When it comes to herbs in the garden my number one top thought is mint. Efficient, economical and down right easy to grow, mints are fail proof and completely useful. One tiny start will spread and expand into a large and lovely bush full of fragrance. Deep green leaves lend their refreshing aroma as fingers softly brush over them. Placed in water, gently bruising the leaves releases their essence giving abundant flavor. I add leaves to salads, smoothies and vinaigrette for a wonderful flavor boost. In vinegar the leaves become a base for cleaning solutions..steeped in witch hazel, mint makes for a cooling facial toner or antiseptic cleanser.
In our herbal garden several varieties of mint are taking root and growing wild; chocolate mint, orange mint, apple mint, orange mint even spearmint. Each one holding the strong invigorating mint properties with subtle hinds of fruity zest. The chocolate mint, with it's tantalizing peppermint patty scent, is absolutely wonderful when added to fruits and teas.
Cooling Mint "Tea"
one handful mint, stalks and leaves
handful of stevia leaves, optional
one quart water
Rinse the herbs gently. Place the water and herbs in a large bowl. Using you hands crush, tear and bruise the leaves; the water will start to color a green hue. Give it a taste- for more mint taste crush the leave more, for less add water. When finished, strain the 'tea' and enjoy.
This can be added to any beverage for a minty flavor: lemonade, green tea, fruit teas.
Mint is one of the most harvested herbs here in our garden. Daily infusions of mint 'tea' is consumed with a hint of honey. This delightful drink cools and refreshes..especially after a morning of garden chores!