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Mint: More Than a Garnish

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

Mint is more than a bright-colored garnish - it's time to feel more energized + support a healthy digestive system with this month's featured crop! Check out the health benefits, tips on how to use different forms of this herb, and how to preserve your fresh mint. At the end of this article, we'll share three delicious recipes that perfectly welcome Spring.

Flavor Profiles

The fresh flavor of mint can complement all sorts of foods and drinks, from sweet to savory...fruit + tossed salads, veggies, fish, lamb, and poultry, and tabbouleh...lemonade, punch, teas, and mocktails + cocktails. Two of the most popular mints (there are are over 600 varieties) are peppermint and spearmint.

Peppermint’s flavor is mentholated; it has a cool + strong flavor. Spearmint's flavor is light + sweet. It's easiest to balance flavors in your dishes by using the mint with the opposite natural flavor profile to that of your dish, adding peppermint to sweeter dishes + desserts and spearmint to your savory dishes.

The Health + Wellness Benefits of Mint

Mint can help create invigorating, energizing, and motivating feelings, assisting with focus + concentration, and uplift emotions. An excellent support for a healthy appetite + satiety, mint can promote healthy weight management. It can even help reduce common head tension.

Sure, you can eat the plant to get some of the health benefits mint offers, but research shows that many benefits come from using the essential oil and applying it to the skin, inhaling its aroma, using it as a flavoring agent, or enjoying it as a dietary supplement in a capsule.

Mint is a potent source of antioxidants, which helps protect your body from oxidative stress (a type of damage to cells caused by metabolic processes of our body or external toxins, like air pollutants + chemical exposure from daily home + personal care products).

Peppermint Vitality essential oil's menthol may support the relaxation of the muscles of the digestive tract. When taken consistently for four weeks as a dietary supplement, it can significantly support normal digestive health + function. We enjoy one drop in a capsule or in warm water after meals and you may find this benefits you, too.

Use it to calm occasional feelings of an upset stomach and support comfortable digestion. Occasional digestive discomforts may occur when food sits in the stomach for too long before passing into the rest of the digestive tract, however, taking Peppermint Vitality essential oil with meals may support the healthy processing of food through the stomach. You may also want to try a capsule of one drop each of Peppermint Vitality + Caraway Vitality essential oils; fill the rest with avocado oil or other dietary carrier of choice to take at the start or end of your meals.

Smelling the aroma of Peppermint essential oil while studying not only helps keep you focused + alert, but breathing it in for five minutes prior to testing may help with memory + recall. While driving, breathe in Peppermint essential oil to increase feelings of being alert, beat fatigue, keep away frustration, and release occasional anxious feelings.

Drinking hot water or tea with a drop of Peppermint Vitality essential oil in it or chewing on fresh leaves can help keep your gums, tongue, and teeth clean, with fresh breath to boot.

Easily add fresh mint leaves to green salads, desserts, smoothies, and even water (try adding some cucumber slices, too - yum!).

Preserving Your Mint

Like most herbs, mint is best when it's fresh, but it can be successfully dried + frozen as well! Let's chat about how to harvest, store, and preserve your mint, whether you're growing it yourself or snagging some from the produce section at your local market.


If you have mint plants in your garden, then frequent harvesting will help to keep them bushy. Pay attention to the plant and how it's growing; you may want to keep your harvesting to 3 or 4 times a year.

For the best aroma + flavor, harvest from your garden before flowering on a sunny day. Shear the tops of the plants after the morning dew has dried, cutting just above the first or second set of leaves.

Two Ways to Refrigerate

  1. Rinse cuttings + gently wrap them in a damp paper towel, placing them inside a loosely sealed plastic bag or storage container.

  2. Trim the stem ends + place them in a small glass of water, covering loosely with a bag + replacing the water every 3 to 4 days.

Sprigs will should keep fresh in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Drying Your Fresh Mint

Rinse your harvest under cold, running water + dry in a salad spinner (or gently pat dry with a clean dish towel).

Gather into small bunches of 10 to 25 stems, tie at the stems, and hang upside down in paper bags. Choose a cool, dry location with ample air circulation + out of direct sunlight.

In 1 to 2 weeks, the leaves will be dry (you'll know they're ready when they're easy to crumble); strip them from the stem + store in airtight containers in a cool, dark cupboard.

If you have one, you can also use a dehydrator at the lowest setting to dry your cuttings, storing in the same manner when you're through.


Freeze your fresh mint into cubes for easy use in cold tea or drinks like mojitos!

Rinse your cuttings and pat dry. Remove the leaves (set the stems aside for a bright flavor burst in your next smoothie). Chop leaves coarsely.

(Now, the order of the next step is up to you - I recommend adding the water, then the leaves...some prefer doing the leaves first.)

Fill your ice cube tray about halfway and then add about 2 teaspoons mint leaves into each compartment of an ice cube tray. Or add the 2 teaspoons mint leaves to each compartment, topping off with the water. Freeze.

You can also add a small piece or zest of lemon, lime, or orange for a pinch of citrus flavor, pop in different berries for a fruity twist, or totally replace the water with your choice of freshly-squeezed juice. (They're just soooo colorful + pretty!)

Once frozen, remove the cubes and store in an airtight container for up to three months.

Whole leaves can also be frozen by following the same process, however, instead of chopping the leaves, you'll leave them whole after removing them from the stems. Line leaves up in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in freezer for 2 to 3 hours.

Once frozen, place the leaves in airtight containers + keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Inspired by Good Housekeeping

Lemon-Aid Slushie

In a blender, puree 1½ cups cold lemonade, ¼ cup mint leaves, and 2 cups ice cubes until ice is crushed. Add in two to three drops Citrus Fresh Vitality and blend until mixture is combined. Serve immediately in mule mugs or glasses (no plastic, please).

Green Pea Couscous

Set our 1 cup frozen peas to thaw. Cook ¾ cup couscous, according to package directions. Combine one tablespoon olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, one drop Orange Vitality essential oil, and one drop Black Pepper Vitality essential oil (if you like less pepper, simply dip a toothpick into the essential oil and swirl into olive oil, to taste). Chop ⅓ cup each mint + parsley leave; toss in olive oil mixture. Fluff couscous then toss with thawed peas and herb-olive oil mixture.

Mint + Walnut Pesto

Dunk ¾ cup each parsley + mint in boiling water for 3 seconds (hold the stems by hand or tongs - or- use a colander); rinse in cold water and squeeze dry. In a blender or food processor, chop 2 tablespoons walnuts, 1 small garlic clove, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add herbs, ¼ cup each pecorino + Parmesan cheeses, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and one drop Basil Vitality essential oil; puree until smooth. Enjoy tossed with pasta, spread over crackers, or as a base for roasted veggie pizza.

Ingesting Essential Oils Safely

Please avoid the use of plastic when enjoying essential oils as flavoring for your foods and beverages. You'll also want to be sure that your essential oils are actually safe for ingestion - not all are created equal or as pure as the marketing says! Know + trust your source. For more information of ingesting essential oils safely, read here.


Ready to get some of your own essential oils like the ones we shared about here? When you invest in your wellness, you're not alone - we're here to walk alongside you as we grow in wellness, purpose, and abundance. Together, we'll help you find answers to your questions and build lasting relationships along the way.

We're here to pay it forward. A friend helped empower us and now we're here to share what we've learned so you can make the best choices for you and your family, too!

Start by claiming your free guide, like 5 Steps to Healthy Living or 7 Delicious Meals in 20 minutes or Less. You can also head over to learn more about why it's important for us all to become educated consumers.


Statements included in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. I am not a doctor and any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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