Naturally Sweetened Mint Mojito

This Mojito recipe is naturally sweetened using a honey mint simple syrup. It’s refreshing and the ultimate summer cocktail!

paleo mojito drink with mint and limePaleo Mojito Recipe

As if a Mojito wasn’t delicious enough, we’ve added in a little extra kick of mint and sweeten this one with a Honey Mint Simple Syrup. With mint in abundance in the later summer months, it’s the perfect refreshing cocktail to make right now! Serve it to a crowd or enjoy during a casual dinner at home. Either way, it’s going to be loved!

Traditionally Mojitos are made with granulated sugar to sweeten them. The granulated sugar is muddled with the mint to break it down so it doesn’t taste grainy, and to help release the natural oils on the mint. Here, we skip the refined sugar and instead make a quick Honey Mint Simple Syrup that not only adds just the right touch of sweetness to the mojito, but also makes it extra minty. You can skip this step if you’d like, and just make honey simple syrup instead, but that extra hint of mint really makes this summer cocktail special. We recommend making the simple syrup if you’d like to sweeten this naturally, as adding straight honey doesn’t blend well with the cold beverage.

Pouring honey simple syrup into mojitoMojito Ingredients

  • Fresh Mint
  • Lime Juice
  • White Rum
  • Ice
  • Club Soda

How to Make Simple Syrup with Mint

Check out this post for all the instructions and recipe, but here is a quick recap:

  1. First you make a simple syrup by combining 1 part water to 1 part sweetener. In this case, we use honey. Bring it up to a boil and that is a your base simple syrup.
  2. Next you bruise or rough up the clean mint to help release the oil. Then place the cleaned mint leaves in a heat proof bowl. Carefully pour the simple syrup over the mint. Let it infuse for 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully strain the mint leaves, pressing down gently to get all of the oils out of the leaves.
  4. Use in this Mojito and many others!

Mojito recipe on a cutting board surrounded by limesHow to Make a Mojito

We recommend making Mojito’s to order. If you are serving your crowd prep all the ingredients you need and have that ready to go. You can up up to 3 at once if you follow all of these steps and make the drink in a cocktail shaker, and then pour over ice in each individual glass!

  1. Muddle the mint! Place the mint leaves in the glass and muddle to release the oils that give it a nice refreshing, minty flavor. Muddle just enough to slightly bruise the mint. 
  2. Fill the glass ⅔ full with cracked ice. 
  3. Pour in the lime juice, the rum and top it off with club soda.
  4. Garnish with extra lime or mint.

Two mojito cocktails with simple syrup

If you like this cocktail recipe, check out these others:

If you like this mint recipe, check out these others:

Honey Mint Mojito

Prep Time 00:05 Total Time 00:05 Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Small handful of fresh mint, washed well
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons Mint Simple Syrup
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • Club Soda
  • Extra lime and mint for garnish

Directions

  1. Place 5-8 mint leaves in two highball glasses. Place the mint and the simple syrup in the glass. Using a muddler, or the bottom of a wooden spoon, muddle the mint to help release the oils.
  2. Fill the glass ⅔ full with cracked ice. 
  3. Pour in the lime juice, the rum and top it off with club soda.
  4. Garnish with extra lime or mint.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Pistachio Mint Pesto

This bright Pistachio Mint Pesto is a unique twist on the classic to use up all of that abundant summer mint! It’s made with pistachio, mint and dill and is so bright and refreshing. It’s perfect for grilled meat or veggies and comes together quickly to add a nice punch of flavor to any dish!

Fresh Mint Pesto Recipe

A well made pesto is like a flavor bomb. Adding this Mint Pesto to any dish will brighten it and elevate the flavor! This nuanced pesto is made with fresh mint leaves, dill, green onions, pistachios and lemon! The truth is you can make pesto out of just about anything, and while most people think of pesto with basil, this mint pesto is just as delicious. You can pair it with nearly anything, but it’s great with grilled meats, veggies, chicken and as a spread on a cheese board.

