Since the weather where I live finally turned a corner and decided to be warm I’ve taken some time each morning to walk our property. Yesterday I found that our peppermint (Mentha piperita) patch is up and thriving.
We go through quite a bit of mint here at the farm. One of the things we can always count on selling is bag after bag of peppermint tea. Drying it all feels like a shame though. At the same time aren’t we all tired of tea and mint garnishes?
Benefits of the Peppermint Plant
Peppermint is an important medicinal that we often use for its delicious taste. It is very soothing to the digestion. Most would not expect to find out that it is very helpful in the nervous system as well. In a world where everyone is looking for their next caffeinated fix, peppermint can be a much better choice for an energy boost. It is even a pretty decent pain reliever.
New Ways to Use Peppermint
With such a useful and delicious culinary herb in the backyard I feel it is my duty to find some creative ways to use it in my food. Why be boring with your supplements? What if I told you you could have your supplements in dessert? To make something special with peppermint first you need a base to work with. Here in Ohio we have a great grass-fed dairy that makes the most wonderful cream (Snowville Creamery)! Perfect inspiration, so I’ve decided it’s a perfect place to start on my sweet tooth this week.
Mint Infused Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3-4 Tbsp fresh picked peppermint (torn or finely chopped)
Add the cream to a small saucepan. Warm gently until there is just a hint of steam. Do not boil. Remove from heat. Add mint to the pan and cover. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain and chill.
How to use this cream
Use this mint cream as a base for hot cocoa, make ice cream, fudge popsicles, or turn it into chocolate icing. Fresh strawberries are coming soon–peppermint infused whipped cream is just the ticket.
Mint Whipped Cream
- 1 cup mint infused cream
- 1 tsp sugar (find pure organic cane sugar here)
Chill a metal bowl and add your cold cream and sugar. Whip with a hand mixer until soft peaks are formed. Be careful not to over whip real cream or you’ll just have mint infused butter.
Still have too much peppermint?
If you do happen to have a lot of peppermint growing and you wish to dry some be careful with your choice of where you do so. The volatile oils in peppermint are sensitive so it is best to dry in a dim space so they aren’t damaged by light. Heat and air flow are the next most important things to consider. In a best case scenario your peppermint should dry on the stem in one or two days. Keep the leaves as whole as possible and your peppermint will be ready for a cup of tea, or a cupcake icing, any time you are!
What are your favorite ways to use peppermint? Share in the comments section below?