Mint

Discussion in 'Five Star Kitchen' started by sister herb, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. sister herb
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    [​IMG]
    wild mint (Mentha arvensis)

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    mint (Mentha spicata)

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    peppermint (Mentha piperita)

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    chocolate mint (Mentha x piperita ‘Chocolate’) :SMILY252:


    Mentha
    (also known as mint, from Greek míntha) is a genus of plants in the family Lamiaceae (mint family). The species are not clearly distinct and estimates of the number of species varies from 13 to 18. Hybridization between some of the species occurs naturally. Many other hybrids, as well as numerous cultivars, are known in cultivation.

    The genus has a subcosmopolitan distribution across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North America.

    Mints are aromatic, almost exclusively perennial, rarely annual, herbs. They have wide-spreading underground and overground stolons and erect, square, branched stems. The leaves are arranged in opposite pairs, from oblong to lanceolate, often downy, and with a serrated margin. Leaf colors range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow. The flowers are white to purple and produced in false whorls called verticillasters. The corolla is two-lipped with four subequal lobes, the upper lobe usually the largest. The fruit is a nutlet, containing one to four seeds.

    Culinary

    The leaf, fresh or dried, is the culinary source of mint. Fresh mint is usually preferred over dried mint when storage of the mint is not a problem. The leaves have a warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste, and are used in teas, beverages, jellies, syrups, candies, and ice creams. In Middle Eastern cuisine, mint is used on lamb dishes, while in British cuisine and American cuisine, mint sauce and mint jelly are used, respectively.

    Mint is a necessary ingredient in Touareg tea, a popular tea in northern African and Arab countries.

    Mint essential oil and menthol are extensively used as flavorings in breath fresheners, drinks, antiseptic mouth rinses, toothpaste, chewing gum, desserts, and candies, such as mint (candy) and mint chocolate. The substances that give the mints their characteristic aromas and flavors are menthol (the main aroma of peppermint and Japanese peppermint) and pulegone (in pennyroyal and Corsican mint). The compound primarily responsible for the aroma and flavor of spearmint is L-carvone.

    Mints are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including buff ermine moths.

    Medicinal and cosmetic


    Mint was originally used as a medicinal herb to treat stomachache and chest pains. In Rome, Pliny recommended a wreath of mint for students to wear since it was thought to "exhilarate their minds". During the Middle Ages, powdered mint leaves were used to whiten teeth.

    Mint leaves are commonly steeped with water to make tea used as a home remedy to help alleviate stomach pain and as a sleeping aid. Mint tea is a diuretic. A common use is as an antipruritic, especially in insect bite treatments (often along with camphor). The strong, sharp flavor and scent of mint is sometimes used as a mild decongestant for illnesses such as the common cold. Mint is also used in some shampoo products.
    Menthol from mint essential oil (40–90%) is an ingredient of many cosmetics and some perfumes. Menthol and mint essential oil are also much used in medicine as a component of many drugs, and are very popular in aromatherapy. Menthol is also used in cigarettes as an additive, because it blocks out the bitter taste of tobacco and soothes the throat.

    Allergic Reaction

    Although it is used to treat many symptoms, mint can also cause allergic reactions to some people. Although rare, these can induce painful symptoms, including abdominal cramps and diarrhea, headaches, tingling or numbing around the mouth, nasal congestion, clogging of the sinuses, nausea, etc. It can be a reaction to salycilates or linalol contained in the mint, or to some of the proteins inside the plant. It is possible to have high intolerance to one type of mint such as spearmint, yet have no reaction to other types, such as peppermint and menthol, and the symptoms may get worse over time. Because it is uncommon, the people who suffer from mint allergies can find it hard to deal with it on a daily basis. Most of the problems arise from the need to find special toothpaste or dental products, but can also be reactions to the smell of somebody consuming mint candy or gum in a public or work place. In some cases, it can be a minor disturbance, but sometimes a severe reaction; because it is potent, inhaling the mint can trigger by itself breathing problems, nausea, and dizziness, separately or all together. Depending on whether the allergy is to a protein or some other chemical inside the plant, it may or may not extend to other Lamiaceae.

