Wild Things Round Up - Mint


Welcome to mint month at the Wild Things Round Up.  This month featured a broad array of plants for wildcrafting, as it was open to every member of the mint family, everything from mints, to garden favorites catnip and lemon balm, to many of the culinary herbs and beyond (read the month's introduction and how to identify members of the mint family here).  The contributors came through with a fascinating variety of recipes and potions.  I hope they will inspire you to forage some friends from the mint family, and add them to your kitchen and medicine cabinet.

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I'd like to start by giving a special thank you to my friends at Survival in the Wasteland, who, like so many, have been affected by the Colorado wildfires (I'm so glad you guys are safe!).  Their post about wild mint includes lots of nice pictures, and a recipe for Wild Mint, Linden, Licorice Tea.


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Herbalist Mario Tarasco of Artemis Herbals has written a gorgeous post, which not only contains a recipe for Minted Cattail Salad, but also touches upon some subjects that are dear to my heart and the reason I started Wild Things - making wonderful wild flavors and good foods accessible to everyone.


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Kristi Shapla, author of Brew Your Medicine, shared her recipe for medicinal horehound caramels.  She prefers to use these for sore throats that aren't bacterial in nature, because she doesn't want the sugar to feed the bacteria.

Horehound Caramels

1/2 Cup STRONG, still warm horehound infusion
1 Cup honey
1 Cup succanat
3T butter
salt to taste (use kosher if you like that salty overtone)

Add succanat and honey to a large pot.  Cook on medium without
stirring, until it changes to a deep, dark brown color.  At the right
color, whisk in butter a knob at a time.  Next, whisk in the horehound
infusion.

Cook until thermometer reaches 260 F.

Pour (careful!) into a cookie sheet lined with parchment.  Cool enough
to handle, cut into squares and roll into caramels.  Wrap in
rectangles of parchment.

Keep in fridge if these get too gooey.  Sometimes the cold feels good
on the throat!

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Ready to beat the heat of summer?  The Dyhanaverse has a stunning recipe for Anise Hyssop Ice Cream.  This ice cream, made with coconut milk, is a nice option for vegans and the lactose-intolerant.


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Because my foraging buddy, Wild Food Girl, lives at a much higher altitude than I do, she wasn't sure she'd find mint in time to participate this month.  Luck for all of us, she did, because she's sharing recipes for Wild Mojitos, Minty Squawbush Sauce, and Creamy Wild After Dinner Mints.


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I'm often jealous that Beks, of Cauldrons and Crockpots, has access to gorgeous white sage.  Now that I've seen her recipe for White Sage Oatcakes, my jealousy has grown 10-fold.


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From HerbMother, a great little article about the wonders of catnip.  Turns out that catnip isn't just for cats.  It make superb human medicine as well.  Also, check out her recipe for Carrot Cupcakes with Catnip Cream Cheese Frosting.


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Chef Knuckles had a lot of spectacular recipes using wild mint to share this month.

Simple Mint Tea

Place a few leaves of mint into glass, pour boiling water over, steep, add (only) demerara sugar if desired.



Vietnamese Banh Mi

Marinade:
2 T fish sauce (or soy for the tater heads)
1 T sugar
1 t cracked black pepper
2 T rice vinegar
2 small, slice shallots
4 cloves garlic, sliced
4 Leaves fresh basil, chopped

Slaw:
1 C Julienne carrots
1 C julienne Daikon

Toss to taste with rice wine vinegar, salt and white pepper.

Garnish:
Fresh mint
Fresh Cilantro
Julienned cucumber

Soft French Baguette

1.  Marinade meat of choice, tempeh or tofu.
2.  Grill on serious heat
3.  Split and warm baguette
4.  Kinda slice meat or whatever and place on bun, with all the juice.
5.  Top with slaw
6.  Top with mint and Cilantro



Minted Garlic Jelly

1 12z jar apple jelly or apricot preserves
1 C garlic (leave whole)
2 T butter {NO SUBS!!}
20 fresh mint leaves, cut in strips

1.  In a 2 qt saucepan, saut√© garlic in butter until light brown (season)
2.  Add 1 cup water
3.  Simmer until water evaporates
4.  Add jelly
5.  Cover and heat through
6.  Add mint
7.  Cool quickly and store refrigerated.
8.  Add hot peppers if desired



Moroccan Cous Cous Tabbouleh  

cous cous
salt 
white pepper
water
cucumbers
tomatoes
mint 
parsley 
lemon juice
olive oil

1.   Season dry cous cous with salt and white pepper.

2.  Add an equal amount of boiling water, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes.  Turn out onto a board and fluff with a fork or clean fingers.

