Vegetable Profile: Mint (Mentha spp.)
Mint easily one of the strongest aromatic herbs we grow, and truth be told, almost all other aromatic herbs are members of the Mint family (rosemary, thyme, lavender, sage, etc). There are over 500 true mint varieties. For our purposes here, we are talking about the 3 that we offer: peppermint, chocolate mint, and apple mint. All are abundant perennials on this farm!
Peppermint has a fresh classic mint flavor with smooth, tipped and serrated leaves.
Chocolate mint looks similar, with a purple stem, and a sweeter chocolaty flavor.
Apple mint has soft, fuzzy leaves, that are rounded in shape and lighter in color.
Mint is popular among herbalists for its many medicinal properties, including its soothing and cooling action. It supports lung and liver function, improved digestion and dispels gas, aids in painful menstruation, and headaches.
Mint keeps well on the counter for a few days in a glass of cool water in a cool, low-light area. It may even sprout roots, which you can plant for our own harvest or introduce to your lawn for a fresh scent when you mow. It can be kept fresh longer in a waterproof container in the fridge, maybe 4-5 days.
As with many herbs, the question we get is some variation of: “This smells great, but how do I USE it?” Well, don’t be shy! Mint is more than a flavoring for sweets; it can be as versatile as you want to make it.
Finely chop it into a salad for a Mediterranean twist, with lemon and tahini-based dessing! Take a sprig or two and submerge in a jar of water, and refrigerate overnight for mint-infused water (add cucumber slices in season). Makes a fruit salad really pop!
Mint is more difficult than other herbs to dry without turning brown. Best if you have a dehydrator. Oven drying is not recommended!
Mint is a traditional flavor component in rice, tabbouleh, and couscous salads. Simply add once grains are finished cooking to infuse. Hot tea is a great way to use mint as well!
The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia by Rebecca Wood
The Rodale Encyclopida of Herbs
Asparagus to Zucchini by Fairshare Coalition
Produce: A fruit and vegetable lover's guide by Bruce Beck
Our own experience!