Today we are going to explore mint as a flavor as well as a color. To be completely honest, I enjoy cooking...but it's not a passion of mine. I've had some health issues in recent years surrounding food allergies & intolerances that often leave me sick in bed. So, in a way...food and myself have become enemies. That being said, it's been an exciting journey to learn some quick and healthy snacks to keep me on the up and up...and full of life. It's a learning process that takes work, but finding my way around the kitchen has been very rewarding.
In regards to mint, I decided to include some quick "snacky" type items rather than cooking a 4 course minty meal (which I considered). So, without further ado...here are some fast, stomach friendly recipes celebrating our favorite flavor, MINT!
Filtered Water (however much desired)
Fresh Mint Leaves
Directions: Cut 4-5 1/4 inch thick "cubes" of fresh ginger. Cut 5-6 fresh mint leaves. Put both these items in a mortar and pestle and grind until crushed. Put this "paste" in a large pitcher of water and let steep 1 hour. The longer it steeps, the stronger the ginger taste will be. You can then strain the water, or leave the paste in. This fully depends on your preference.
*This is a fantastic way to settle a queasy or sick tummy...and it tastes great! For a yummy touch, add a pinch of stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetner with zero calories. I URGE you to replace your nutri-sweet, sweet n' low and other unhealthy sweetners with this natural, health friendly substitute. You won't be sorry!
(I nabbed this one from Martha Stewart)
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
4 small garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 cups chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 to 4 warmed pitas, crackers, or tortilla chips (for serving with)
Directions: Heat 1/4 cup oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add chickpeas, and cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool 15 minutes. Add chickpea mixture, mint, parsley, lemon juice, and salt to a food processor, season with pepper, and puree. With machine running, add remaining 1/4 cup oil in a slow, steady stream, mixing until emulsified. Transfer to a serving bowl, and drizzle with oil.
*You can serve this with anything really (chips, pita bread, pretzels). I chose to serve it with gluten-free rice crackers. Rice crackers tend to be lower calorie and easy on ALL stomachs, whether you have an allergy or not!
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 red pepper
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup feta crumbled cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Add two cups of water to a small pot. Bring to boil. Add 1 cup of quinoa. Reduce heat and let simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Set aside. Cut red pepper into strips. Add red pepper strips, along with 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Cook until peppers are soft. While peppers are cooking, finely chop the mint and basil. Set aside. Once red peppers are cooked, add them to the quinoa. Pour the excess olive oil from the pan into the quinoa as well. Add the basil, mint, feta and pine nuts. Mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*To give it a little "zip" add 1 tsp of cayenne pepper. Cayenne is very healing to the body and good for overall health and digestion.
1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons of water
1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract
3 drops of green food coloring
2 cups of whipping cream, whipped
1 cup of mini-semi sweet chocolate chips
Directions:(Time Involved: 10 minutes active...) In a large bowl, combine milk, water, extract and food coloring together. Slowly fold in the whipped whipping cream and mini chocolate chips. Line a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with foil. Pour the completed ice cream mixture into the pan. The chocolate chips will settle on the bottom. Cover the whole top of pan with foil and place in freezer. Let ice cream freeze for at least 6 hours.
*If you are lactose intolerant, have a sugar sensitivity or just desire better health...try a coconut version of this recipe from Thrive Cookbook. There is a fantastic idea for this same ice cream treat, but with half the calories. Young Coconut is very good for vitality and energy. It's ambitious, but worth it...Download Thrive Mint Chip Ice Cream Recipe.
If you try any of these recipes, let me know how they turn out! We ate them all for dinner tonight and it was lovely. You can never have too much mint! Thank You so much for supporting Jarfly Mint Week. I know it's really pushed me to grow as a blogger, knowing that you were dropping by with the expectation of fresh mint ideas. It means so much to me. I can't believe it's almost over...crazy! Stop by tomorrow as I'll be sharing some new artwork and card designs...as well as showcasing some great art from NW designers. Enjoy your Saturday...