There are all sorts of recipes that call for the use of fresh mint leaves, ranging from spaghetti to mint chocolate chip ice cream. So many refreshing beverages are made unforgettable with the presence of these fragrant herbs.
Mint leaves are also popular not only for their distinctive taste and smell, but also for their various health properties. It’s no secret that the distinctive fragrance of mint leaves is good for dealing with headaches and nausea. Chewing fresh leaves or drinking mint tea is good for various problems with digestion such as an upset stomach and loss of appetite.
So many balms formulated for various respiratory tract conditions contain mint as the herb is effective in clearing up the airway as well as lessening irritation. There are also numerous skincare products that use mint as their active ingredient. Plenty of oral care solutions rely on mint leaves too, from toothpastes to mouthwashes.
Mint leaves are also being used for promoting weight loss, easing depression, dealing with fatigue, improving the memory and even combating cancer. Clearly, mint is a versatile herb.
When it comes to cooking and making certain beverages, mint leaves are some of the most indispensable ingredients. That’s because they have a distinctive taste that can turn a dish or drink from boring to mind-blowing. However, there are times when access to mint leaves is not possible. So what do you do when you’re planning to whip up a tasty dish, dessert or beverage and mint leaves are not available? Opt for some known alternatives, that’s what you do!
Since basil is part of the mint family, it doesn’t come as a surprise why basil leaves may be used in place of mint leaves. Just like mint, basil is also revered for its various health benefits. It also helps make a lot of dishes, sauces and dressings unforgettable. A staple in so many Italian goodies, basil goes really well with tomatoes, chicken, egg, tuna, salmon, beans, corn and cauliflower.
Another member of the mint family is marjoram, the wild variety of which is referred to as oregano in some countries. Marjoram is a staple ingredient in an assortment of Italian dishes. This herb can make various sauces, casseroles and soups really flavorful. It also goes really well with meat, poultry, egg, vegetables, rice and breads.
Being part of the mint family, this aromatic herb is another wonderful alternative to mint leaves. Thanks to the unmistakable beauty of rosemary, it is being used as an ornamental plant other than as excellent addition to various dishes. Rosemary goes perfectly with chicken, lamb and beef. It is also being commonly used to make dressings, stews, soups, dumplings and even liver pates taste really good.
Because of its somewhat bittersweet flavor and aroma resembling anise, tarragon may be used to replace mint leaves in making beverages. However, using it sparingly is recommended as the taste can be overpowering. Tarragon is also an excellent addition to green salads and dressings. It also brings out the flavor of various egg, seafood and vegetable dishes.
You may have heard of lavender before as an ingredient in so many products for the skin and hair. Part of the big mint family, lavender may also be used in replacing mint leaves when making beverages in particular. It’s important to remember to use lavender sparingly when adding the herb to iced tea or lemonade as too much can make the beverage taste bitter. Lavender is great with potatoes, chicken, jams and salad dressings too.
Because this Japanese herb is related to mint and basil, it doesn’t come as a surprise why the herb tastes exactly like a cross between the two popular herbs. The leaves, sprouts and seeds of shiso may be used as condiments to various cold dishes as well as addition to an assortment of salads.