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Thread: What kind of mint?

  1. #1
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    What kind of mint?

    I want to go to the garden center this weekend and pick up some mint plants to grow at home for use in cooking (going in containers, not in the ground as I know that they spread like crazy), but I am never sure what type of mint to use in different recipes. I want to use it in both sweet and savory types of dishes such as tabbouleh, dipping/marinating sauces, in drinks etc. What kind is best for savory, what kind for sweet? I've only had peppermint and spearmint before, but I know there are lots of other kinds too. Any favorites? What should I look for. TIA.
    Cheryl-If I was organized, I'd be dangerous.

  2. #2
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    If I were going to have just one (and I do) it would be the -literally- garden variety spearmint. But for desserts it would be fun to have chocolate mint and pineapple mint.

  3. #3
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    I like peppermint for strongly seasoned dishes, spearmint for milder dishes, and chocolate mint for deserts. I had a curly mint last year that worked well in just about everything. Growing conditions can do a lot to perk up or tone down mint flavor. Mint does not keep to itself so even the plants I have in the ground are still in containers (just buried them in large plastic pots). I still haven't found the 'perfect' mint for some of the Thai dishes I enjoy.
    Anne

  4. #4
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    Brush the leaves with your hand and smell the fragrant oils. They will give you a sense of the flabor the mint will have.

    My chocolate mint is VERY strong. I like it, but have to use it more sparingly than called for in most recipes. I like it or a basic peppermint for most things, but spearmint or pineapple mint are good for fruits, desserts and teas. I like to have a couple.

  5. #5
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    I have regular generic mint growing randomly that came with the house and I've potted some of it already because it's going to be eliminated with the garden planting. But I love the citrusy pineapple mint for lemonade and even crushed in lemon seltzer, so I started a huge, showy clay pot of it. It's also quite beautiful with its variegated leaves and I have it mixed in a hanging basket with some hot pink phlox as well.

    I've been doing a ton of mint recipes just for fun and hope to start a thread with them when I'm a little less preoccupied, but I made some cranberry mint tea the other day, using some of those frozen berries, that was just wonderful.

    Remember, you can do a big pot or long window type planter and mix several too.

    Bob

  6. #6
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    I have regular, pineapple, chocolate, and spearmint in large pots...and they are all great...now Bob...share those recipes!!!

    ~Gail
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobmark226

    I've been doing a ton of mint recipes just for fun and hope to start a thread with them when I'm a little less preoccupied, but I made some cranberry mint tea the other day, using some of those frozen berries, that was just wonderful.

    Bob

    Bob: Try this recipe over the summer; it is amazing! It makes quite a bit so you might want to halve it.

    Cherise: I think spearmint is your best bet for mint to use in cooking.


    Minted Tea

    1 3/4 cups sugar
    2 cups water
    8 regular tea bags
    8 sprigs fresh mint
    1 quart boiling water
    2 quarts cold water
    2 cups orange juice
    3/4 cup lemon juice
    fresh mint sprigs (optional)

    Combine sugar and 2 cups water in a saucepan; stir well. Bring to a boil; boil 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add tea bags and mint to 1 quart boiling water; cover and let stand 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and mint. Combine sugar water, tea mixture, 2 quarts cold water, orange juice, and lemon juice; stir well. Serve over ice. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired. Yield: about 1 gallon
    Michelle

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobmark226
    I have regular generic mint growing randomly that came with the house and I've potted some of it already because it's going to be eliminated with the garden planting. But I love the citrusy pineapple mint for lemonade and even crushed in lemon seltzer, so I started a huge, showy clay pot of it. It's also quite beautiful with its variegated leaves and I have it mixed in a hanging basket with some hot pink phlox as well.

    Bob
    bolding mine-- Bob, what are you doing? Concreting over the top of the mint patch? Mint is harder to get rid of than yucca. You're funny. (hope you do get rid of it. ) really. no. seriously. I wouldn't plant mint in my worst enemy's yard.

    The mint that the local ethnic mart sells is Spearmint. That's what all my elderly Southern neighbors had as well. They also seemed to like pineapple mint. They also used scented geraniums.
    If loving me is wrong, you don't want to be right.

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    JB

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobmark226
    I have regular generic mint growing randomly that came with the house and I've potted some of it already because it's going to be eliminated with the garden planting. But I love the citrusy pineapple mint for lemonade and even crushed in lemon seltzer, so I started a huge, showy clay pot of it. It's also quite beautiful with its variegated leaves and I have it mixed in a hanging basket with some hot pink phlox as well.

    I've been doing a ton of mint recipes just for fun and hope to start a thread with them when I'm a little less preoccupied, but I made some cranberry mint tea the other day, using some of those frozen berries, that was just wonderful.

    Remember, you can do a big pot or long window type planter and mix several too.

    Bob

    I'd LOVE to have that cranberry-mint tea recipe (I have some cranberries stashed in my freezer) and all the other mint recipes you've got tucked up your sleeve when you get the time.

    Bonnie

    Bonnie

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrogier
    bolding mine-- Bob, what are you doing? Concreting over the top of the mint patch? Mint is harder to get rid of than yucca. You're funny. (hope you do get rid of it. ) really. no. seriously. I wouldn't plant mint in my worst enemy's yard.
    LOL, Micah. I understand what you're saying but I find it hard to believe, or maybe because it's the way mine is growing? It seems to be growing in a row, and when I dug some up to transplant, it wasn't deep-rooted at all, but seems to spread by runner roots, all of which are right near the top. I did see my first slug the other day though and when I asked the gardener, who happened to be with me at the time, what I should do with it, she said "send it over to your neighbor." (Actually, I think she's going to re-sod the whole area.)

    Bonnie, here's the Cranberry-Mint Tea. It doesn't make a lot, unfortunately, but it's awfully good, perfectly balanced between the berries and mint. I did use Splenda, but reduced it a bit because I find it sweeter than sugar.

    Bob

    CRANBERRY-MINT TEA

    This is also very good served hot.

    4 cups water
    1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries
    1 cup fresh mint leaves (about 1/2 ounce)
    1/2 cup sugar
    Fresh mint sprigs

    Combine 4 cups water and cranberries in heavy medium saucepan and bring to boil. When cranberries begin to pop, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer mixture until cranberries are very tender, about 10 minutes.
    Place 1 cup mint leaves in heat-proof pitcher or coffeepot. Set fine strainer atop pitcher. Pour cranberry mixture into strainer, pressing on solids to extract as much juice as possible; discard solids. Add 1/2 cup sugar to pitcher; stir until sugar has dissolved.

    Refrigerate mixture until cold. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Can also be served hot.) Garnish with mint sprigs and serve. Per Serving: calories, 143; total fat, 0; saturated fat, 0; cholesterol, 0

    Makes 4 servings.

    Bon Appétit
    Cooking for Health
    December 1995
    Last edited by bobmark226; 05-20-2006 at 08:00 AM.

  11. #11
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    Thanks Bob! That tea looks great! Do you use a packed cup of mint or just a loosely packed cup?

    Bonnie

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Busy weekend. Just got a chance to check the boards now. Thanks for all the responses, and recipes too. Being the indecisive person I am, I bought 5 different types of mint. I got chocolate, apple, spearmint, peppermint, and another one that I can't remember at the moment. Now if I can just keep the squirrels from digging up the pots that they're in....

    Thanks again, and any more mint recipes are always welcome. I'll have more than I know what to do with now, I'm sure.
    Cheryl-If I was organized, I'd be dangerous.

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