Recipes to Use Exotic Mints

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I keep acquiring all these exotic mints (blackberry, lemon, ginger, spice, lemon-lime, marshmallow, margarita, etc.). I have been growing them just for the different fragrances. But I'm thinking I'd like to learn to cook with them. Some would make great drinks I'm sure. Others might be good in cookie recipes or meat. I don't know. I'm not a great cook, but I think I'd like to start saving some of the leaves of different mints to cook with this winter. Some of them would really make the house smell Christmasy when I do my holiday cookies.

Can anyone tell me first of all how to save the leaves? Can I freeze them?

And where can I find recipes for different teas with these mints or other recipes using exotic mints? Maybe some have medicinal purposes. Can anyone enlighten me? I hate to just let the mints grow and be pretty useless when I know they can serve other purposes.

Thank you!!

NancyAnn

(Ang) Bremerton, WA(Zone 8b)

I think I'll keep an eye on this thread because I've been wondering the same thing. Right now the only thing I make with any mint is simple syrup. I plan to invest in some of the more fancier mints, such as the ones you have, and I'd prefer they be more than scratch-n-sniff plants.

I wonder if you could make an extract of some sort with them. I make my own vanilla and citrus extracts using vodka.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I gave a friend of mine some spearmint and he's making mojitos tonight with it. LOL

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

I'm going to watch this thread, too! I have lots of chocolate mint that I'd like to use in more than just hot chocolate.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I never thought of using it in hot chocolate. Do you just add the leaves to your hot chocolate or do you make the hot choc from scratch? I love hot choc. But mine is instant.

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

LOL, yep, instant here, too, I just bruise the leaves and stir them in, then remove them. I was thinking that maybe boiling the water with them in it would work, too, before adding the mix.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Oh yeah, I bet that would work even better. I will have to try that. You know mint is supposed to be good for stomach problems--indigestion, upset tummy and stuff. I'm going to have to try your recipe tomorrow morning. It sounds wonderful!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

How many leaves do you use for a cupful of cocoa? I don't want to overdo it, and I know I would. (If a little is good, a lot is a lot better! LOL)

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

Hmm, ya know, I never counted 'em...just experiment, I guess, lol!

Mesa, AZ(Zone 9b)

I just used some spearmint and golden basil to make a tea. Stirred in a little lemon juice and honey. Hopefully will help as I've been sick for a week. Wonder if I could have added a little lemon balm too? Oh well wasn't too bad and at least I can breath through my nose again....

Pam

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

Sounds like a good recipe. I keep seeing more and more different types of basil--didn't know there were so many! I'm interested in seeing more recipes for those.

Millbury, MA(Zone 5a)

Looks like I'll have to watch this thread too. Right now I think the only mint I have is peppermint as the spearmint was in too shady a spot and seems to have died out (probably helped along by the lemon balm which has gone nuts!) I've been curious about some of the other mints, but when I had a chance to check out the chocolate mint and apple mint, I was disappointed to find that they really didn't taste all that different to me.

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

My chocolate mint choked out my spearmint. I'm new at mints, so I'm learning, lol.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Two things that come to mind for using mint is in a tabbouleh recipe--also a great use for summer tomatoes and cucs--and the other is to mince and mix with apple jelly, warm on low, strain if you like, and use with lamb dishes. You could even add a bit of vinegar and make that a sweet and sour sauce. I know there are many other recipes for mint but I'd have to google! I know! I'll try it in my next batch of low fat, sugar free, lactose free ice cream! Heat it slowly with the milky mixture and strain. Glad I thought of that!
You know, it's dangerous to read too much on DG. I end up spending too much $$ buying things that sound great! Got some banana mint and "Candy Lime" mint and need to pot them now!
Janet

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

There was a recipe using pineapple sage in an article by critter last summer. I tired it last summer. You could use chopped up mint in that or other recipes for baked goods. Mint jelly is popular with lamb. I use my mints in tea and iced tea.

