All Things Mint

June 27, 2020
Category: Regenerative Permaculture

When we moved into our mini-homestead property (a little less than an acre) right before our daughter was born, about 8 years ago, we found that the previous owners had already established quite a homestead. The first spring after we moved in, we explored the yard and found that we had asparagus, strawberries, two kinds of raspberries, gooseberries, at least 3 different kinds of currents, nanking cherries, mint and more. It was like a dream come true for me because I have always dreamed about having all of those plants. I have always wanted to move more towards a self-sustainable lifestyle.

We have a nice little patch of mint in the front of our house with some other landscaping plants. The extent of my experience with mint growing up was my mom making mint iced tea in the summers. I would actually take that to field hockey, basketball and soccer practice and it was so refreshing. But that’s about it. I end up having more mint than I can use each year so I am trying all sorts of new things. I’m not much of a crafter (soaps, lip balms, etc.) so these will be mostly drink related recipes.


Mint Iced Tea:

1 quart ball jar (32 oz)
boiling water (enough to fill to the top)
3T organic sugar* or your natural sweetener of choice
2 bags of black tea (optional)**
3C fresh mint (or 5 or more dried mint tea bags)

Add mint, sugar and tea bags to quart-sized ball jar. Add boiling water. Steep for at least 20 min. Strain through a metal strainer into another ball jar or other container. If you are using a plastic container, wait until fully cooled so that the plastics aren’t leaching BPA’s (etc) into your tea. We find that putting a funnel into the ball jar and then resting the metal strainer inside the funnel is the easiest way to strain. After its been strained, put in the fridge. This will probably last about 2 weeks.

*I know sugar is sugar and its still not healthy for you, but if I’m going to use it, I would prefer for it to no have pesticides as well. Sugar is optional. Our family likes lightly sweetened ice tea.

**I like using Twinings Decaf English Breakfast tea bags but really any black tea like Assam, English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, Lipton black tea, Newman’s Organic Black tea. We never put black tea in it growing up but I think it adds a little weight to the tea and harkens back to sweet tea but with a refreshing twist.


Mint Simple Syrup:

1 part water
1 part sugar
1 part fresh mint (or more)

My last batch was 2C water + 2C sugar + more like 3C mint leaves.

Boil sugar and water to fully dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Add mint and steep for 20+ minutes. Strain mint out. Put in fridge to keep. Will probably keep around 2 weeks.


Dried Mint Tea
Personally, I love making tea simply out of dried mint with a touch of honey but I thought I would do some experimenting. I couldn’t find many recipes for dried mint herbal tea recipes so I’m going to try a combo of these items and I’ll let you know if I am successful with any combos. (Updated: Read about my daughter’s recent tea recipes.) Here’s my list of potential additions:

Dried Rosemary
Dried Hibiscus
Dried Rosehips
Dried Lavender
Dried Ginger
Dried Chamomile
Dried Lemon
Dried Orange
Dried Lime
Dried Peony
Dried Bee Balm/Wild Bergamot

I got some of these ideas from this blog post, which I loved! She gives instructions for drying ginger, lemon peel, etc.

I’ll keep adding to this list as I experiment with more things! Please let me know if you have any other tips for using up your mint. I haven’t done a lot of experimenting with mint in savory dinner recipes so maybe I’ll try that next.

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