Fresh Mint: The Forgotten Herb
Mint is an aromatic herb that ranges in color from a dark green to a pale yellow with flowers that bloom either pure white or deep purple. The mint is one of the perennials that demand little attention from horticulturists — it thrives with little maintenance yet continues to provide culinary enthusiasts with an organic ingredient that infuses even the most lackluster dish with refreshing bursts of flavor.
Since ancient times mint has been used medicinally as a cure for many ailments including indigestion and lung infections. Mint is not only packed with vitamins and minerals and serves as a potent antioxidant to prevent cancer and other diseases, but it also contains the chemical compound menthol which has been used for centuries to relieve chest and respiratory problems.
Medicinal Uses for Mint:
• Mint soothes allergies symptoms.
• Mint aids the digestive process while relieving heartburn and lower intestinal problems.
• Mint reduces congestion.
• Mint serves as a powerful antioxidant to prevent cancer cells from forming.
• Mint functions as a probiotic to help inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus.
• Mint facilitates breathing by clearing respiratory passages.
• Mint prevents bad breath.
• Mint helps heal burns and other skin irritations including acne.
Mint also provides a flavorful ingredient for cooking and its strong presence enhances and compliments every dish it is used in. The two most popular types of mint are peppermint and spearmint which are widely used in breath fresheners, chewing gum, ice cream and chocolate. However mint is also used frequently in Middle Eastern cooking where it is used in both sweet and savory cuisine
Classic Uses for Cooking with Fresh Mint:
• Mint sauces for meats (especially lamb)
• Garnishes for summer drinks
• Boiled in tea
• Added to cold soups
• Middle Eastern dishes such as tabbouleh and couscous
• Greek style yogurt based dishes such as tzatziki
Kyocera Cutlery Presents: Refreshing Greek Style Yogurt and Mint Dip (Tzatziki)
This Greek-style yogurt and mint dip (tzatziki) is ideal for dipping pita chips, crusty bread chunks, sliced vegetables even French fries. Although Fresh mint is available at the local grocers it is ideal to grow and harvest it from your own garden. Mint leaves should be stored in the refrigerator in water with the stems down for optimal freshness.
• 1 whole cucumber grated with Kyocera Grater
• 2 cups (16 oz) plain yogurt – strained or Greek style
• 4 cloves garlic, minced with Kyocera Grater
• 1/3 cup mint leaves chopped with Kyocera’s Chef Knife
• Organic sea salt ground with Kyocera Grinder
• Extra virgin olive oil
Grate the cucumber with Kyocera Grater and strain. Add a pinch of salt, mix and continue to let drain (about 10 minutes) to remove as much juice as possible. Mix in cucumbers with yogurt, garlic and chopped mint leaves. Drizzle olive oil over the top.