It's August and that means most gardens are overflowing with fruits, vegetables, and herbs. After having spent months tending to our plants, our gardens are finally producing a wonderful bounty. Now what to do with all the excess. What started out as one small mint plant by August can turn into an entire bed being run over by this aggressive weed/herb. One can only make so many jars of jelly (I will be posting a few recipes for mint jellies in the coming weeks), so what else can be done with huge amounts of mint. Ice tea of course!
So this year I planted one small mint plant that my mother in law bought at the Charleston Farmer's Market. Well, this one little plant went a little crazy with the fish fertilizer that I fed it (tip: use fish fertilizer, it's awesome and one of the best gardening tips my mother ever gave me growing up) and has had to be moved to larger pots twice this summer. I have made jellies, cakes, muffins, all using mint and I still have a huge, huge plant. So about a month back I decided I would add mint to iced tea for my kids. That one pitcher has turned into hundreds, they love it. The following is the recipe I use for Fresh Garden Mint Iced Tea.
Fresh Garden Mint Iced Tea
This is a great way to use garden mint, especially since mint grows so well and you end up with a ton!
- 12 Tea Bags
- 8 cups Water
- 1/2-1 cup Sugar/Sugar Substitute
- 5-10 Sprigs Garden Mint
1. Cut 5-10 sprigs fresh garden mint 2. Place 12 tea bags in a heat proof bowl 3. Wash mint and place in bowl with tea bags4. Add 8 cups boiling water to the bowl 5. Let steep 20 minutes 6. Place strainer over heat proof pitcher and strain tea into pitcher 7. Add sweetener of your choice and stir 8. Let tea chill in refrigerator until cold
- I have made this recipe with a variety of different teas. The best is a watermelon lime tea my husband bought me. It makes great iced tea! Regardless is works with pretty much any type of green or black tea
- How much sugar/sweetener is really a personal choice. If you like McDonald's sweet tea add a whole cup. If you like to sweeten at the glass, don't add any
- I use stevia for my drinks. It's my sweetener of choice, I limit the amount of granulated sugar we consume since my oldest has ADHD and sugar makes him bounce off the walls. However, this recipe would work with sugar, splenda, you name it. I haven't tried it with honey so I can't speak for how much to add (I would love to hear if you experiment and find out though!)
- This makes strong tea. My family likes their iced tea to taste like tea, not water. If you like your tea weaker, reduce the amount of tea bags to 8-9
- A sprig of mint is 6-8 leaves, so 10 sprigs would be about 60-80 leaves. You can use one really long sprig of you want. It doesn't have to be 10 small sprigs.