Beat the Heat--Cool Down with Mint!

comments (12) June 25th, 2015

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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Mint water is thirst quenching and rejuvenating and simple to prepare--try it--youll like it on a hot summer day. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.
Spearmint is the most-used mint in the world as it grows on all of the continents except for the North and South Poles. If yours looks like this it is time to cut it back and dry it or preserve it; and then youll get new growth for another harvest.
A favorite summertime beverage: fresh brewed iced tea with lemon and mint.
Mint water is thirst quenching and rejuvenating and simple to prepare--try it--youll like it on a hot summer day. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.Click To Enlarge

Mint water is thirst quenching and rejuvenating and simple to prepare--try it--you'll like it on a hot summer day. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.

Photo: Susan Belsinger

As temperatures soar outside, we need relief from the heat. Mint is a naturally cooling and refreshing herb that most of us have right in our own backyards (usually in abundance due to its rampant spreading habit).

Here is an article all about mint, which I wrote for Kitchen Garden Magazine in 2009--Culinary Mint Medley is still current--there is info and i.d. on a variety of mints, and ideas for preserving and recipes. http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4002/culinary-mint-medley/page/all

When a recipe calls for mint and does not specify a certain variety, it is most likely spearmint. Spearmint (Mentha spicata) is grown around the globe on all of the continents except for the poles. This mint is mild and bright and sweet in flavor, and is refreshing and cooling.

Here are a few simple and easy ideas and recipes for cooling down with mint right now.

1. Harvest a large handful of spearmint or peppermint, rinse it if need be, and put it into a quart jar or larger. I usually fill the jar 1/2 to 2/3 full of mint. Add cold water to fill the jar and cover the mint. I have well water, however if you have chlorinated water, allow the water to sit in an open jar overnight so that the chlorine dissipates before using, or use spring water. Refrigerate the water for an hour or two. Remove the mint after 8 hours and drink the water within 24 hours. Mint water is refreshing and rejuvenating in hot weather. Variation: add a slice lemon or lime which is thirst quenching.

2. Next time you are fixing a glass of iced tea or lemonade, cut a sprig of mint and rub it around the rim of the glass. Add ice, pour in tea or lemonade, add a lemon slice and the sprig of mint. This so simple yet so delicious.

3. When cutting melon--watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew--place it in a container with a handful of mint sprigs. Chill for 30 minutes and up to a few hours. The melon will be juicy and sweet and pleasantly infused with a hint of mint.

4. Hot tired feet? Harvest a bunch of mint and bruise the sprigs in a shallow basin. Add tepid to lukewarm water (or cool to cold if you are up for it), with perhaps a few drops of a favorite esssential oil; stir the oil into the water by swishing it with a few mint sprigs. Sit back and soak those tootsies while sipping on one of the aforementioned beverages... or better yet, kick back with a Mojito.

5. Make yourself a Mojito--traditional, ginger, fruit-flavored or non-alcoholic are all muddled with mint for an invigorating libation. http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/12283/mint-mojito

If you want to read about some of the health benefits of mint, check out this article "The Benefits of Mint" by Karim Towndsend. http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/16156/uncovering-the-benefits-of-mint

And for the best tabbouleh recipe ever (if I do say so myself) try this vegetarian entree recipe for a cooling summer supper. http://www.vegetablegardener.com/item/4065/tabbouleh-with-mint

 

Balsam and pepper, apple and ginger,

many tastes their names have lent,

while spear describes the leafy finger.

In such a bunch of jolly herbs

why is none named merriment?

                      ---Susan Belsinger & Carolyn Dille

                          Herbs in the Kitchen


posted in: mint, spearmint, peppermint, iced tea, mint water, fruit salad with mint, tabouli with mint

Comments (12)

KristScott writes: another one of your great ideas.
What a wonderful idea very neat

Posted: 4:01 am on December 7th
RoyKafen writes: Great project for saving this type of vegetables.
Posted: 3:41 am on December 7th
JaffronTox writes: wow… its awesome! very nice..
Posted: 11:47 pm on December 3rd
ScotBest writes: I this Green scenario.
Posted: 11:40 pm on September 10th
Laceylac writes: Its really cool idea for protect to plants in summer days
Posted: 5:01 am on September 10th
EloiseBruce writes: Mojito at the beach!
Posted: 1:43 am on August 12th
JHolloway writes: Mint is perfect in any drink during summertime ! I love the idea of the non-alcoholic Mojito - in this way you can enjoy the taste even while working.
Posted: 4:19 am on August 11th
daisychandler writes: #4!! :D
Posted: 9:53 am on July 30th
JennyPerkins writes: I tried this recipe before - it's really refreshing!
Posted: 3:37 am on July 4th
BrookeDawson writes: DeborahMinor I don`t think it`s true. Mint is very good for stomach problems, relieves fatigue and muscle pain, low the blood pressure and it is very good for cardiovascular diseases. It`s bad only for the people who have allergy from the mint.
Posted: 3:27 am on July 4th
JakeHolloway writes: I'm for the Mojito!! And the recipe with watermelon sounds nice :)
Posted: 2:53 am on July 2nd
DeborahMinor writes: I have heard that the mint isn't so good for men's health is it true?
Posted: 3:43 am on July 1st
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