and DIY willow water first.
Now, let’s look beyond mint tea and figure out what else you can with a big patch of mint.
You Can Use Mint Fresh or Dried in Cooking
Add fresh sprigs of chopped mint to your green salad. Go lightly at first, you don’t want to overwhelm your taste buds!
Add fresh mint and cilantro to your homemade salsa. Try a search for recipes at your favorite online site. Change up your mango salsa by adding fresh mint. This easy recipe from Tailgater Monthly will give you all the details.
Mint Goes Great With Eggs and Omelets
- Choose two fresh mint sprigs; remove the leaves from the stalk and wash, clean and chop the mint leaves.
- Crack the eggs in a bowl; add a small amount of milk, salt, and pepper, and then whisk.
- Heat a frying pan, greased with a tablespoon of butter.
- Quickly add the eggs.
- Cook for a few minutes allowing the eggs to form soft curds. Now add the chopped mint leaves and continue cooking.
- I like to cook my eggs until they are done but not completely set; with enough moisture, they will keep cooking after you remove them from the heat.
Make mint jelly with fresh spearmint leaves and granny smith apples – directions can be found at Simply Recipes. Spice up your mint jelly with jalapeno by following this recipe from Epicurious.
Mint Adds Zing to Your Cream Cheese Spread
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup fresh orange mint washed and chopped (substitute your favorite mint)
- 2 tablespoons lemon or orange zest
- ¼ cup orange juice or lemon juice (depending on your taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Try strawberries and mint in cream cheese, Neufchatel or goat cheese. Click the link to get the recipe from Kraft Recipes.
Make garlic-mint-yogurt spread and add a Mediterranean slant to whatever you put it on. Try it with fries, on a burger, or as a dip with grilled fish.
If you are also growing a bumper crop of basil, Two Lazy Gourmets has a mouthwatering recipe for basil mint pesto. Use 2 cups basil to 1 cup mint. They promise it’s so tasty you’ll want to eat it with a spoon! This is first on my to do recipes once the basil gets going.
This minted butter recipe, from Taste of Home, has the potential for versatility! Use it on peas, asparagus, broccoli, scones, and biscuits. Dump the sugar and add chives for a savory spread.
Make your own mint extract to use in cooking or give as gifts. It takes two months to make, so get started as soon as you have enough fresh leaves. Here are directions from The Prairie Homestead.
Make mint syrup
- Chop 1 ½ cups mint leaves
- In a saucepan bring sugar, water to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved
- Simmer syrup, undisturbed, 2 minutes
- Remove from heat and allow to cool
- Add the mint to a lidded container
- Pour the syrup over it, covering completely
- Steep the mint in the syrup for 24-48hrs
- Remove mint leaves and enjoy!
- Syrup keeps, covered and chilled, 2 weeks
Use fresh or dried mint in household preparations
Repel ants with mint. According to Small Notebook, mint destroys the smelling capabilities of ants and prevents them from entering your home. You can use fresh mint plants around your doors and windows or use dried mint in herbal preparations.
In the bath – make a chamomile mint bath soak to take before bedtime. Soothing!
Make a strong peppermint tea infusion to use on your hair. Used along with nettle leaves, it can be used an effective hair rinse to get rid of dandruff. It is great for soothing the scalp and promoting hair growth as well.
Make Refreshing Hair Pack
Mint is a boon for oily hair and itchy scalp. With this refreshing hair pack you can keep dandruff in check, calm scalp irritation, and keep yourself fresh when temperatures hit triple digits.
-// 1 cup of fresh mint leaves
– // 3- 4 tablespoons of homemade curd (check out this self-explanatory Indian curd recipe)
-// lemon juice from half a lemon
Blend all the ingredients and turn them into a fine paste. Apply the hair pack to damp hair and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Wash as usual. Use the hair pack twice a week.
Dry your mint and use it for making teas and tinctures. Try this post from PreparednessMama – How Do I Store Dried Herbs and learn how to dry mint and other herbs. Even the stems can be used for fire starters and to feed the rabbits.
OK… this post is long enough, and I haven’t even covered the many ways you can use mint in medicinal preparations. Or, how to use mint essential oil in natural cleaning recipes. I will have to save that for another day. Plus, here’s how to divide your mint, in case you need to know.
So, on second thought, maybe I don’t have enough mint! What is your favorite way to use wonderful mint around your house? Leave a comment below.
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We like to use it in many of the ways you listed but our favorite is dried leaves for mint tea. We also use it to repel ants and varroa mites in our bee hives. Sometimes, after handling some of the compost tea formulas and fermented chicken feed the smell stays on your hands and grabbing some mint leaves and rubbing them together in your hands makes a welcome fresh mint change.
Megan - The Creative Vegetable Gardener says
This is great! I love growing mint in pots in my Garden. I usually dry it for tea, but you’ve inspired me to try it some new ways. I’m definitely going to add it to my morning eggs. I’m a member of Garden Foxes and I’ll be sharing this post on my Facebook page this week!
Thanks for stopping by Megan!
Mint wine ….
I’m very interested in this. Can you share how you do this?
Please let me know how you make mint wine? Thanks tina
I know some think growing mint is a problem but I love it and will continue to grow it. Love all your suggestions here. One I like to to with many of my scented herbs at the end of the season is to bundle them and use them as fire starters.
spearmint hair growth says
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I started using mint in my smoothies…..very yummy!
Whats best to use on aphids getting into my mint plants?
Margaret Kenning says
I grow a Chocolate Mint – it is great chopped up and added to Vanilla Icecream & Smoothies.
Chris H. says
Wonderful ideas. I recently purchased a house that has a small mint garden outside the front door, hemmed in by concrete so it’s not invading other spaces. It smells wonderful on the front porch, but I always wondered how to make mint tea and mint jelly. The other things sound super, too, so now I’m on a roll. My family is going to get tired of mint!