Mint is a great herb to cook, pair with other foods and provide sensory exploration with children to help teach taste for a lifetime of adventurous eating. Mint is my new cilantro. Cilantro was my best friend. I felt confident using it. Until recently, I have always been leery with mint and then one day I added it to a salad (Tangy Asian Salad) and my mind was blown. I always limited mint to fruit or Strawberry Mojito Sorbet but I was wrong, very wrong. Mint is high in B vitamins, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and many more vital nutrients so eat up!
Cooking Tips & Food Pairing for Teaching Taste
Mint is one of the most popular flavors in the world. It has a sweet fragrance and is very refreshing. It has a sweet and sharp but pleasantly pungent flavor. Parts used include leaves (fresh or dried) and flowers. Mint enhances fruit salads and fruit punches. It combines well with basil, cardamon, cloves, cumin, dill, fenugreek, ginger, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper and thyme.
Sensory Exploration for Teaching Taste
Mint is a great herb to stuff in baby socks or just allow the child to explore. Talk to them about the smell, the color, and texture of the mint. This is a great herb to chop and freeze in ice cubes. Let the child play with the ice cubes as it melts allowing them to experience cold, water and aroma. In a shallow bowl, add herb and a string with a loop hanging off the bowl (used to hang the ice) and freeze. When frozen allow the child to play with the new piece of art. In the summer, it will melt but in the winter it will act as a tree ornament all season long.
Buying & Storing Tips
Bunches of mint will keep for 2-5 days in a glass of water in the kitchen or in the refrigerator. Leaves can be chopped and frozen in small containers or mixed with a little water and frozen in ice cube trays. Mint dries well but should be picked before flowering and hung in bunches in a dry, airy place. Store dried mint in an airtight container.