    The American Allergy and Asthma Foundation is claimed to have tracked an increasing amount of mint allergies as with allergies in general.

    Insecticides

    Mint oil is also used as an environmentally friendly insecticide for its ability to kill some common pests such as wasps, hornets, ants, and cockroaches.

    More about mints: https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mints-39.html
  2. sister herb
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    Easy Soft Mint Balls

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    1 8oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
    1/4 cup butter, room temperature
    2 lbs powdered sugar
    3/4 tsp mint oil or 1 - 2 tsp mint extract
    2 drops green food coloring

    Beat cream cheese and butter until well-creamed, about two minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar and stir until well-incorporated and smooth. Add flavoring and coloring. Stir until color is even.

    Put mixture into the refrigerator for 2 hours.

    Once chilled, roll into small balls. (Optional) Toss in additional powdered sugar. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

    Makes about 50 small balls.

    Source: http://rarabakes.blogspot.fi/2010/07/easy-soft-mints.html
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  3. sister herb
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    Using different molds you can make different shapes by those mint balls, like roses:

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    You can for example decorate cakes and cup cakes with them. Or just eat them. :p

    Or you can coat balls with granulated sugar:

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    Or design them by fork:

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    Or why not dip them in the melted chocolate?

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    Using different food colors:

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    Or what ever you like!
  4. sister herb
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    Marinated Grilled Apples with Mint

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    2/3 cup fresh orange juice
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
    2 tablespoons honey
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    3 Granny Smith apples, cored and each cut crosswise into 4 (1/2-inch) slices
    Cooking spray

    Preparation

    1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add apple slices; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 to 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.
    2. Prepare grill.
    3. Remove apple from bag, reserving marinade. Place apple slices on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side, turning and basting frequently with reserved marinade. Arrange apple slices on a platter; drizzle with any remaining marinade.

    Servings: 3 apple slices

    Serve with chicken.

    Source: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/marinated-grilled-apples-with-mint-10000000522090/
  5. sister herb
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    Honeydew ~ Mint ~ Cucumber Popsicles

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    1 medium to large honeydew melon, seeded
    1 large cucumber, chopped
    1 large handful fresh spearmint leaves

    Cut the melon in half, scoop out the seeds, and then scoop out the flesh into a bowl to catch the juices. Add the melon and juices to a blender Vita Mix. Then add the chopped cucumber and fresh mint. Blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds. Freeze overnight.

    Source: http://homespunwithlove.blogspot.fi/2011/08/popsicle-wednesday-honeydew-mint.html
  6. sister herb
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    Broad Bean Hummus with Lemon Zest & Mint

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    160g broad beans (you can also use chickpeas)
    juice 1/2 small lemon
    10-12 mint leaves
    4 T extra virgin olive oil, plus extra
    zest of small lemon
    salt, to taste

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    Boil or steam the beans for 3-5 minutes, until tender. Older beans may need longer cooking. Mine took less time as they were blanched (see Note) before.

    Rinse under cold water and refresh with ice cubes in a colander.

    Blitz beans, salt, lemon juice and mint until smooth in a processor or with a hand held stick blender, adding olive oil in a stream until you achieve the consistency you desire. Add more olive oil if needed, and remember a good quality, mild tasting oil makes all the difference.

    Once smooth, add zest and taste seasoning. Add more olive oil on top.

    Serve with crusty bread or crackers.

    Note: Blanching: Add beans to boiling water. Blanch for 1 minute. Remove and drain immediately under cold water. Dry well and freeze in a plastic bag, removing as much of the air as possible.