Ingredients for Pistachio Mint Pesto

  • Pistachios 
  • Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Dill sprigs
  • Green Onions
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Zest
  • Salt and Pepper

How to Wash Fresh Mint

Mint can often be very gritty and dirty. To properly wash mint you should:

  1. Pick all the mint leaves off the stem
  2. Fill a big bowl with cool water
  3. Submerge the mint leaves and swoosh them around.
  4. Let them sit for a minute so that the dirt drops to the bottom.
  5. Pick up the mint leaves as gently as possible, so as to not disturb the dirt, and place in a colander.
  6. Empty out the water, rinse the bowl and repeat the process until no dirt is left behind in the bowl.
  7. If desired you can run the mint leaves in a salad spinner to dry them off.

How to Prevent Pesto from Turning Brown

Pesto turns brown when the fresh herbs oxidize by coming into prolonged contact with oxygen. It isn’t harmful to eat brown pesto, but it can have an off taste and it looks unpleasant. To prevent browning you can float some olive oil over the top of pesto in the container. Make sure to cover the pesto entirely. This creates an airtight seal and will prevent the pesto from turning brown immediately.

pesto made with mint in a blenderWays to Use Pistachio Mint Pesto

This bright pesto would be great with so many dishes! It is great with chicken, turkey or even pork. This would be a nice addition with lamb in springtime as well! You can use pesto in pasta dishes, rice dishes, in a salad, as a dip or spread and served over a grilled meat or veggies.

Check out these recipes that use pesto:

If you like this mint recipe, check out these others:

Pistachio Mint Pesto

Prep Time 00:05 Total Time 00:05 Yields 1-1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup whole raw pistachios 
  • 2 cups packed mint leaves, washed well
  • ½ cup packed dill
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • Big pinch salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Hot water, if needed

Directions

  1. Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor or a high speed blender. Pulse until finely chopped.
  2. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. If needed you can add in a tablespoon of hot water as needed to make a smooth pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. Use immediately or store for up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container.

Recipe Notes

  1. If storing for more than a day, to prevent browning float some olive oil over the top of the pesto to create an airtight seal.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Mint Simple Syrup

This mint simple syrup is made with honey and is perfect for cocktails, mocktails, in tea, coffee or for baking projects! It’s simple to make it will last for a week or two in the refrigerator.

Fresh mint simple syrup in a jarPaleo Mint Simple Syrup Recipe

This 3-ingredient flavored simple syrup uses no refined sugars or artificial ingredients. It has an amazing and earthy mint flavor. Simple syrup is basically just water and sugar cooked together to create a liquid sweetener that easily dissolves in other liquid. It’s perfect for making drinks and for baking projects and is so easy to make. We’re skipping out on the white sugar and instead using honey to sweeten this Mint Simple Syrup.

Mint Simple Syrup Ingredients:

  • Fresh Mint
  • Water
  • Honey

Types of Mint

There are so many different types of mint out there! They all have their own taste and aroma. More than likely if you’ve just got your standard run-of-the-mill mint either growing in your backyard or from the grocery store, it is probably peppermint or spearmint. Both of those will work well for this recipe and give it a typical mint taste. Another varietal that will work well for this simple syrup is Chocolate Mint. This isn’t easy to find in stores, but if you are lucky enough to be growing it in your garden definitely use it here!

Mint simple syrup recipe being made

Uses for Fresh Mint Simple Syrup

You’ll get the most use out of a mint simple syrup in beverages! You can use it in cocktails, such as a Mojito, or in mocktail recipes (cocktails without alcohol). It would be great with agua frescas (fruit blended with water) such as watermelon, or used in a lemonade recipe! It would be perfect in any tea, but especially a Fresh Mint tea and it could be a fun addition to coffee! If you are an avid baking you could use simple syrup to infuse flavors in cake layers or to use in a brownie recipe to make it minty!

