Breathe in. Breathe out. Do you smell that aroma that tingles your senses and makes your soul feel refreshed? MEET MINT. With over 25 species with hundreds of varieties throughout the world, the uses of this amazing ingredient extend to far more than our toothpaste or chewing gum.

Mint originated in Asia and the Mediterranean early enough that it is mentioned in the Bible and in Greek mythology and originally symbolized hospitality. Today, the United States is a leading producer of the world’s mint, along with India, China and many other countries.

Even more astounding is that Indiana ranks third nationally for peppermint production and fourth for spearmint with 8,500 acres of peppermint and 3,700 acres of spearmint harvested annually. Indiana has 12 mint stills producing mint oil, with Starke County growing the most mint in the state.

Notable Culinary Uses: tea, mint juleps, mojitos, mint jelly, tabbouleh, lamb and mint.

Did You Know: If you plant mint around your garden and backyard it will help to keep pests and mosquitoes away naturally.

Mint Is a Natural Remedy: It may help with nausea, indigestion, colds, headaches, cramps and soothing minor burns. Think about that the next time you go to a restaurant and they give you a sprig of mint: It’s to help with your digestion.

Edible Indy Pairing Ideas: Muddle with strawberries for lemonade Add to your shakes or smoothies Chop mint into any salad with fruit Purée mint, berries, honey and ice and freeze.

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