While most of us enjoy the refreshing flavor of mint, maybe even have it as a tea or ice cream on occasion, this super versatile, medicinal, and nutritious herb often gets put on the back burner when it comes to cooking. Poor mint is usually relegated to toothpaste flavors — wintergreen, icy mint, mint splash, lime spearmint and so on — instead of getting its culinary due.

But, before we get into the how, let’s talk about the why. Why is mint so worth eating? Well, mint is fantastic for fresh breath, as we all know, but it is also good for soothing stomach ailments and aiding digestion. The aroma is good for headaches and nausea. It helps with all sorts of breathing disorders, including asthma and coughs. It prevents depression, fatigue and memory loss while assisting with weight loss and oral care. And, there are many more.

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So, I suppose the goal now is to get it into our diets more frequently, and here are some ways to do that.

Sweets

The easiest and most common (perhaps even the most rewarding) way of incorporating mint into your diet is via dessert. Mint is often used as a garnish, but it can also be a great flavor component to sweets. Plus, by having it with dessert, all those digestive qualities will be put to good use. Try this Raw Kiwi Tart with Ginger, Mint and Coconut and Chocolate Cupcakes with Aavocado-Mint Icing.

Drinks

Mint tea is already a favorite for many tea drinks, and it’s great for getting into the sinus passages and relieving headaches and stuffy noses. However, this is not the only way to drink up your fill of mint. Another respected combination is mint and chocolate, so that makes for a great minty hot chocolate. Also, mint is a fine compliment to fruits, making it a perfect addition to smoothies, like this creamy mint chocolate chip smoothie.

Chutney

While mint will rarely feature as the main flavor of a dish, it’s a great accent. Mint sauce has classically been combined with lamb and beef, and while it’s known to be a good companion to meat, it can also work well with plant-based dishes. For example, tandoori and mint chutney are traditionally fast friends, so just use plant-based tandoori dishes like tandoori tofu or whole roasted tandoori cauliflower. Pair it with curry as well.

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Spreads

Mint with bread? It’s probably not the first duo that comes to mind for most. They are not, say, the Batman and Robin of the breakfast world, but mint jellies are fantastic and can seriously do justice to a biscuit or slice of toast. And, when it comes to snack time, mint and bread probably aren’t as classic as peanut butter and crackers, but make this smooth mint coconut cashew “cream cheese” spread and see what you think. And, here’s a tahini to boot.

Salads

Then, like with any green, there are salads, the dish of leaves that can always handle more. Some mint adds a twist to any good mixed green salad, and it’s also a fun with chunky salads donning apples or potatoes. But, probably the least challenging of all to accept is adding mint to fruit salads. Mint is also dynamite in citrus-y salad dressings.

So, without further ado, it’s time to start working some mint, beyond toothpaste backwash, into your daily diet plan. Funk up some of your favorite meals and reap the benefits of the magically powerful and delicious herb.

Image Source: Raw Strawberry Banana Ice Cream Cake With Mint

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