Cooking from your herb garden : MINT!

Cooking from your herb garden : MINT!

I've teamed up with my incredible friend Sarah of Watershed Floral to bring you an amazing new series: Cooking  from your herb garden. This series will include wonderful information about growing and caring for herbs at home, tips and techniques for using your fresh herbs in your cooking, and a fun recipe or two to get you started! 

Sarah emailed me about a month ago with this idea and I basically threw my phone down and ran to her house to get started (we're practically neighbors). I've had a fresh herb cooking resource on my content calendar since January, and I'm beyond thrilled to partner with Sarah because she's the perfect person to round out my information. In fact, Sarah got her start in floral design from her days working on a farm. So let's just say she knows a thing or two about a thing or two. 

MINT : We've decided to kick off our series with mint because, as Sarah puts it, "It's almost too easy to grow". 

What else Sarah has to say about mint:

As far as I'm concerned, one can never have enough mint! Especially for summerlicious beverages. I make loads of iced mint tea sweetened with maple syrup this time of year. My two year old loves it! (JB: "Oh, mine too!!"). My attitude towards mint is 'let it grow!' I don't really worry about where it's popping up because I love it so, but if you want it to be a bit more tame, there are some things you can do...

Best Growing Practices:

1. Plant it in a pot and keep it on your deck. This is particularly useful for city dwellers but also a good way to keep mint from spreading. Also makes it super handy for harvesting a few stems for that mojito!

2. Plant it in a pot (a clay one with good drainage) and bury in the garden. The structure of the pot will control the spread. Also adds a nice decorative feature in the garden. 

3. Pull it up where it's not wanted. Seriously. Just pull it up. You won't hurt the plant. Mint is very strong. It will survive. 

4. Plant it in a spot that you want taken over. I did this several years ago as I was trying to reclaim a section of my garden that had been taken over by weeds. I planted a ton of mint. The weeds couldn't hang. Now I'm the neighborhood mint supplier. 

Alright now.....go get yourself some mint! The most common varieties (check out the farmers' market or a garden center for plants) are spearmint and peppermint, but there are other kinds as well including apple mint, chocolate mint, and orange mint. Yum!


What Jenny has to say about Mint:

It's funny, for the longest time I simply didn't considered myself a mint fan. It wasn't until I discovered the power of my own freshly grown mint in my own dishes that I began to love it. Really, growing it myself was a complete game changer. Now anytime I consider making something "fresh" I throw in a little mint. Give it a try and have fun exploring new ways to use it in your cooking!

Best Culinary Practices:

1. If you drink tea or make your own cocktails, you must grow your own mint. This will elevate every drink you make. Simply grab the mint you need and either muddle, massage, steep, or gently slice (with a very sharp knife!).

2. Just like in a mojito, mint and lime also make a great statement when paired with lamb or chicken. From middle eastern dishes to tacos, the two play well together. 

3. If you're making savory dishes, think GREEN. Pair mint with: peas, fresh leafy greens, kale, asparagus, etc.

4. If you're making sweet dishes, think PINK. Pair mint with: watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, etc.

5. Mint is known to help aid digestion, relieve IBS, indigestion and heartburn, and could even help with tension headaches. See, it's a wonderful tool to have in your kitchen!

Stay tuned, we have TWO mint recipes coming your way this week!