3.  Peel, julienne, and brunoise the cucumbers.

4.  Brunoise the tomatoes as well.

5.  Chop the parsley and mint.

6.  Combine the cous cous, cucumbers, tomatoes, and herbs.  Add the juice of 1.5 lemons.  

7.  Add olive oil, toss and enjoy.


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Holly, of Yuba Botanicals, shared her recipe for Vaguely Greek Inspired Lamb Meatballs or Tofuballs with Mint and Preserved Lemon


She also shared a beautiful monograph about a member of the mint family called self-heal, and her formula for self-heal salve, which can be used on bites and small wounds.


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If you want to see who has been inspiring the heck out me lately, check out the food of Los Angeles based foragers Mia and Pascal. Here, Mia has included lemon balm in her recipe for Galatobureko with Semolina Custard.


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I was really hoping someone would share their sekanjabin recipe for mint month.  So I was overjoyed when Kim from Thread Tales shared detail instructions for making refreshing Sekanjabin.


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 Reader Pat shared one of her favorite recipes from the Kitchn, Mint Pesto.


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Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook and author Hank Shaw offers up an idea for Mountain Pennyroyal Ice Cream.


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If you haven't yet read a plant monograph from Rosalee of Methow Valley Herbs, you are in for a treat.  When I need to learn about a plant, I oftentimes just google the plant name and Methow Valley Herbs.  This month Rosalee has shared what she has written about several members of the mint family.

Lemon Balm


Sage


Bee Balm


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I foraged for a long time without ever having an understanding of medicinal benefits of the plants I was picking.  Kiva Rose was one of the people who opened my eyes to the full potential of my favorite plants.  I think you are really going to enjoy her approach to herbal medicine, as well as her wealth of knowledge.  Also, don't miss the charming portrait of mint she drew for her Poleo monograph.

Poleo (Mint)


Monarda


Sage



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Looking for the ultimate easy dessert treat to make with mint?  Try these pick 'n' dip Chocolate-Covered Mint Leaves (aka Herbal Thin Mints) from Red Clover Mama.


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My Gran used to love Horehound Candies, so I tried making some in her honor.  I suspect the taste for horehound is genetic, because I enjoy them, too.


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One of my favorite members of the mint family is Monarda fistulosa, my wild local oregano, also known as bee balm.  Not only do I use it for medicine, but it goes in nearly everything that I cook, like these gluten-free Wild Oregano Crackers.


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Thanks to all of the wonderful contributors who make Wild Things great, and inspire so many to wildcraft their own food and medicine.  See you next month!

Comments

  1. Awesome! I've been reading these recipes for over an hour. Can't wait to come back for more.

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    Replies
    1. I'm so pleased with the way this month turned out. The contributors to Wild Things continue to amaze me.

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  2. As everyone knows, if you've got one mint patch, you've got mint for life. Good to have so many ways to use it.

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    1. Three cheers for plants that are survivors, especially ones we can eat.

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  3. Mmmm, mint. I've several planters full of it! Usually I just crush it into my tea, but here are a bunch of other great options. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. So many great possibilities with the members of the mint family. I just love how it can be a delightful part of both savory and sweet recipes.

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  4. Thanks for including the mint medicine entries. I'm enjoying those and learning a ton. The foods all good to.

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    Replies
    1. Our herbalist friends are so generous with their information. I know that I learn something from them nearly every day.

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  5. I didn't know all these things were related to mint! Now I want to taste them all.

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    Replies
    1. Let me know which is your favorite.

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  6. Will all of these Wild Things be a book someday? I'd buy it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it is certainly a candidate for an ebook, if there is enough interest.

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  7. Mmm, great recipes. Thanx!

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  8. Thanks for putting this together. Looks great.

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  9. You & all the contributors outdid yourselves again. This is a fabulous collection. Thanks so much for your hard work on this, B.

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  10. It's my pleasure :) Thank *you* for sharing your experience and recipes.

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  11. I can't tell you how badly I want to find some of this beebalm/monarda/wild oregano. It sounds like something no kitchen or home should be without.

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    Replies
    1. I know that I don't want my home or kitchen to go without!

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  12. Wow, what a great month! Wild Things just keeps getting better and better. Thanks for all of your hard work. I love your blog.

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  13. I am these in my home. I am cooking for many meals of full stomachs for healthy. Thanks you, and I am sorry for not English much. I love for you blog.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Murielle! Mint is a great addition to so many different kinds of meals, isn't it?

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  14. Thank you. I love Wild Things!

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  15. Butter, this is fabulous, we look forward to wild things everymonth, thanks for hosting- and thanks everyone for sharing.

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