Mint

A Herb

Origin

  • Also known as Mentha, Mint originates from Greece
  • Been a part of human diet since Roman Empire
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Common Culinary Uses

  • Used in mint extract and tea
  • Used to flavor foods
  • Can be used in both savory and sweet dishes
  • You can use dry and fresh mint leaves.
  • Example recipe:
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Two quarts

About 3 cups fresh mint leaves
4 cups half and half (or two cups cream and two cups milk)
1 cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 egg yolks
6 ounces good quality dark chocolate

Tear the mint leaves off their stems and put in a bowl. Pound with a pestle or large spoon just until they are bruised and give off their fragrance.

Whisk the half and half, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Heat just until it begins to steam, then remove, add the mint leaves, and cover. Let steep, covered for at least an hour - preferably two or three. (You'll be heating this up again, so you don't have to worry about bacteria.)

After a couple hours strain out the mint leaves and bring to just under a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl and add a cup of the cream. Whisk it all back into the saucepan and cook, stirring, until the custard reaches 170º to 174ºF. Stir in the vanilla. Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Chop the chocolate into chunks and flakes. Set aside.

Freeze the custard the next day in your ice cream maker according to directions, adding the chocolate about halfway through. Transfer ice cream to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap under the lid touching the surface of the ice cream to prevent ice crystals from forming. Freeze for at least four hours before serving.

Botanical Information

  • Mint is a herb, therefore we use the leafy part of the plant.
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Health Benefits

  • Helps with digestion
  • Relieves stomach ache
  • Calming effect
  • Rich source of vitamins A, B2 and C

Interesting facts

  • Used in Greek Mythology
  • Was used to flavor the 1400s version of toothpaste