    Source: http://www.foodandthefabulous.com/recipes/broad-bean-hummus-with-lemon-zest-mint/
  7. sister herb
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    Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Bread

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    1 cup mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
    3/4 cup self-rising flour*
    1 tablespoon sugar
    chocolate chips

    * If you want to make the self-rising flour instead of buying it in a store, whisk together 3/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 C.
    2. Measure ice cream into a medium-sized bowl. Stir until smooth and creamy.
    3. Add flour and sugar. Stir until blended.
    4. Spray a small loaf pan with cooking spray.
    5. Spoon batter into pan. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top.
    6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.
    7. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Carefully remove bread from loaf pan.
    8. Slice bread and serve with a scoop of ice cream.

    Source: http://www.clubhousejr.com/en/recipes/mint-chocolate-chip-bread.aspx
  8. sister herb
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    Herb Bread

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    4 Cups All purpose flour
    1 tbsp Yeast
    4 tsp Salt
    1 1/2 tbsp Sugar
    2 tbsp Butter
    1 tsp Black pepper powder
    Few fresh coriander chopped
    Few fresh mint leaves chopped
    3-4 Green chillies chopped
    1 inch Ginger finely chopped
    4-5 cloves Garlic finely chopped
    2 Eggs
    3 tbsp Oil
    2 tbsp Sesame seeds

    In a Large bowl, mix flour, yeast, salt, sugar, butter and pepper powder.

    Add ginger, half of the coriander leaves, mint leaves garlic and egg to the mixture and knead to a soft dough using water as required and knead well. Add 2 tbsp of oil and continue to knead.

    Spread some flour on a flat surface, place the dough on it and knead till the dough is absolutely soft.

    Put dough back into a bowl, grease some oil and cover with a damp cloth and leave it to rise for at least 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 400 F/200 C. Divide the dough into smaller portions depending on the shapes required. Spread some sesame seeds on a flat surface and roll one portion over it so that the entire portion is covered with the seeds. Beat an egg yolk with a little water and brush the dough balls.

    Lastly, add the remaining chopped coriander leaves,mint leaves and chopped garlic.

    Leave it covered for another 15-20 minutes to rise more.

    Bake in the preheated oven at 400 F/200 C for 20-30 minutes.

    Let it cool before you serve or cut into pieces.

    Source: http://marecipes.blogspot.fi/2010/03/herb-breadmasala-bread.html
  9. sister herb
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    Peppermint Chocolate Hearts

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    375 g dark chocolate melts
    4 drops peppermint essence
    185 g white chocolate melts
    Green food colouring

    1. Line base and sides of a 6cm-deep, 20cm (base) square cake pan with baking paper. Place half the dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high (100%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, until smooth.Stir in half the essence. Spread over base of prepared pan. Tap gently on bench to remove air bubbles. Refrigerate for 5 minutes or until firm.
    2. Place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high (100%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, until smooth. Tint green with food colouring. Working quickly, spread white chocolate mixture in pan. Tap gently on bench. Refrigerate for 5 minutes or until firm.
    3. Place remaining dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high (100%) for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds with a metal spoon, until smooth. Stir in remaining peppermint essence. Spread over green layer in pan. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until set.
    4. Remove chocolate mixture from pan. Using a 4.5cm heart-shaped cutter, cut shapes from chocolate. Serve.

    Source: http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/21746/peppermint chocolate hearts
  10. sister herb
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    Candied Mint Leaves

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    mint leaves
    egg white
    sugar

    Place sugar on small shallow plate. Brush both sides of 1 mint leaf lightly with egg white; dredge in sugar. Transfer mint leaf to rack. Repeat with remaining mint leaves. Let mint stand at room temperature until dry, about 3 hours.

    Can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

    Use for decorating cakes, cupcakes, ice cream servings, drinks...

