The mints are a versatile family of plants. They are perennial and if not confined can become invasive. They usually respond well to having their growth restricted by planting in a sunken container or using some other form of physical barrier. There are many that are commonly grown including spearmint, peppermint, common mint (winter mint) and apple mint.
They are semi shade to shade lovers and are easily propagated by root division. I love to use it fresh but it can be frozen in sealed plastic bags or in an ice-cube tray. Fill the compartments with chopped mint and top up with water before freezing. It is also easily dried. Best to hang the leafy stems, cut just before flowering, in a dry airy place. Keep the dry leaves in an airtight container as the full aroma does not last long when exposed to air. Here’s just ten ways you could use up some mint……
1 Add some dried leaves to Pot Pourri and fill a herbal “sleep pillow” for relaxing and refreshing sleep.
2 Tea made from dried or fresh peppermint leaves tastes delicious. It is said to be relaxing and a good start or end to the day. Iced peppermint tea in the summer can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days for a refreshing drink.
3 Mouth and breath freshener. Chew a sprig of your favourite mint for a quick breath freshener.
4 Mint is a natural deodorizer and bug deterrent. Use diluted 10 parts water to one part peppermint oil in a spray bottle around doorways and windows or add a few drops of oil to your floor cleaner for a beautiful fresh smell as you mop!
5 Add some mint along with some coriander in a Fattoush salad, just brimming with fresh flavour.
6 Freeze strong mint tea in ice cubes for cooling summer drinks.
7 Mix one part strong mint tea to one part cider vinegar and use as a hair conditioner. Can be left in or rinsed out.
8 Make some mint jelly or mint sauce and have with a lamb roast… mmm.
9 Try a Mojito muddled with fresh mint. Muddle mint sprigs with sugar and lime juice. Add Bacardi and top up with soda water. Arriba!!
10 Sprinkle some chopped fresh mint on to some Greek yoghurt and mixed berries. Delicious….