Herb Infusion

 

Fall is actually one of the best times to grow herbs. If you like to have fresh, tasty herbs in your kitchen, consider growing them during fall. This is particularly true for areas with mild winters.  There are many great cold loving herbs that can be grown in the fall and winter. Mint is a great herb to grow as it’s able to tolerate most conditions.

Since mint comes in at least 30 varieties, you could “experi-mint” with flavors such as spearmint, pineapple mint or chocolate mint.

Mint used alone or in combination with other herbs, sliced fruits or vegetables, can increase your enjoyment of water and reduce your sugar intake.   As the cold weather approaches, hot mint infusion tea is a great way to boost your immune system.

  • Start with a handful of clean, fresh mint leaves, tear them up and place in the bottom of a teapot or French press.
  • Cover the leaves with 2 cups of boiling water and let this steep for 3-7 minutes.

Benefits of Mint

 

Mint provides small amounts of several B vitamins, Vitamins C and A and minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, magnesium and calcium.

Another great benefit is that mint helps to reduce your sugar intake. As Halloween gets closer mint is a great herb to use in recipes to help suppress sugar desire.

The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that added sugar should be limited to 6 teaspoons a day for women or 9 teaspoons a day for men.  Added sugars may, according to a 2009 AHA statement, increase your blood levels of triglycerides, a cardiac disease risk factor, while decreasing the desirable HDL.

Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas with Chile, Lemon, and Mint

Courtesy of myrecipes.com

Photo: Jennifer Causey Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Ingredients:

4 teaspoons olive oil

3/4 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper ( optional)

2 green onions thinly sliced and divided

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind

2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint

Directions:

Heat a large skillet and add 2 tsp. of olive oil.  Add snap peas, onions and sauté for 3 minutes until peas are crisp tender. Season with salt and red pepper. Toss in 1/4 tsp of rind and remove from heat. Garnish with mint.

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