Why do you ” bruise” the mint?

In this recipe we call for you to rough up the mint, or bruise it. The reason we instruct you to do this is because bruising the mint helps the oils come out of the herb and gives the simple syrup more flavor.

Pouring simple syrup made with honey over fresh mint leaves

How to Make Fresh Mint Simple Syrup

  1. First you make the simple syrup! Again, we’re using honey instead of white sugar to avoid using refined sugar. Simple syrup is 1 part water to 1 part sweetener. 
  2. Clean the mint leaves!
  3. Next you bruise or rough up the mint to help release the oil. Then place the cleaned mint leaves in a heat proof bowl. Carefully pour the simple syrup over the mint. Let it infuse for 10 minutes.
  4. Carefully strain the mint leaves, pressing down gently to get all of the oils out of the leaves.
  5. Place your simple syrup in a heat proof jar with a tight fitting lid and let cool completely. Cover and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
  6. Use as desired!

Fresh mint leaves strained to make mint simple syrupWashing Your Mint Leaves

Mint can often be very gritty and dirty. Washing the mint leaves really well is important because if left with grit on them, the mint will turn the simple syrup muddy. To properly wash mint you should:

  1. Pick all the mint leaves off the stem
  2. Fill a big bowl with cool water
  3. Submerge the mint leaves and swoosh them around.
  4. Let them sit for a minute so that the dirt drops to the bottom.
  5. Pick up the mint leaves as gently as possible, so as to not disturb the dirt, and place in a colander.
  6. Empty out the water, rinse the bowl and repeat the process until no dirt is left behind in the bowl.
  7. If desired you can run the mint leaves in a salad spinner to dry them off.

paleo mint simple syrup in a jar with fresh mint leaves surrounding it

If you like this mint recipe, check out these others:

Fresh Mint Simple Syrup

Prep Time 00:05 Cook Time 00:05 Inactive Time 00:10 Total Time 00:20 Yields 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small bunch (about 1 ounce) mint leaves, cleaned well

Directions

  1. Make the simple syrup: To a small pot add honey and water. Turn on the heat to medium and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off heat.
  2. Place the cleaned mint leaves in a heat proof bowl and tear them into smaller pieces with your hands, bruising them as you go to get the oils out of the leaves. Carefully pour the simple syrup over the mint. Let sit to infuse for 10 minutes.
  3. Carefully strain the mint leaves, pressing down gently to get all of the oils out of the leaves.
  4. Place your simple syrup in a heat proof jar with a tight fitting lid and let cool completely. Cover and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

How to Make Fresh Mint Tea

Did you know you can make tea out of fresh mint leaves? It’s so simple and can be made to drink hot or cold! Scroll on down because we’re walking you through the steps on How to Make Fresh Mint Tea!

Easy Fresh Mint Tea Recipe

Sipping tea can be so soothing! Mint tea in particular has the ability to immediately calm the mind. Fresh mint tea made with real mint leaves only makes it more amazing! It’s earthy, bright and truly minty. And the best part is making it is SO EASY requiring only two ingredients: mint and water! You can use any type of mint that you’d like, and it tastes even better when you make your own blend! We found it easiest to make the tea inside of a French press, but you can just as easily make it in a bowl and then strain out the tea in a strainer once it’s steeped.

Types of Mint For Fresh Mint Tea

There are so many different types of mint out there! They all have their own taste and aroma. More than likely if you’ve just got your standard run-of-the-mill mint either growing in your backyard or from the grocery store, it is probably peppermint or spearmint. Both of those will work well for this recipe and give it a typical mint taste. If you are lucky enough to have a garden with some of these varietals, definitely use them in this mint tea recipe! Some of our favorites for mint tea is made from these varietals:

  • Chocolate Mint
  • Pineapple Mint
  • Apple Mint (or Whooly Mint)
  • Orange Mint

You can use just one type of mint or mix them up!

