The most common use for mint leaves is as a flavoring agent. Mint is also used to flavor items like chewing gum, mouth wash, toothpaste and breath-fresheners. You’ll find mint in ice cream, jelly, in sauces when lamb is prepared and an assortment of candies with or without chocolate. Mint flavored lozenges and candies have been known to take the edge off of a stomach upset too. Iced tea is a popular drink where mint leaves are commonly used. Here is a simple and easy to follow recipe that can be enjoyed any time of the day.
- 8 cups of cold water
- 4 cups of boiling water
- 1 (6 ounce) can of frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
- 1 cup of sugar
- ½ cup of ice tea mix
- 16-20 crushed mint leaves
- In a medium sized pasta pot bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
- Turn flame off but do not remove pot from burner.
- In the same pot add the sugar and ice tea mix and stir.
- Crush the mint leaves in your hand and toss them into the pot too and stir.
- Let the mint leaves steep in the hot boiled water and stir occasionally.
- Wait about 15 – 20 minutes then add the cold water.
- Now add the thawed lemonade concentrate and stir the entire mixture.
- Transfer the minty ice tea into a pitcher and refrigerate.
- The mint leaves can be left in or removed.
- Serve in a glass filled with ice or cold out of the fridge.
- If you prefer the flavor of limes over lemons then use frozen limeade concentrate if available.
- If the tea is a little too sweet next time add a little less sugar. On the other hand, if you prefer it a little sweeter, then squeeze an orange into the pitcher and toss in the orange pieces too. They will continue to sweeten the minty iced tea by pulling more of the juices from the orange membrane.
- If serving this drink in the afternoon for guests or friends and family in the evening add a maraschino cherry to top the glass off before serving. The little splash of color will brighten everyone’s mood and leave a sweet bite when the drink is finished.
- If your garden has an abundance of mint near the seasons end do not worry. All you have to do is snip the leaves off individually. Rinse them with cold water and set them out on paper towels. Pat them with another paper towel to soak up the majority of the water. Then allow them to air dry. Once they are free from water place them in a zip lock bag or air-tight container and place on a shelf or door of the freezer. Depending on how many leaves are frozen you may have enough to last you till the next growing season.
- Leaves should be placed in the freezer the same day they are picked to keep their freshness and full flavor when you are ready to use them.
- If you want to have dried mint leaves then set some aside and allow them to completely dry out. Then crush them and place in a small air-tight container or a thoroughly washed old spice jar and place on the spice rack or pantry shelf till needed.
- Mint can be found growing in many gardens in the town of Winona, MS. Mint is also available at the various farmers markets in the area. Some local markets carry fresh mint as well as the Winona grocer who carries dried mint are listed below.
Greenville Farmers Market
726 Washington Avenue at the corner of Washington Ave. and North Street
Greenville, MS 38701
Open: Wednesday & Saturday – 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 pm
Contact: Betty Lynn Cameron
Indianola Open Air Market
Downtown Indianola at BB King Museum
400 Second Street
Open: Saturday – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Contact: Indianola Main Street
Corner of Howard and Johnson Streets
Open: Saturday – 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon
Contact: Lise Foy
601 Middleton Road