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Spice up your life with a sprig of mint August 17, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Drinks News, Health, Lifestyle.

Fresh breath is important, don’t you agree? Even when cooking for one, the aftertaste of certain meals can leave you with bad breath. The good thing is that there’s no one around to notice, but still, you know when it’s time to pop a mint.

There are more than 3,500 species of mint, with the two most common mints being peppermint and spearmint. Mint is easy to grow in your garden and is used to flavor jellies, syrups, lamb roasts, teas, ice creams, beverages and, of course, candy and gum. Mint is best used fresh and stored briefly in the refrigerator.

According to McCormick (the spice company), ancient Hebrews scattered mint leaves on the synagogue floor so that each footstep would produce a fragrant whiff. The Assyrians used mint in rituals to their fire god. Spearmint was used in Greece and Rome as a flavoring herb and in perfumes and bath scents. The Greeks named the plant after the mythical character Menthe.

Instead of reaching for a Tic-Tac or a stick of gum, keep a little fresh mint on hand. Add crushed mint leaves to whipped cream for an excellent topping on chocolate desserts, or sprinkle fresh leaves on tomato slices. To freshen your breath and quench your thirst at the same time, freeze fresh leaves in ice cubes. Fresh breath is always great, even when you’re eating solo.

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