Washing Your Mint Leaves

Mint can often be very gritty and dirty. Washing the mint leaves really well is important because if left with grit on them, the mint will turn the tea muddy. To properly wash mint you should:

  1. Pick all the mint leaves off the stem
  2. Fill a big bowl with cool water
  3. Submerge the mint leaves and swoosh them around.
  4. Let them sit for a minute so that the dirt drops to the bottom.
  5. Pick up the mint leaves as gently as possible, so as to not disturb the dirt, and place in a colander.
  6. Empty out the water, rinse the bowl and repeat the process until no dirt is left behind in the bowl.
  7. If desired you can run the mint leaves in a salad spinner to dry them off.

How to Make Fresh Mint Tea

  1. Wash your mint leaves well! Gritty mint leaves will make for muddy tea!
  2. Tear and bruise the mint leaves with your hands. Roughing up the mint leaves will help bring out the oil and make for a stronger mint flavor.
  3. Pour the boiling water over the mint leaves and let infuse for 5-8 minutes. The longer you infuse the stronger the mint essence. However, it reaches a point when the mint tea can start to taste a little grassy, so depending on your varietal of mint start tasting it around 5 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea and pour into tea cups. Add honey, if using.
  5. Serve immediately or cool down and serve cold.

Ways to Enjoy Tea Made with Fresh Mint Leaves

You can spice up your mint tea by adding in some other flavors! You can add in some lemon juice, some honey or maple syrup or even other culinary herbs such as thyme! If you wanted to really amp up the flavor, you could skip the honey and instead make a mint simple syrup to add to the tea to sweeten it (recipe coming in two days!)

If you like this mint recipe, check out these others:

Fresh Mint Tea Recipe

Prep Time 00:10 Total Time 00:10 Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch (about 2 ounces) fresh mint leaves, cleaned well
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)

Directions

  1. Tear and bruise the mint leaves with your hands and place in either a fresh press or a bowl.
  2. Pour the boiling water over the mint leaves and let infuse for 5-8 minutes.
  3. Strain the tea and pour into tea cups. Add honey, if using.
  4. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can also serve this cold. While still warm add honey if using, and stir. Store in the refrigerator until cold, at least 6 hours. Will keep up to 2 days.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

P.S. take me back to Morocco for all the mint tea!

Pouring Moroccan Mint Tea at Riad Fes in Fes, Morocco

Skirt Steak with Italian Salsa Verde

This Grilled Skirt Steak with Italian Salsa Verde is flavorful and easy to make! Grilling this inexpensive cut of meat makes it tender and delicious. Top it with the savory salsa verde and you have an easy dinner win! Serve with a side like this Avocado and Corn Salsa.

Grilled skirt steak with Italian salsa verdeGrilled Skirt Steak with Italian Salsa Verde

This flavorful dinner made with inexpensive skirt steak cooked on the grill and doused in a bright Italian Salsa Verde sauce comes from the Feast by Firelight cookbook, written by the awesome Emma Frisch who also owns Firelight Camp Ground, a glamping location in Ithaca, NY that you may remember I visited for a second time in June! I love it there so much. This time around we brought JAX and had so much fun. I personally got to try this dish by the campfire and loved it so much, I asked if I could share it with all of you!

Firelight Ithaca NY

Also I’m so excited, they’ve offered my readers 10% off your stay with code LEXISCLEANKITCHEN for your Firelight glamping reservations. I can’t recommend it enough. So if it’s close enough to you, head there with family or friends! You’ll have the best time. Code expires 12/31/19.

Italian Salsa Verde

What is Salsa Verde?

Salsa Verde can mean many things to different people, but generally speaking it refers to a sauce made from raw ingredients like green herbs. Depending on the region its coming will dictate what ingredients are used. For this recipe, the ingredients used such as anchovy and capers make it more of an Italian style green sauce. This sauce is the perfect complement to nearly any dish, or could even be used as a dip with crudite.

