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Minty Fresh Mint Harvesting

Posted Nov 17 2009 3:23pm

IMG_1205

What I hold here, my minty fresh friends, is a great big bundle of freshly harvested mint and wow did it smell amazing. This past weekend I was with my friend Josh at his cottage on Lake Simcoe when he proudly boasted that he knew of a mint patch that was ready to be harvested. Given that I was still in the foraging vibe from the weekend with David Wolfe I was all for the adventure.

We traversed through a mosquitoey path and yes, there were times we thought we’d have to head back. However, we were on a mission and we persevered, scissors in hand, and came away with quite the bounty.

Mint is a delicious, healing herb. Not only does the green make it rich in chlorophyll (the goods on chlorophyll are here ), mint is great for:

  • Soothing the digestive tract and reducing the severity and length of stomach aches.
  • Easing the discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome
  • Slowing the growth of many of the most harmful bacteria and fungi.
  • Treating allergies and asthma thanks to the well-documented antifungal properties.
  • Helping prevent cancer: mint contains a phytonutrient called perillyl alcohol, which has been shown to prevent the formation of colon, skin and lung cancer.

David Wolfe also shared the little nugget of info that planting mint around the home will help keep ants away. Many things can be done with fresh mint. I have a thing for minted pureed peas and another thing for adding some to my Sweet Potato and Mixed Bean Salad. You can also chop it fine, or mash to bits with a mortar and pestle and use it in my Prize Worthy Cocoa Mint Truffles. A huge portion of my share went straight into my dehydrator to be used as a dry seasoning and in tea mixes.

Today, we are not making any of those things. Today we are using the mint to make a summer fresh Basil Mint Pesto.

IMG_6390

Basil Mint Pesto

1 1/2 cups basil leaves
1 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Toast the walnuts in the oven or pan for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Combine the basil mint and oil in a blender until smooth.
  • Add the toasted walnuts and garlic and blend until pureed.
  • Add the lemon juice and salt and blend once more.
  • It’s now ready to be used or stored in the fridge in an air tight container or freeze in an ice cube tray and transfer to a freezer safe container to use later

This is great as a vegetable dip, with Chip Chips, over fish or chicken or any other way you can dream up.

Here are some more photos from the harvest and check back later this afternoon for the next big announcement.

This would be me assuming my yogic/bendy mint harvesting position.

IMG_1190

Josh experiments to see if mint works as a mosquito repellent. It doesn’t.

IMG_1193

I know this photo is all awkward but the camera was balancing on a rock, on a timer and we were balancing on rocks between a running stream.

IMG_1198

The bounty

IMG_1200

IMG_1205

What I hold here, my minty fresh friends, is a great big bundle of freshly harvested mint and wow did it smell amazing. This past weekend I was with my friend Josh at his cottage on Lake Simcoe when he proudly boasted that he knew of a mint patch that was ready to be harvested. Given that I was still in the foraging vibe from the weekend with David Wolfe I was all for the adventure.

We traversed through a mosquitoey path and yes, there were times we thought we’d have to head back. However, we were on a mission and we persevered, scissors in hand, and came away with quite the bounty.

Mint is a delicious, healing herb. Not only does the green make it rich in chlorophyll (the goods on chlorophyll are here ), mint is great for:

  • Soothing the digestive tract and reducing the severity and length of stomach aches.
  • Easing the discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome
  • Slowing the growth of many of the most harmful bacteria and fungi.
  • Treating allergies and asthma thanks to the well-documented antifungal properties.
  • Helping prevent cancer: mint contains a phytonutrient called perillyl alcohol, which has been shown to prevent the formation of colon, skin and lung cancer.

David Wolfe also shared the little nugget of info that planting mint around the home will help keep ants away. Many things can be done with fresh mint. I have a thing for minted pureed peas and another thing for adding some to my Sweet Potato and Mixed Bean Salad. You can also chop it fine, or mash to bits with a mortar and pestle and use it in my Prize Worthy Cocoa Mint Truffles. A huge portion of my share went straight into my dehydrator to be used as a dry seasoning and in tea mixes.

Today, we are not making any of those things. Today we are using the mint to make a summer fresh Basil Mint Pesto.

IMG_6390

Basil Mint Pesto

1 1/2 cups basil leaves
1 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Toast the walnuts in the oven or pan for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Combine the basil mint and oil in a blender until smooth.
  • Add the toasted walnuts and garlic and blend until pureed.
  • Add the lemon juice and salt and blend once more.
  • It’s now ready to be used or stored in the fridge in an air tight container or freeze in an ice cube tray and transfer to a freezer safe container to use later

This is great as a vegetable dip, with Chip Chips, over fish or chicken or any other way you can dream up.

Here are some more photos from the harvest and check back later this afternoon for the next big announcement.

This would be me assuming my yogic/bendy mint harvesting position.

IMG_1190

Josh experiments to see if mint works as a mosquito repellent. It doesn’t.

IMG_1193

I know this photo is all awkward but the camera was balancing on a rock, on a timer and we were balancing on rocks between a running stream.

IMG_1198

The bounty

IMG_1200

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