Ways to Use Fresh Mint

As summer comes to a close — bummer, I know! — I bet you’re finding yourself overstocked on a few seasonal items in your kitchen, and fresh mint leaves are likely to be among those items. Don’t let them go to waste! Fresh mint has tons of unexpected uses. We’ve been sharing mint recipes all week long, but just in case you need you need further convincing that mint leaves are versatile, here are 10 more ways to use fresh mint leaves!

10 Ways to Put Fresh Mint Leaves to Use

We’re wrapping up mint week with a bang! After sharing with your 4 brand new ways to use fresh mint, we’ve got 10 more uses for mint leaves that will be a sure fire way to use up any of your leftover mint leaves.

This week we shared:

Health Benefits of Mint Leaves

You should know that fresh mint leaves also have a ton of (possibly) unexpected health benefits. Fresh mint is rich in nutrients, can aid stomach pain and digestive issues, can improve brain function, and helps relieve cold symptoms. Since it’s relatively easy to add to your diet, there’s really no excuse not to reap those benefits.

Mint

And there’s definitely no excuse to toss the fresh mint you have in your kitchen. Here are ten easy ways to use it. 

1. Garnish your favorite juices. One of the best things about making your own juices at home is that you can add a whole bunch of delicious flavors that you probably wouldn’t find in a store-bought equivalent. Mint is one of those delicious flavors, and I like to add it to many of my own juice recipes, including my Strawberry Lemonade with Mint and my 2-Minute Watermelon Juice. The mint adds a subtle and fun depth of flavor — plus, it makes for a really pretty garnish. (Extra food Instagram points for pretty garnish!)

2. Make a salad dressing! It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with salad dressings. You throw together a little vinegar, a little oil, a little seasoning, and call it a day — right? Wrong! Salad dressings don’t have to be boring, and mint is a great way to spice up your greens. I love the Mint Chia Dressing I use on arugula salads. Make it one time and you’ll wonder why you weren’t making your salad dressings minty before! 

Arugula Salad with Mint Chia Dressing

3. Put it in frozen smoothie packs. You know how much I love to prep my healthy smoothies ahead of time by assembling frozen smoothie packs in large batches. When I’m ready for one, all I have to do is toss the contents of one of the packs in a blender and enjoy! I include fresh mint in several of my go-to frozen smoothie pack recipes. My Chocolate Mint Smoothie is extra delicious! 

4. Cocktails, anyone? We’ve already talked about how great fresh mint is as an addition to homemade juices, but it can be just as wonderful in beverages that are a little more… adult. I add it to many of my favorite boozy bevys, and if you find yourself with a lot of fresh mint lying around the kitchen, I encourage you to do the same! Try a Cantaloupe Ginger Cocktail, a French Kiss Cocktail, or a batch of Rose Sangria. Cheers to you!

5. Top off your parfaits. Parfaits look pretty to begin with, but adding a little fresh mint as garnish just takes it to a new level. Check out the way I garnish my Berry and Cream Parfait or Mocha Fudge Fruit Parfaits! Using fresh mint in any parfait that features chocolate has the added benefit of making you feel a little like you’re eating mint chocolate chip ice cream.

6. Make mint ice cubes. Drop leaves of fresh mint into each slot of your frozen ice cube molds to add a minty twist to any of your favorite juices or cocktails. This is a fun touch for any party or gathering, since it looks a little on the fancy side, but is actually really easy to pull off. 

7. Do a DIY face mask. Mint is a refreshing, rejuvenating herb, which means that it has tons of benefits for your skin care. It’s anti-bacterial, chock full of Vitamin A, anti-oxidant, and soothing, and it comes especially highly recommended for skin ailments like acne. With everything that fresh mint has going for it, it would be a waste not to use it to make DIY face masks. It can be mixed with other natural ingredients — like cucumber, honey, oats, and milk — to give your skin the glow you’ve been looking for. Check out eight awesome recipes here! 

8. Spice up a salad. Bored of your usual salad mixes? No problem. Throw in some fresh mint! The herb might just become a standard addition to all of your salad. My favorite minty salads are my Melon Salad with Prosciutto, my Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, and my Easy Cucumber Salad, but I challenge you to use mint in all of your best-loved salad recipes. 

9. Mix it in a spring roll. Spring rolls are totally underestimated as a healthy snack, nutritious lunch, or party appetizer, and they’re also a great place to use any fresh mint you have around the house. My Spring Rolls with Mango Ginger Sauce recipe calls for a bunch of mint leaves. You’re gonna love it! 

10. Toss it in a slaw. Sick of the same old slaw? Fresh mint might be just what you need to mix it up. You’ll find it in my Beet Slaw, for one!

