Mint

This aromatic herb has a sweet smell and cool aftertaste. It is a popular garnish for beverages and desserts and is an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine.

Varieties

There are many varieties of mint but the two most common are:

  • Peppermint - small, dark leaves used for medicine
  • Spearmint - round, courser leaves, most common for flavouring food

Availability

  • Available all year round in the grocery store, although it's peak season is summer.

Purchasing

  • Look for firm stems and unwilted leaves with no yellow discolouration.

Storage

  • Refrigerate: Wrap leaves in plastic and place stems in a glass of water in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Change water every other day.
  • Freeze: Finely chop and freeze in ice cube trays with a little water. Once frozen, store in freezer bags. Simply add mint ice cubes to cooked dishes when needed.
  • To Dry: Spread leaves in a shaded, well ventilated area for 3 to 5 days, until they are dry and crisp. Or, spread out on paper towels and microwave on high for 2 minutes. If leaves turn black when drying, discard.
  • Store dried herbs in a cool dark place, in an airtight container.

Preparation

  • Wash fresh mint under cold water, shake off excess water and pat dry.
  • Finely chop leaves with a knife or cut with scissors if a larger chop is needed.
  • Fresh herbs are tender and are best when added late in the cooking process…10 minutes before complete.
  • Use whole leaves for garnish.
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