FOTM: Fresh Mint to Soothe & Refresh

Food of the Month: Fresh mint!

So fresh and so clean, clean. I love the taste of fresh mint, especially in the summer.

The reasons why I chose it for the Food of the Month post (something new to the blog calendar), are because it’s super versatile, makes for good smelling breath and great for digestion. Here are more reasons why I love it and how to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Scientific studies show that mint (spearmint and peppermint) help with digestion issues like IBS and indigestion, bad breathe and can improve brain function. However, the positive results for digestion come from taking mint capsules and the results for brain function come from using peppermint essential oils.

With that in mind, using fresh mint in your food is still a great way to enhance flavor and nutrient profile of your meal.

Flavor your beverages.
During a hot, summer day, a glass of mint and lemon flavored water feels so refreshing. Add that combo to sparkling water for a non-alcoholic treat or add some vodka for a cleaner cocktail.

Use as a palette cleanser.
Do you ever notice that when you can’t stop eating a particular food (think: second or third helping of chips or dessert), having a flavor interrupt helps cleanse the palette? I’ve found fresh mint to help with this. Either drinking mint infused water or actually chewing on the leaves will help me feel like the meal is now complete. It also freshens up your garlic breathe!

Use as a digestive tea.
Boil hot water and steep fresh mint leaves in a teapot and drink up.

Dress up a boring side dish.
Peas become minty peas. Potatoes become roasted minty potatoes. Pea soup becomes minty pea soup. You get the picture. Adding fresh herbs to any dish enhances the nutritional content and taste.

Recipe for a Summer Minty Pea Salad
Serves: about 2

4 cups arugula (I prefer wild arugula when available)
1 cup of frozen peas
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
1 tbsp grass fed butter or ghee
1 carrot, peeled
Dressing: extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, sea salt

Add optional protein:
6 ounces of grilled wild salmon
3-4 ounces of grilled Haloumi cheese (my favorite)
1-2 boiled pastured eggs, halved

1. In a small pot, combine frozen peas, mint and butter.
2. Add a touch of water or vegetable stock, sea salt and pepper.
3. Cover and cook over low-medium heat until the peas defrost and their color “pop” to bright green.
4. Layer arugula, carrot, peas and top with protein and dressing. Serve.