What are the ingredients needed to make it?

Aside from the skirt steak, you need these ingredients to make the sauce:

  • Garlic
  • Anchovies
  • Capers 
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Dijon mustard 
  • Parsley 
  • Olive Oil

Italian salsa verde recipeHow to Grill the Perfect Skirt Steak

Check out these tips from Emma Frisch on how to cook the perfect steak:

  • Light the grill to  high heat and position the grill grate as close as possible to the coals or pile the coals high under the grate to maximize the steak’s proximity to the fire.
  • Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel to eliminate moisture on the surface and ensure a crispy crust.
  • Season appropriately: Dry brine it the night before and sprinkle with pepper right before grilling.
  • Place the steaks over the hottest part of the fire. Look for an evenly caramelized and browned outer crust to check doneness. Slight char is okay but don’t let the crust burn!
  • Use a thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the steak. The ideal temperature for a skirt steak is between 125° and 130°F for medium-rare to medium. (Check the guide below for other temperatures)

What temperature to cook a steak to

  • If you like rare steak, stop cooking at 125°F.
  • If you like medium-rare steak, stop cooking at about 130°F.
  • If you like medium steak, stop cooking at 140°F.
  • If you like a well-done steak stop cooking at 150ºF-155ºF.

What does cutting agains the grain mean?

If you look closely you can see that the muscle of the steak generally goes in one direction. In a skirt steak it is really easy to see because it’s a tougher cut of meat with more defined muscle fibers. It’s important to cut the grilled steak in the correct direction. By cutting against the grain, you are making the muscle fibers short, therefor resulting in a tender piece of meat.

To cut against the grain: cut the steak in the opposite direction of the muscle fibers. If the grain goes from right to left, cut  from the top to the bottom. If possible, cut at a diagonal.

Serve this Flank Steak with:

Skirt Steak with Italian Salsa Verde

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:12 Total Time 00:22 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds skirt steak (see Note) 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled 
  • One 2-ounce can anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry 
  • 2 tablespoons capers 
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar 
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1⁄3 cup olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon 
  • Ground Black Pepper

Directions

  1. To prepare steaks: Dry-brine the steaks by rubbing the salt evenly over the surface. Transfer to a ziplock bag and then chill for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. 
  2. To prepare the salsa verde: In a food processor, combine the garlic, anchovies, and capers and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the processor bowl; add the vinegar, mustard, and parsley; and whiz while slowly drizzling in the 1⁄3 cup olive oil until smooth and bright green. Transfer the mixture to a lidded 8-ounce jar. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top to create a film that will preserve the lovely bright green. Seal the jar tightly. Sauce can be made and chilled for up to 1 week. Remove the salsa verde from the cooler and let stand at ambient temperature for up to 2 hours before serving. 
  3. To Cook Steak: Heat the grill to high heat and grill steaks over the hottest part of the fire, flipping the steak every few minutes for even cooking; the cooking time will vary depending on thickness, about 10 minutes. Look for an evenly caramelized and browned outer crust to check doneness. Slight char is okay but don’t let the crust burn! Use a thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the thickest part of the steak is between 125° and 130°F for medium-rare to medium (see chart in article for alternative temperature).
  4. Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes so the juices can redistribute. Slice the steak against the grain into 1⁄2-inch slices. 
  5. Serve directly from the cutting board with salsa verde for topping the steak.

Recipe Notes

  1. If you steak is excessively fatty you can trim some of it to prevent flare-ups when the fat drips onto the coals. Skirt steak isn’t very fatty, but still, leave any fat on for flavor and just be prepared for flare-ups.
  2. Store leftovers in an airtight container, chilled, for up to 3 days. 
  3. Reprinted with permission from Feast by Firelight cookbook, written by Emma Frisch.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

 

Cajun Blackened Fish