Bonus: Check out this post and this post for other ways to preserve fresh herbs!

What are your favorite ways to use up fresh mint leaves?

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!

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

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is a must make for a healthy, light dinner or an easy side dish! With protein-packed quinoa, tomatoes, feta, arugula and mint this easy-to-make salad will be on repeat this summer!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad recipe in a bowlMediterranean Quinoa Salad Recipe

This is the first official quinoa recipe here on Lexi’s Clean Kitchen and it’s a good one! Many of you have requested healthy and nutrient-dense grain recipes and a promise is a promise! In the past we’ve had lots of oat recipes which you all have been loving and thought it time to incorporate some recipes with this healthy gluten-free grain! This Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is so flavorful and loaded with veggies and herbs! It tastes as fresh as it looks and is the perfect dish to serve as a light dinner or as a side. It also can work as meal prep for a few days.

Is Quinoa Healthy?

Our in-house nutritionist Gabby says: Quinoa is tremendously healthy, especially for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet. Quinoa is one of the very few plant proteins that contains all nine essential amino acids that our body cannot make on their own, making it a complete protein. Not only is it a rich source of protein, it is also naturally gluten-free, safe for those with celiac disease.

Many believe quinoa is a seed, but it is actually a whole grain. This makes it a nutrient-dense, high fiber substitute for things like white pasta. Last but not least, it is high in many vitamins and nutrients that Americans are deficient in such as magnesium, thiamin, folate, iron, potassium, calcium and phosphorus.

mediterranean quinoa recipeDo you need to rinse quinoa?

Yes! Don’t skip this step, even if your quinoa says “pre-rinsed”. Rinsing the quinoa get’s rid of the natural powdery coating called saponin that has a strong, somewhat unpleasant flavor. Put the quinoa in a strainer and rinse really well under cold water for 1-2 minutes. Then it’s ready to use.

How long will this salad keep?

This salad as made is best served immediately because of the arugula. But if you’d like to keep it longer, or use for meal prep you can make the salad up to 2 days ahead and either skip the arugula all together or add it to the prepared salad right before ready to serve.

quinoa and arugula saladIf you like this healthy salad recipe, check out these others:

Watch the video here:


Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 00:25 Total Time 00:25

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped mint leaves
  • 1 cup arugula

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa: Rinse quinoa under cold running water really well. In a pot add quinoa, pinch of salt and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and spread out on a baking sheet to slightly cool, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl make dressing: whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and shallots.
  3. Once the quinoa has slightly cooled, to the large bowl add quinoa, cherry tomatoes, feta, mint and arugula. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can prepare the quinoa, dressing and chop all the veggies 1 day ahead of time.
  2. We enjoyed eating this both warm straight after making the quinoa, or after the quinoa has been completely cooled. Either way works, and just depends on your preference.
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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!

Easy Cucumber Salad with Lots of Herbs!

When your garden is overrun with cucumbers this summer, this is the salad to make! Or, when you just are really in need of a refreshing, flavor-packed, and super simple salad to throw together. This Easy Cucumber Salad with Herbs uses all of the fresh herbs (parsley, dill, and mint) and features the fresh, cool cumber to complement any dish you’re serving up this summer

bowl of easy cucumber saladEasy Cucumber Salad Recipe

This recipe is for when you have found yourself googling: “How do you use a lot of cucumbers?” this summer. Throwing together this Easy Cucumber Salad with ALL THE HERBS is just the answer! This recipe is light, refreshing and a great side salad to accompany all of your grilling mains, seafood or chicken dishes this summer! And it’s a great way to use up all those fresh herbs you have too!

This recipe works with either farm fresh large cucumbers you find in the summer, or if you’re craving a refreshing side it can also work with store-bought English hot house cucumbers. If you are using extra large cucumbers from your garden or the farm feel free to scoop out the seeds and slice in half moon shapes.

bowl of cucumber salad and herbsHere’s what’s in it:

  • 2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • dijon mustard
  • dill
  • parsley
  • mint
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

a plate full of what goes with cucumber salad

What goes with cucumber salad?

To begin, the best thing about this cucumber salad is that it is oh-so-versatile! It can go with just about anything! It’s great to serve as a side for a barbecue, alongside seafood or just about any chicken dish. Here are some of our favorites that go great with this clean cucumber salad:

Looking for more summer sides recipes, check these out:

Herb Cucumber Salad
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
  2. 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  4. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  5. 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  7. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  8. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  9. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon garlic granules
  11. Pinch of red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Slice cucumbers using a knife or a mandolin. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt.
  2. In a bowl combine oil, vinegar, dijon, fresh herbs, salt, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Pour mixture over cucumbers and toss to coat evenly. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately.
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