If you grow mint, no doubt you always have an abundance of it! I grow apple, chocolate and pineapple mint. Each has it's own unique mint smell and taste. Today I wanted to share recipes using mint--some sweet and some savory!

Mint Vinegar Sauce


  • 4 cups fresh mint leaves, stems remove
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1-2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup wine or balsamic vinegar

Add the mint and rosemary leaves with sugar into a food processor bowl and chop well.

Transfer to a bowl. Heat the vinegar gently and pour over the mint/sugar mixture. Serve hot or cold with roasted lamb or other meat.

Greens With Fresh Mint Salad


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons herb or wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon or hearty style mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 10 cups salad greens (approx.)
  • 1 large bunch arugula, thicker stems removed
  • 1 bunch worth of mint leaves

Rinse all the greens and mint, then pat or spin dry. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper to taste, adding the oil in a stream, whisking, until it is emulsified. In a large bowl toss the greens with the dressing. Garnish with sugared walnuts or pecans if you wish. Serves 6-8.

Citrus Mint Vinegar


  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups wine vinegar (or other type of vinegar)

Cut a spiral of the lemon rind from around the lemon, careful not to get the white part under too much. Place this in a glass jar. Add the chopped mint. Bring the vinegar to a gentle boil, then pour it over the mint and lemon. Cool, then place the cover on the jar. Allow it to set for 2 weeks, occasionally shaking when you think of it. Strain and place in a bottle. Will keep about 6 months. Use in dressings or marinades.

Fresh Mint and Ginger Lemonade


  • 1/2 cup packed chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water

Combine chopped mint, ginger and honey in medium bowl; add boiling water and allow to steep for 30-40 minutes; strain into 4-cup glass measuring cup, pressing on the herbs to release all of the moisture. Add the lemon juice and enough cold water to measure 4 cups total. Fill four glasses with ice cubes; add lemonade; garnish with mint leaves and fresh lemon slices.

Chilled Cucumber Mint Soup


  • 1 large thinner cucumber or two smaller
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 green onions, root end trimmed, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh minced dill
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups low-fat plain yogurt
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Peel, seed and chop the cucumbers. In a food processor or blender process the cucumber, mint, onions, dill, and garlic until mixed but still textured, not smooth. Add the yogurt and continue to process until smooth. Chill for 4-6 hours or overnight. Adjust seasonings and serve cold. Serves 4

Yogurt Mint Dressing


  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh mint
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt and olive oil. Add all remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.

Berry Mint Salsa


  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

In a blender, combine the raspberries, water, lemon juice and sugar. Puree until smooth. Strain the mixture through a mesh sieve into a bowl. Add the strawberries and mint. Mix gently to combine. Cover and chill before serving.

Baked Apples with Fresh Mint


  • 4 apples
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh mint, minced
  • 2 tsp. butter

Core the apples and peel off a 1 inch strip around the core hole on the top of each apple. Place apples in a shallow baking dish. Combine raisins, brown sugar and mint. Fill apples-dividing the mixture. Top the filling in each apple with 1/2 tsp. butter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until apples are tender. Makes 4 servings.


Mint: Love it or Hate it?
By Brenda Hyde

In my experience, people either love mint or hate it. I have witnessed tirades on the subject of mint in the garden. However, I have found that if you grow it in pots, either sunk in the ground or with your other container plants, it is a wonderful addition to the garden.

Mint should be grown in sun or partial shade, and kept fairly moist. It spreads by runners under the ground and also by seed if you let it flower. The key here is containing the roots, and harvesting frequently so it does not go to seed. There are many wonderful varieties of mint such as apple, chocolate, pineapple plus the classic spearmint and peppermint. They are interchangeable in recipes. It would be a shame to shun mint because of it's unruly ways, especially when you can control it with proper care.

To harvest mint, which should be done frequently, snip off leaves as you need them, or harvest the entire plant by cutting stems about an inch or so above the ground. It will grow back for several harvests. You can hang the stems upside down and dry for tea, or freeze the leaves in resealable bags to use as you would fresh. I've also had success with drying in the oven. I strip the leaves and place them on baking sheets that are covered with parchment paper. Fill the baking sheet, but keep the mint in a single layer. Place the oven on the lowest setting and check now and then. It took between 2-3 hours to dry, but this will depend on your oven and the humidity. When dry, crumble and store in covered containers.

