Forgotten Foods: Marvels of Mint

By Shari Darling

Mint may not be a super food, but it’s definitely a wonder herb. With over 200 varieties in its Lamiaceae family, this aromatic and cooling herb has many medicinal properties and uses in medicines and inhalers.

The aroma and flavor of peppermint helps to relieve mental stress, which can hamper good sleep during the night. Intake of peppermint tea helps to improve such conditions and results in better sleep.

It is also utilized in cosmetics and breath fresheners. Mint helps to alleviate nausea and is effective in opening up congestion of the nose, throat, bronchi and lungs – asthmatics could call this herb a super food. And, research now suggests that mint has the ability to cut off the blood supply of cancer cells.

Mint adds colour and taste to a plethora of recipes. Best of all, mint harmonizes with wine. Here’s a simple summer recipe: Summer Mint, Tomato and Feta Bruschetta. 

In a bowl, fold together 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup of white balsamic vinegar, 3 cloves minced garlic, sea salt and pepper to taste, 3/4 cup of goat’s milk feta, 1/2 cup of chopped red onion, 1/2 cup of pitted Kalamata olives, 4 cups of sliced cherry tomatoes and 1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint. Coat slices of baguette with olive oil and toast until golden. Let cool. Top each slice with a tablespoon of bruschetta mixture. The saltiness from the feta and olives makes this hors d’oeuvre an ideal partner for Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The recipe’s saltiness, raw garlic bitterness and olive oil fattiness also make it a partner for red Merlot or Shiraz.

 

Shari Darling is The Sophisticated Wino, an international award-winning and best-selling author and columnist.

www.sharidarling.com

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