mint leaves

What are Mint Leaves? ( Pudina) | Uses,Benefits + Recipes with Mint Leaves Viewed 82976 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 mint leaves. Put the washed leaves on a chopping board and chop them using a sharp knife into finely chopped or roughly chopped by cutting across the board.
Mint sprig
A few mint leaves bound together on a stem is called a mint sprig. The sprig is usually used as a garnish in delicacies like soups, salads etc.

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

As everyone knows, the most basic recipe you find in India with mint leaves is the mint chutney! This condiment made with fresh mint with the addition of coriander, chillies and some nuts, is used as a dip for pakoras and bhajiyas and even as a spread in sandwiches! Not only does mint give a fresh taste to the food but also gives a bright green color to the food. Paneer Makhmali is a subzi that is wonderful to look at and eat! The aromatic sabzi gets its color from the coriander and mint paste which complements the white of the paneer perfectly.

Mint leaves, with other ingredients like paneer and green peas, makes for a wonderful filling in parathas. If you want, you can make Low Fat Paneer and Green peas Stuffed Parathas, which are diabetic friendly. The mint leaves ad a certain freshness and zing to the taste of the parathas. For other options there is the Minty Green Peas and Cabbage Parathas or an Onion and Mint Roti.

•  
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

1. Treats Indigestion : Mint (pudina) being an anti-inflammatory reduces the inflammation in the stomach and shows a cleansing effect. The best effect is seen by chewing fresh mint leaves. This is because chewing mint activates the salivary glands which in turn produces digestive enzymes. This will help relieve indigestion and soothe your stomach.

2. Aids Weight Loss : Mint (pudina) is a leafy vegetable which is sure to create nourishing dishes without piling on calories, carbs or fat for that instance. What is has to offer instead is FIBER. This nutrient profile in totality will help you achieve your weight loss target without any thought process.

3. Safeguards Against Bad Breath : You have just gobbled on garlic soup or onion paratha, so what’s next you will do? Pop up a chewing gum or have mukhwas. Next time try chewing on some mint leaves. It will give you the same oral freshness as the mint chewing gum would lend.

Click here to know more about the 8 Amazing Benefits of Mint Leaves, Pudina.

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)

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