I love mint – the helpful herb of health. You don’t even need a green thumb to grow this ancient friend of the Aztecs. Once you get it into a pot, it’ll grow you proud. And, if you have a profusion of mint in your garden you can gaze at it with new appreciation.

Firstly, my favourite, from Medical News Today, is that mint, “…contains “…rosmarinic acid. Which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symptoms…” Thank goodness! Spring winds whip pollen, dust, and us around. It’s good to know you can stuff your water bottle with mint leaves and ease your be-leagued eyes and nose.

Secondly, mint flavours my childhood memories of grandma’s buttery boiled spuds. I’m sure our grandmothers threw it in the pot for flavour and because menthol can ease upset stomachs. Plus, rosmarinic acid could’ve helped their arthritis with anti-inflammatory properties.

Just ahead Christmas overindulgence is looming and we need to look after our gut, which people are calling the second brain for our health. Our silly season gatherings are all about food, with family and friends thrown in. And, it’s easy to have a gut’s full of all the commercial/financial pressures. This makes us lean into rich food for comfort, not health. So, my thirdly is that mint is thought to contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants of any food, which could help our stressed systems.

I hope to be restrained at Christmas. But, since past behaviour predicts future behaviour there’s no hope for me. After excessive ‘merrymint’ on Christmas Day, I’ll be out on Boxing Day picking my mint plants bare. I know my groaning gut will be grateful.

And then,  there’s mint’s close cousin peppermint. Medical News Today says, “Peppermint is also thought to relieve pain and discomfort from gas and bloating.” Here’s my pick for peppermint tea. https://www.groweatheal.co.nz/?s=peppermint

So, health friends, go forth and harvest the mint. Clip it for tea and cold drinks, toss it through salads and, of course, eat it with new potatoes. Check out my recipe below and the recipes on Changing Habits. https://changinghabits.co.nz/?s=mint Mighty mint will be on your side.

Reference https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275944.php

Feature photo by AnnaRomanova-Dreamstime.com

Mint & Rocket Pesto

Ingredients

2 tight handfuls of rocket

3 tight handfuls of fresh mint

2 cloves of garlic

50gms parmesan cheese

50gms of cashew nuts

zest of 1/2 lemon

2 -3 squeezes of lemon juice

salt and pepper

7-8 tbsp of olive oil

Method

Place all ingredients with 1/2 the olive oil in the blender.

Blend, check consistency and taste.

Add the other half of the olive oil.

The rocket makes the pesto quite peppery. So, if you prefer a more minty taste, alter the amounts of mint and rocket to suit.

Likewise with the parmesan cheese and cashews.

This will last in the fridge for several days.

Spread it on hot or cold meat and veggies.

So yum on new potatoes!

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