mint leaves

What are Mint Leaves? ( Pudina) | Uses,Benefits + Recipes with Mint Leaves Viewed 61287 times

Also known as
Phudina, Pudina, Fudina.

What are Mint leaves? (Pudina)

Mint is a generic term for 'mentha plant' family. The most common and popular mints for cultivation are peppermint (Mentha × piperita), spearmint (Mentha spicata), and (more recently) apple mint. It is an aromatic herb widely used in the preparation of teas, beverages, jellies, syrups, candies, and ice creams.

The mint leaf, fresh or dried, is the culinary source of mint. The leaf colors range from dark green and gray-green to purple, blue, and sometimes pale yellow. They are arranged in opposite pairs around a thin stem. The plant has wide-spreading underground rhizomes.

Fresh mint is usually preferred over dried mint when storage of the mint is not a problem. Mint leaves have a pleasant, fresh, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste. In India, mint is used to prepare peppy chutneys, raitas, stuffing etc.

Chopped mint
Mint leaves should be washed very well since the leaves and stems tend to collect sand and soil. Before washing, trim off the roots and separate the leaves. Put the washed leaves on a chopping board and chop them in small 1-2 inch sized pieces.
Mint sprig
a bunch of mint leaves bound together is called a mint sprig. The sprig may be chopped finely or coarsely as per recipe. Chopped mint sprigs are usually used as garnishing or to make mint paste.

How to select pudina, mint leaves

Look for mint leaves that have firm, unwilted leaves, are vividly deep green in color with no signs of yellowing or browning. Leaves that are smaller in size will be more tender and have a milder flavour.

Culinary Uses of pudina, mint leaves

· The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many South Asian foods (particularly chutneys), in Chinese dishes and in Mexican salsas and guacamole.
· Alcoholic drinks sometimes feature mint for flavor or garnish, namely the Mint Julep and the Mojito. Crème de menthe is a mint-flavored liqueur used in drinks such as the grasshopper.
· Chopped mint leaves are a garnish on cooked dishes such as dal and curries. As heat diminishes their flavor quickly, mint leaves are often used raw or added to the dish right before serving.
· Mint leaves can be chopped and added to salads or washed and eaten plain.
· In Indian and Central Asian recipes, mint leaves are used in large amounts to make cool refershing drinks like mintade or jaljeera.
· Mint leaves are used in few dishes like mint-coriander chutney, rasam, sambar, meat, fish, poultry items and biryanis.

How to store pudina, mint leaves

Fresh mint leaves should be used immediately or stored up to a couple of days in plastic bags within a refrigerator. Optionally, mint can be frozen in ice cube trays. Dried mint leaves should be stored in an airtight container placed in a cool, dark, dry place.

Health Benefits of pudina, mint leaves

· Mint leaves are considered an aid to the digestive system. It is an appetite stimulant and aids in the secretion of gastric juices.
· Mint was originally used as a medicinal herb to treat stomach ache and chest pains, and it is commonly used in the form of tea as a home remedy to help alleviate stomach pain.
· During the Middle Ages, powdered mint leaves were used to whiten teeth.
· Mint tea is a strong diuretic. Mint also aids digestion, in a way that it breaks down the fats. In recent years, it has been often recommended for treating obesity.

Nutrition Information of Pudina, Mint Leaves?

1 cup of chopped mint leaves is about 30 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

Energy - 14 calories
Protein – 1.4 g
Carbohydrate – 1.7 g
Fat – 0.2 g
Fiber – 1.9 g

Vitamins:

34.2mcg of vitamin B9 (Folate) = 34.2% of RDA (about 100 mcg)

8.1 mg of vitamin C = 20.25% of RDA (about 40 mg)

486 mcg of vitamin A = 10% of RDA (4800 mcg)

0.33 mg of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) = 1.57% of RDA (about 16 to 21 mg for men)

Minerals:

60 mg of Calcium = 3.75% of RDA (about 1000 mg)

4.7 mg of Iron = 6.6% of RDA (20 mg for women)

18 mg of Magnesium = 5.1% of RDA (about 350 mg)

19 mg of phosphorus = 3.2% of RDA (about 600 mg)

Related Links

Mint paste
Mint powder