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Water Mint

Today was an extremely hot day for a walk, but I couldn’t skip another weeks posting so I slapped on some sunscreen and off I trudged with my camera on the hunt for a topic… The heat rather predictably drew me to water, hence the subject of today’s Foraging Friday post is the versatile and very easy to identify Water Mint!

 

Members of the mint family can be distinguished by their square-shaped stem. As with most wild plants there may be sinister lookalikes to the untrained eye, but they won’t give off the familiar mint aroma by simply rubbing the leaves between your fingers. This key point makes mint an extremely easy forage to safely identify – just give it a sniff! If it doesn’t smell strongly of mint of course leave it alone, and perhaps wash your hands for good measure.

 

As the name suggests, you’ll find it next to water. It seems to like fresh moving water like rivers and streams. Much like watercress it is wise to investigate the cleanliness of the water you are foraging from before you go scooping a handful of pollution, parasites, or pesticides!

 

My favourite use for mint is to make mint sauce, but not the usual kind! See below for my takes on it:

 

Refreshing mint yogurt for grilled meats and vegetables:

100g natural yogurt

2 sprigs finely chopped mint

juice of ½ lemon

salt & pepper to taste

 

Indian-style yellow mint sauce with a rich savoury flavour, perfect for dunking a naan bread into with a dollop of chutney and packed with health benefits! Better matured in the fridge for a few hours/overnight after mixing.

100g natural yogurt

2 sprigs finely chopped mint + (optional) a couple of chopped coriander leaves

½ tsp turmeric

½ small clove grated/crushed garlic

1 tsp caster sugar (adjust to taste)

 

The old fashioned: the classic mint sauce we all love for roast lamb. Using balsamic or apple cider vinegar makes an interesting flavour twist instead of the plain old malted stuff! Leave to stand for at least 20 mins to allow the flavour to develop.

1 large handful of mint, finely chopped.

1 tbsp vinegar

1 tsp sugar

+ a splash of hot water

 

What else can you do with mint?

You tell me! We’d love to hear any ideas of your own so leave us a comment below!

Next to adding a few leaves to your new potatoes or peas as they’re boiling for a subtly refreshing mint flavour, you could always save a sprig to muddle with ice into your Pimms or other cocktail or make a cup of tea… personally I prefer the cocktail idea! ;) Cheers!

 

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Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more


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