The Spring season inspires me to create dishes that feel “springy”. Lemons are cleansing and refreshing; mint and cucumbers are cooling. Quinoa is a wonderful ingredient–and is on sale this month at Mother Earth’s, so I decided to use this as well. I tested it out at work recently and the customers seemed to really enjoy it.
I made a variation of this recipe using tomatoes and string beans instead of cucumbers and snap peas. Cucumbers and snap peas are not quite in season yet, so I chose veggies that looked fresh and were reasonably priced.
2 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube (or 1 teaspoon salt)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
½ cup diced cucumbers*
½ cup chopped sugar snap peas*
3 tablespoons chopped scallions or spring onions
2 tablespoons lemon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1–2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon black pepper
*Use seasonal veggies or those that are the freshest
Put water and bouillon into a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add quinoa. Cover and return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Cook for 15–20 minutes (until quinoa is tender). Set aside and cool. Transfer to a bowl and fluff. Put remaining ingredients into a bowl. Stir to combine. Add to cooled quinoa and toss all the ingredients together. Serve cool or at room temperature. Serves 4.
Health Benefits of Mint
- Boost Digestion. One of the main mint health benefits is that it aids digestion and helps to remove stomach pains. Mint is a great appetizer and due to its soft aroma, it soothes the stomach. The aroma triggers the mouth to produce more saliva and more digestive enzymes. As you can imagine, this aids digestion tremendously.
- Strengthen Your Liver. When your liver is chugging along slowly, you’re going to be feeling pretty dismal. A poorly functioning liver is an energy sap. Thankfully, one of the great mint nutritional benefits is that it is a powerful liver booster.
- Cool Your Body. Mint is a cooling herb. Consuming mint causes your body to slightly lower its temperature. This is one reason that mint goes great in fruity, summery drinks.
- Relieve Asthma. Many people have found that consuming mint produces positive relief for asthma symptoms. Scientists believe that regular use of mint is super beneficial for asthma patients. It is a great relaxant and relieves congestion (unblocks your nose). However, don’t go too crazy as too much mint may cause irritation.
- Take Care Of Your Teeth.Why do you think toothpaste is minty? It’s because one of the health benefits of mint leaves is that they are good for dental hygiene. First, mint freshens up your breath. This is awesome, especially if you have just eaten a big plate of garlic. Mint also packs a load of germ defense. Mint inhibits the growth of bacteria in the mouth and cleans the teeth and tongue.
- Less gas. One of the interesting mint nutritional benefits is that it will help relieve gas. Since it eases digestion, the body makes less gas. The benefits of lemon juice are also great for this.
- Eliminate Mucus.Mint is an Expectorant. Basically, this means that mint encourages the body to eliminate mucus from the airways, lungs, bronchi and trachea. It promotes the drainage of mucus from the lungs.
- Defeat Cancer. Like all edible plant food, mint is believed to have potent cancer-fighting powers. This health benefit of mint leaves is probably due to the variety of enzymes that mint contains.
- Kick Acne’s Ass. Mint juice is great if you’re juicing for acne. Why? It cleans the skin like it’s a jewel. Its beats infection, soothes the skin and it works like magic when it comes to removing pimples. It’s also powerful in reducing wrinkles. If you want to look younger for longer, rub mint juice into your skin once or twice a day.
- Tasty Treat.There is no denying that mint tastes great. While not specifically one of the health benefits of mint leaves, whether you use it in food, juice, toothpaste or something else, mint is pleasant to the taste-buds.