3 Easy Ways to Use Fresh Mint in Summertime Cooking
Plus a 5th bonus remedy for good measure
Not only is mint incredibly refreshing in natural toothpaste and mouthwash, fresh mint leaves can add a unique taste to vegan cooking and drink recipes.
And now that it's the unofficial start of summer, using fresh mint leaves will leave you feeling cool against the warm summer sun.
In this Be Natural blog article, you'll learn 3 easy vegan recipes that use fresh mint for a taste of summer during your Memorial Day weekend.
Impress your friends and family with these refreshing recipes that incorporate fresh mint:
- Vegan Lentil & Arugula Salad
- Vegan Watermelon & Mint Salad
- Refreshing Vegan Cucumber & Mint Water
- How to Reduce Your Food Waste When Cooking This Summer
When cooking this summer, we prefer using organic fruits, herbs, and veggies to avoid infusing pesticides into our water and food. A great resource is the Clean 15™ and Dirty Dozen™ list from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to learn which foods you should always buy organic.
Vegan Lentil & Arugula Salad
A salad that won't leave you feeling hungry? Look no further! With the addition of lentils and brown rice, this hearty salad is the perfect dish to leave your friends and family feeling full and satisfied.
Prep-time: 20 minutes using pre-cooked ingredients
- 1 lb cooked & drained lentils
- 10 oz. cooked & cooled brown rice
- 1/2 medium red onion (coarsely chopped)
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil of choice
- Juice of 1 -2 limes (or lemons)
- May substitute apple cider vinegar for lime juice.
- 7 oz. Arugula
- A handful of fresh mint leaves (coarsely chopped)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In a large bowl mix rice, lentils and red onion.
- Add olive oil and lime juice, mix until incorporated.
- Toss in the arugula and mint just before serving.
- Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
- Tip: cook the rice & lentils the day before or used already prepared ingredients
Vegan Watermelon & Mint SaladSavory onions and mint meet the crisp, fruity taste of watermelon for a salad that will have your taste buds dancing. Perfect as side dish that will leave everyone feeling refreshed in the summer sun.
Prep-time: 40 min (Including 30 minutes in the fridge)
- 4 cups watermelon cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup of fresh mint (roughly chopped)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Optional: 1/2 a medium red onion (thinly sliced) and 1 avocado cut into small cubes
- Mix watermelon, mint (optional: add onion and avocado) in a large salad bowl.
- Whisk together olive oil, lime juice with salt and pepper to make the dressing (Want a little spice kick to this salad? Add cayenne pepper to your liking).
- Drizzle dressing over salad.
- Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Serve cold.
Refreshing Vegan Cucumber & Mint Water
Cool off in the heat by sprucing up your water! Cucumber and mint give a refreshing twist that will elevate your next party and have you feeling cool as a summer breeze.
- 1 small cucumber (or half of a medium cucumber), scrubbed & sliced
- 2 sprigs fresh mint, washed & bruised
- 1/2 lime, scrubbed & sliced (optional)
- 10 to 12 cups cool filtered water
- Place sliced cucumber, mint sprigs, and lime slices (if using) in a large pitcher.
- Pour water into the pitcher.
- Cover and refrigerate for anywhere from 1 to 8 hours (the longer you infuse the water, the stronger the flavor will become).
- Strain the water into a glass and serve chilled with a slice of cucumber for garnish. Add ice if desired.
- If using limes, remove after 2-4 hours to prevent bitterness.
How to Reduce Your Food Waste When Cooking This Summer
Don’t throw away the left overs. Watermelon rinds, mint stems, leftover mint leaves, lime slices and cucumber slices can be used in additional ways!
- You can make a pickle from the watermelon rinds.
- You can use the mint stems to make mint tea or use it with other soft stemmed herbs to flavor broths or make pesto. Yum!
- You can use the lime slices to refresh your garbage disposal.
- You can freeze cucumber slices (if you have any left—we tend to eat them right out of the water) and use as a soothing eye mask.
We hope you enjoy these yummy mint recipes for the summer season along with how you can repurpose left over ingredients. If you have any questions about this Be Natural blog article, feel free to email us at email@example.com.