Category Archives: mint

Harvesting Herbs In the Off Season

Besides growing herbs indoors I have been able to harvest some of the herbs from my garden throughout much of the winter.

For Christmas this year I made an herb cream cheese spread from fresh parsley, green onion tops, orange mint, and sage.  If you have no or light snow cover it is easy to see which herbs look green.  Otherwise you will have to carefully uncover a few herbs and see what you can find.  My parsley is green all winter.   For younger or smaller herb plants harvest with care.  If you harvest too much you may damage or kill the plant.  My sage is large and well established, I have many parsley plants, the green onions are plentiful as well as the orange mint.  I would not recommend harvesting rosemary over winter unless you are growing it indoors or live in a zone 7 or warmer climate.

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Summer Herbal Drinks

Herbs make a wonderful addition to lemonade and other summery drinks.  Add a few sprigs up to 1/2 c. or more fresh herbs to 8 cups of lemonade, herb teas, and juices – especially citrus or berry drinks. Mint is a refreshing choice for a hot summer day.  Lemon flavored herbs, lavender, basil, monarda, and thyme are also great choices.  Leaving the herbs in for a minimum of a few hours will increase the flavor.  When serving, either leave the herbs in or add fresh ones as a garnish.  Cucumbers or lemon slices can also be added for flavor and appearance.

For another idea, here is a recipe for a Virgin Mojito.  I wonder what it would taste like with a bit of apple juice or pineapple juice?  You could use any variety of mint – maybe lemon mint?

Writing A Book

Sorry I have not posted for awhile.  I have been finishing an herb book which is now available for Kindle and hopefully soon for Nook.

Check out What About Herbs? and let me know what you think.

Please pass the link for the book for those you know who may be interested. Thanks!

Mint

Mint is one of the invasive herbs which if not planted in a contained area may take over your yard.  I plant mint in large pots on top of pavers to prevent spreading.  Mint can be planted in part shade and damp areas.

My mints include Orange Mint, Pineapple Mint, Apple Mint, Chocolate Mint, Peppermint, and Spearmint.  Mints can be used interchangeably in recipes so use whatever flavor mint you wish.

Use mint in syrups, sauces, peas and pea soup, salads, dips,  spring rolls, lamb, salads, pesto, fruit salads, salad dressings, smoothies, chocolate dipped, desserts including ice cream, candy, brownies, and cookies, drinks including lemonade, hot chocolate, and herb teas

Mint can also be used in crafts and body products such as potpourri, herb baths, room freshener, and insect repellent.

Pineapple Mint is pictured — >

Salad idea:  Chickpeas, sliced red onion, sliced fennel, a few black olives, feta and  tomatoes; dress with a lemon or red wine vinaigrette, add a handful of chopped mint, parsley, and basil.

Mint Cream Cheese

1 t. fresh mint – finely chopped

8 oz cream cheese – softened

pinch paprika

Mix thoroughly and spread on bread or use as a dip.

 One of my favorite mint recipes:

Tabbouleh

1 cup uncooked bulgur wheat

2 cups hot water

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 2 medium bunches)

1/4 c finely chopped fresh mint

4 scallions, finely chopped

4 leaves romaine or other leaf lettuce

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/8 freshly ground pepper

Soak bulgur in hot water 10 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a serving bowl; fluff with a fork. Stir in tomatoes with juice, parsley, mint, scallions and lettuce. Add lemon juice, salt, pepper and oil. Toss to coat.

More Mint Recipes

Invasive Herbs

Some herbs can be invasive which means that once you plant them you may never get rid of them. That does not mean you should not plant them just be aware. If planted in a contained area such as a large pot you may not need to be concerned. I grow my mints in 16″ diameter pots.
Raspberries seem to be able to get through almost anything so I am experimenting: heavy duty landscape fabric on the ground, Square Foot Garden box on top (2′ x 10′), another layer of landscape fabric inside and up the sides of the box (stapled to the sides), and filled with Square Foot Garden mix. The raspberries are planted down the center with fence posts outside the box and wire strung for support.

Some of the invasive ones – common name followed by botanical name:
Comfrey Symphytum
Horseradish Armoracia rusticana
Mint Mentha
Raspberry and Blackberry Rubus
Sunchoke or Jerusalem Artichoke Helianthus tuberosus

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