Mint

Summer is a great time to use fresh mint in your iced beverages, salads and desserts.

Mint has many health promoting benefits aside from a delightful flavour.  Believe it or not mint has been shown in some research studies to help fight against cancer.  It has very protective properties.  It also helps soothe irritable bowel syndrome in some people.  The oil from peppermint, if taken in capsule form for about 4 weeks, has been shown to relax the muscles of the intestinal wall relieving cramps, bloating and other uncomfortable symptoms of IBS.  Amazing right?

Peppermint provides many nutrients such as vitamins A, C, B12, K and minerals such as selenium, zinc, calcium, fluoride and iron to name a few.    Liquid extracts of the oil from peppermint are showing healing properties from detoxing heaving metals, to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory help for the body.

There are many ways to incorporate mint into your daily nutrition.  I quite often add one or two drops of peppermint essential oil into my drinking water.  It makes for such a refreshing flavour.  You can make so many summer drinks with mint.  Two that come to mind are the mint julip and the mojito.  Those drinks contain alcohol but if you are interested in using mint in a non-alcohol beverage this can be easily done.

MINTY SIMPLE SYRUP:

1 1/2 cups mint leaves, 1/2 cup coconut sugar or honey or 1/4 cup agave (if you use this syrupy sweetener), 1 cup water, 2 drops peppermint oil, 1 drop spearmint oil (optional)

Boil leaves, sugar and water until sugar is dissolved.  Gently boil for about 2 minutes more.  Strain the liquid squeezing liquid from the mint.  Add the drops of peppermint and spearmint oil (make sure the oils are organic and of good food grade quality).

This syrup will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.  Makes great summer drinks.

NON-ALCOHOL FRESH LEMONADE:

1 cup simple syrup, 2 cups fresh lemon juice (12 lemons), 1 bottle sparkling water.  Stir all together, garnishing with lemon and orange wedges and a few mint leaves.   This is such a refreshing summer drink.

You can also chop fresh mint and add it to salads and sprinkle on ice cream is you like.

It’s a really hot summer.  Stay cool with mint and reap the health benefits of this great herb too.

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