Mint is not just for tea!

Mint is a great addition to beverages, but it is also a culinary herb. The following recipes contain fresh mint, and will demonstrate how versatile it is in cooking and beverages.


Add chopped mint to lamb, rice dishes, salads or fresh steamed vegetables such as baby carrots. I made a wonderful sun tea in a one quart jar with 2 black tea bags, and a handful of mint and lemon balm. I left it several hours in the sun, then chilled it in the refrigerator. It was so refreshing!

Also, try adding mint leaves to a simple chicken soup stock with diced chicken and a little lemon juice. Stuff the cavity of a roast chicken with several mint leaves and sliced of fresh lemon. Add mint to a tuna and pasta salad, then top with a citrus dressing.

Minted Fruit Cup

1 cantaloupe
1 honeydew melon
1 cup cubed watermelon or melon balls
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint-apple, orange mint or peppermint

Using a tiny scoop make melon balls out of the cantaloupe and honeydew melon. Place the fruit into a large bowl and sprinkle the sugar over it. Add the finely chopped mint-any combinations of mints will work. Let the mixture chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Serve in pretty glass bowls and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Mint and Citrus Cooler

12 cups fresh chilled orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 large bunch fresh mint
2 lemons thinly sliced
2 limes, thinly sliced
1 large orange, thinly sliced
ice cubes

Mix orange and lemon juice in a large pitcher. Add half the mint and crush it with the back of a wooden spoon after you add to the juices. Mix in fruit slices. Add ice and mix. Pour into glasses, garnishing with remaining mint. 10 servings.

Cucumber Mint Salad

3 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 cup or 8 ounces plain yogurt
2 tablespoons whipping cream

Place cucumbers in colander and sprinkle with salt. Let rest 15 minutes. Rinse and drain on paper towels. Mix the remaining ingredients together, add cucumbers and stir to coat. Season with pepper. Chill. Can be prepared up to 5 hours ahead of time. Six servings.

Lima Bean, Ham and Mint Salad

2 cups frozen or canned lima beans
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons herb or wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
2 heads of endive, cut into strips
1 head romaine lettuce cut into strips
3 ounces smoked ham, cut into thin strips
10 large mint leaves, cut into think strips

Cook beans according to instructions. Drain. Toss with oil and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until well chilled. Whisk vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually add the oil while whisking. Season with salt and pepper. Combine beans, greens and the other ingredients. Add dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Makes 2-3 servings.

Lamb Steaks with Horseradish Mint Sauce

1 cup sour cream
4 tablespoons prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 lamb chops or leg steaks
Salt and pepper

Combine first three ingredients. Set aside. Preheat grill or broiler. Combine mustard and garlic and rub on both sides of lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Grill lamb to desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes on each side for medium rare. Serve with sauces. Four servings.

White Beans with Ham

1 pound dry Great Northern Beans, or about 4 cans precooked
1 cup diced ham
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Soak and cook dried beans according to directions and drain. Or open and drain canned beans. Transfer to large bowl and cool slightly. Add ham, mint, cilantro, oil and vinegar; toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Chill. Can be made one day ahead and refrigerated; then brought to room temperature. Add more olive oil and vinegar if necessary.


Basil Mint Pesto

1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the mint, basil, garlic, cheese and nuts in a blender to mix. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and process to the desired consistency. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Old Fashioned Peppermint Milk Bath

You will need:
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 tablespoon dried peppermint leaves

Crush the mint with a spice or coffee grinder or a food processor. Mix mint and milk together and transfer to a jar. Seal and tie a ribbon around the neck of the jar with these instructions:

Peppermint Milk Bath: Keep in a cool dry place. To use, place a small amount under running bath water. Soak and relax!

Calming Herb Tea

1 tsp. dried apple mint or pineapple mint leaves
1 tsp. dried lemon verbena or lemon balm leaves

Add these to a tea pot and add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of boiling water. Steep for about 5 minutes, strain and add sugar or tea for a soothing herbal tea. You can use any mint for this or a mixture.


From Brenda Hyde, owner of Old Fashioned Living.com. Visit her for more tips, recipes and crafts. Sign up for her free newsletters here: http://www.oldfashionedliving.com/news.html