Mint: Our Ingredient of the Week

Kim Conte
2

fresh herbs

Each week in Food & Party, we'll be featuring an "Ingredient of the Week" -- paying homage to some of our favorite ingredients all week long with buying and storage tips, recipes, and other useful information.

This week's featured ingredient is: Mint.

May is almost upon us, which means that those herb gardens will soon be overflowing with life. I love keeping fresh mint in the house; not only does it add brightness to so many spring and summer recipes, but you can also use it to infuse lemonade and tea and give ordinary water more flavor.

The best way to store fresh mint -- and keep it fresh longer -- is to put it in a glass of water, cover the top with a plastic baggie, and refrigerate. You can also wrap the mint in a damp paper towel and place it in a loosely closed plastic baggie in the refrigerator.

Mint tastes great to be sure, but it also has healthful properties: It's thought to protect against cancer formation in the colon, skin, and lungs. Moreover, many people drink mint tea to soothe the stomach and ease digestion.

If you're looking for a healthy alternative to soda or caffeine, check out this refreshing recipe for Sassy Water:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 12 mint leaves
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 lemon, washed and sliced thin

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

Do you have a favorite use for fresh mint?

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