Letting fresh mint go to waste should be a crime. With so much refreshing, bright flavor, the possibilities are endless when it comes to sprinkling this sweet green over your favorite dishes and beverages. From a zesty vinaigrette to a rich chocolate concoction to a flavor-packed grain salad, there are few things that won't taste better with the addition of a handful of fresh mint.
Fresh mint
Credit: Getty Images; Credit: La_vanda

Like most fresh herbs, fresh mint is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it’s irresistibly fragrant and adds a refreshing burst of flavor to any dish it touches. Yet at the same time, it can feel like a race against time to use up all of this lovely green herb that you’ve scooped up from the farmers’ market before it wilts and turns brown in the confines of your refrigerator. Rather than letting this lush, leafy green go to waste,embrace the fact that there are plenty of clever and delicious ways to make the most out of it.

Make a Mint Pesto

Who says basil is the only fresh herb who gets a spot in the limelight when it comes to homemade pesto? Mint pesto is just as bright and herbaceous as it’s basil relative, but delivers an added hint of coolness that's amazing when drizzled over savory grilled meats, like chicken or lamb, or stirred into summery a pasta or grain salad. Go ahead and try blending it into your next omelet. You really can’t go wrong.

Add it To Your Drinks

From a refreshing mint iced coffee, to something a little boozy like a mint rum slush or a cucumber-mint tonic, the sweetness of fresh mint makes it a great candidate to be muddled and added to your next drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic). That pop of cool, earthy flavor is just what your taste buds are begging for on hot summer day.

Make a Syrup

If muddling isn’t your style, a great way to extract the luscious flavors of fresh mint is by infusing them into a simple syrup. Make a big batch and use this syrup in lattes, smoothies, cocktails, and on top of a good ol’ ice cream.

Chop it Into Salads

Get this, you can take a bland, less-than-exciting salad up a serious notch just by adding a few torn leaves of fresh mint into the mix. From leafy greens-based salad to a dish that’s a little more grain-centric, there’s always room for a handful of chopped mint. Word to the wise—fresh watermelon and mint are the ultimate produce match made in heaven. Any opportunity to get these gems side by side is one you should definitely take.

Make a Dressing

Now that you’ve got chopped mint all nestled into your salad, why not dress that salad with a minty vinaigrette? (#CantStopWontStop) Or, if you’re looking to take things in a richer, creamier route, whip up a tzatziki-style minty yogurt sauce. That stuff is going to taste good on just about anything, for real.

Pair it with Chocolate

Thin Mints are one of the most loved on Girl Scout Cookies for a reason. Mint and chocolate is a beautiful marriage of flavors, and you’d be cheating yourself if you didn’t throw some of your fresh mint to a dessert creation. It can be as simple as melting some chocolate and stirring in mint. We suggest taking your favorite homemade chocolatey treat (puddings, shakes, ice creams, etc.) and adding chopped fresh mint. You’re welcome.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane