Thursday, May 8, 2014

Simple mint water and other minty ideas

Fresh mint is up in my May garden.  I usually see it mid-April but it has been a cool, slow spring. Mint is a pioneer, perennial herb and there are hundreds of different varieties. It is said to have originated in the Middle East.  You can buy mint but it is so common that you can often get a clump of mint from a friend. Be sure to put it in a spot where you don't mind where it spreads. It likes partial shade or sun so it is flexible!  If you don't want it to spread plant in a pot and bury it in the ground in the garden.

Canadians typically use fresh herbs as garnishes or flavour accents.  I have increased the amounts I use in many recipes to eat fresh, local and get greater nutritional and medicinal affects of the herb.  Mint leaves can be part of the salad and not just the garnish!

Most people are more familiar with mint tea usually drank hot.  Fresh mint in plain cold water is one of my favourites as I love the cool, refreshing, sweet flavour.  Leave it to sit a few hours, or overnight, so it infuses and that fresh, clean mint flavour diffuses into the water.

I like to pick a soup size bowl of fresh mint and wash it a couple of times in cold water to remove the dirt.  Drain, cover and keep in the fridge for easy access.  It will stay fresh for a few days.

Nutritionally mint is not a waste of time!  NUTRITION FACTS (per half cup/125 ml fresh mint): 20 calories, 15 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 2 g protein.  %Daily Values are 10% vitamin C and Calcium, 40% vitamin A and 30% iron.

MEDICINAL USES are due to the menthol which helps digestions, soothes hiccups and intestinal cramps while tasting wonderful too.  If you suffer from acid reflux you may have to avoid mint as it relaxes the sphincter at  the top of the stomach and can make it easier for stomach acids to leak up into the esophagus giving "heart burn" symptoms.

Follow this link to see 13 other minty ideas and recipes on this blog:

Minty fruit salad

Mint magic vinaigrette

Mint mojito mumbo

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