Which of the exotic mints are your favorites? I like chocolate mint and want to try some others. Do they grow true from seed or do you need plants and cuttings?

I grow my mint in pots so they don't spread and cross. I have found that they need different levels of sunlight.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

What an interesting thread! I often wondered if the different mints taste the way they smell. I only have spearmint in a pot, but love the smell of other ones. I just guessed that they all tasted like mint. Do they taste differently?

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I've only tasted a few and they just taste minty to me. I grow them for the smell. I just love to sniff the mints and basils. They're so intoxicating! I would like to learn to use them in different recipes though. I want to fully appreciate them as they want to be appreciated.

My favorite mints are lavender, chocolate, ginger, and orange. I grow several others, but those have the strongest and most delightful fragrances. Blackberry, Spice and Cocoa mint are also awesome.

I also grow a rose-scented bee balm. OMG, it's my favorite monarda! It smells like a wonderful rose-scented perfume. It reminds me of the scent that the Kettle dolls used to carry. Anyone remember Kettle dolls--miniature fragrant dolls in little plastic kettles? Each colored kettle contained a different fragrance. My older sister collected them when we were kids and none of us could touch them. Once in a while, after much begging, she'd open a kettle and let us sniff it. I think this monarda would be awesome in potpourri.

Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I have watched many mint threads, and I am always so tempted to buy some due to the description everyone gives. This thread is no different I fear LOL.
The monarda sounds wonderful! The one I have got moved to the orchard, it smells much like oregano, and sadly that is not one of my favorite smells. I will be looking into the rose scented bee balm for sure.

I am wondering if mints in cookies, cakes, or brownies would be good? I am not a baker, so I don't know how you could add it without making things green, but also giving it enough mint flavor. Maybe a layer of cake, then a green layer (however someone would incorporate the mint), then another layer of cake?
Most times there is no such thing as too much mint for me (flavor or scent). Candles are never strong enough around Christmas.

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

Mint would probably be good in brownies. The hummingbirds have gotten all of the sugar, but I will have to try that! I would just chop up the mint and add it in place of the nuts. I am enjoying my mints in tea and cocoa right now.

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

Here are a couple of recipes for lemon verbena that could be adapted for mints.

http://lemonverbenalady.blogspot.com/p/lemon-verbena-recipes.html

Ocoee (W. Orlando), FL(Zone 9b)

Some of the mints (and basils) are great in summer sorbets! They usually do better fresh, than cooked. I also shred ribbons of it and toss them in with chunks of melon and strawberries...makes it taste fresh and summery.
My son in law manages a restaurant, so I force him to experiment on me with the different flavors. He's a grand-puba at mojitos, so he's been expermimenting using oranges instead of limes, and orange mint.....and choc mint instead of regular.... He also make a blender cocktail with cucumbers, water melon, and ginger mint. It was fabulous!

Melbourne, KY(Zone 6a)

Mmm, sounds yummy! I don't know why I never thought of them with fresh fruits...and maybe plain yogurt. Thanks!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I bet some of the mints would also be great in smoothies. I make lots of smoothies, so I'll have to give it a try. I've been wanting to make a tasty green smoothie. There's just something about "green food" that has always turned my stomach. So just for a hoot, I wanted to mix up a green smoothie and actually enjoy drinking it. I'd use kiwi and cucumbers and spinach and I'm not sure what else. But tossing in some kind of mint with it could be great. I'll have to try it and let you guys know how it tastes.

Which mint should I try with strawberry and raspberry smoothies? Maybe my blackberry mint, since it's in the "berry" family? LOL

Has anyone done any experimenting with mints since we last discussed the idea? I haven't, I'm ashamed to admit. But several of my mints are already out of dormancy, so I've got to start trying them.

Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

I'd try chocolate mint with your berry smoothie. Mine was on the brink of death but is coming back beautiful. It'll be a while before I can pick enough to cook with though. Let us know how your green smoothie goes!

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