MINT is Full of Healing and Flavoring Power!

Mint is a powerful plant when it comes to healing and flavoring. For instance, it’s an herb anyone with blood sugar or immunity issues ought to consume on a daily basis, since it contains large amounts of vitamins and minerals. Mint is rich in Vitamins A and C and also contains Vitamin B2. And it doesn’t take a lot of this plant for the body to reap mint’s benefits.

It’s also full of a wide range of essential minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, potassium and calcium. The chemical compound menthol, which comes from peppermint oil, is well known for its healing properties on the respiratory system because it eases and unblocks air passageways.

But there’s much more to the mint story:

  • First and foremost, mint is an excellent blood cleanser.
  • It relieves the cold and flu symptoms.
  • Mint acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body against the formation of cancer cells.
  • It inhibits the growth of many different types of bacteria and fungus.
  • It a relieves symptoms of indigestion, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome by relaxing the muscles in and around the intestine.
  • Mint helps with nasal allergies.
  • It can relieve congestion, head colds, and headaches.
  • It acts as a mild sedative and has calming properties.
  • It relieves minor aches and pains such as muscle cramps and sprains.
  • It provides a cooling sensation to the skin and can help to treat minor burns, itching, and other skin irritations.
  • Mint tea can help clear up skin disorders; it’s especially effective for acne.

This pretty green plant is loaded with flavor power as well, so it’s a perfect ingredient for cooking and baking. Consider these ideas, then try the recipe below:

  • Grind it into sugar to flavor fruit salads, sprinkle atop sugar cookies, or add sparkle to lemonade.
  • Add chopped mint to sauces for red meat, particularly lamb.
  • Add several sprigs of mint to peas, green beans or new potatoes whilst boiling.
  • Add mint to a homemade or pre-prepared chocolate sauce.
  • Add it to homemade puddings (especially chocolate).
  • Use as a garnish for cool drinks and fruit desserts.
  • Use dried peppermint leaves, added to boiling water to make a refreshing and digestive tea.
  • Make a yogurt dressing with chopped mint leaves, natural yoghurt, garlic and salt and pepper for salads especially cucumber salad.
  • Add it to cold soups or hot tomato soups.
  • Use it to make curries.
  • Use mint to flavor cakes, meringues, cookies, muffins, and scones.
  • Use it to make a marinade for lamb.
  • Make the Middle Eastern salad dish, Tabbouleh, which traditionally contains mint (along with bulgur, parsley, red onions, tomato and lemon juice).
  • Add chopped mint to rice, chickpea, couscous, or bean dishes.

Now that summer squash is starting to show up in our gardens, farmers’ markets, and the produce sections of our grocery stores, you’ll find this recipe useful. I found it years ago in Barbara Kafka’s inspiring book, VEGETABLE LOVE.

Roasted Summer Squash with Mint, Lemon, and Feta

Serving size: 4
Calories per serving: 139


6 yellow summer squash or zucchini about 8 inches long
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 lemon juice
1/2 cup very finely chopped mint leaves (measure after chopping)
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 475 F°, and put oven rack as high as it will go.
2. Wash squash and cut off stem and flower ends.
3. Cut each squash into quarters lengthwise, then cut into pieces about 2 inches long.
4. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mint and salt in plastic bowl and toss squash with the mixture. 5. Spray roasting pan with nonstick spray or mist with olive oil.
6. Arrange squash on roasting pan, in a single layer as much as possible.
7. Roast squash, turning every 15-20 minutes, until well done and slightly browned.
8. Turn squash twice, with a total cooking time of 45 minutes.

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
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