    [​IMG]
  11. sister herb
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    Mint chocolate chip cookies

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    Makes about 3-1/2 dozen

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup mint leaves and stems
    • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 cups coarsely chopped dark chocolate
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F/190 C.
    2. In the bowl of a mini food processor, combine mint and sugar. Process until mint is finely chopped. Set aside.
    3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
    4. In the bowl of a standup mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, mint sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    5. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate pieces.
    6. Drop by two to three tablespoon-sized balls onto ungreased baking sheets.
    7. Bake for nine to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
    8. Cool on baking sheets for two minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

    Source: http://www.sheknows.com/food-and-recipes/articles/951383/5-creative-ways-to-cook-with-fresh-mint
  12. sister herb
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    Limonana - Frozen Mint Lemonade

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    1/2 cup sugar (or more to taste)
    1 3/4 cups water (divided)
    1 cup fresh lemon juice
    3 1/2 cups ice
    1 cup fresh mint leaves
    6 mint sprigs for garnish (optional)

    Servings:
    4

    In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of water and sugar. Heat over medium, whisking constantly, till the sugar dissolves. Let the water cool to room temperature.

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    In a blender, combine the sugar water, fresh lemon juice, ice, fresh mint leaves and 3/4 cup of water.

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    Pulse for a few seconds, then blend for 1 minute till the ice is thoroughly crushed and the drink takes on the texture of a thick slushy. Taste. This recipe produces a mildly sweet limonana. Some people like it sweeter. Add sugar to taste, if desired, and blend again.

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    Pour into cold glasses and serve. Garnish with sprigs of mint, if desired.

    Note: If you're on a low sugar diet or watching your weight, you can also make this drink with Splenda, stevia, agave, or your favorite low glycemic sweetener. Rather than making the sugar water, add a cup of unsweetened water to the blender (2 cups of water total) and blend the drink without sugar. Add your sweetener of choice to taste, blend again, and serve.

    Source: http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2012/06/limonana-frozen-mint-lemonade/
  13. sister herb
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    Mint Simple Syrup

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    For 1 cup of simple syrup, you’ll need:

    1 cup sugar
    1 cup water
    10 mint leaves

    Combine all of the ingredients together in a small sauce pan.

    Bring the mixture up to a rolling boil keeping an eye that the mixture doesn’t boil over.

    Once the consistency of the mixture turns from a free-flowing liquid to a syrup (about 10 minutes), turn off the heat and remove the sauce pan from the heat.

    With a mesh strainer, strain the mint leaves from the syrup while pouring it into a container.

    Let the syrup cool and store in the refrigerator when not using.

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    If you’re curious about the color of the syrup, it comes from the sugar granules. For a clear white syrup, use sugar that’s completely white. Thius one has used cane sugar that had a slight beige tint from trace B vitamins which created a darker, amber syrup.

    Use like maple syrup.

    Source: http://www.thewannabechef.net/2011/08/03/how-to-make-mint-simple-syrup/
  14. sister herb
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    Green Mango, Mint and Garlic Chutney/Salsa

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    Ingredients: (makes approx. 1.5 cups)

    1 raw/unripe green mango, peeled. sliced and pit removed**
    1 green hot chili (more or less to taste)
    1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or more or less to taste)
    1.5 tablespoon garlic cloves, chopped
    3/4 cup (8 oz by volume) of loosely packed fresh coriander/cilantro
    1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
    1 teaspoon sugar
    (optional, I had to add the sugar as the mango was very tart)
    salt to taste

    **Note:
    If you prefer it to be less tart and more on the sweet side, use a mango which has just started to ripen. The flesh will be pale yellow in color, but the texture will be still firm.

    Method:


    Peel mango with the peeler or knife until there is no green peel left. If the pit is tender, you will be able to slice the mango in half. If not you will have to slice around it. Remove pit.

    Wash the greens well.

    Put all the other ingredients along with the sliced mango in a food processor and process (while scraping the sides of the jar in between) until the consistency looks coarse and minced. Adjust salt and sugar to balance the taste.

    Serve chilled as a salsa, dip, chutney or any condiment.

    Source: http://www.ecurry.com/blog/condiments-dips-and-sauces/green-mango-mint-and-garlic-chutneysalsa/

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