fresh and minty vegan & gluten-free recipes

mint
my minty mini jungle of black peppermint

I love mint and grow a few different types of it in my garden. My favourite crop is my black peppermint which is absolutely thriving this year. It’s popped up in lots of places amongst my herbs and edibles, before any of my other mints in pots have really started to grow and is absolutely a seasonal favourite of mine.

So I have been enjoying making and drinking mint tea with it crushed up in hot water. Now the days are getting warmer I will be bunging it in my slushes and smoothies too.

Mint is really easy to grow – if you don’t want it spreading grow it in a pot as it’s pretty aggressive! I grow all my other mints in pots, but my black peppermint is free to spread as I adore it and consume copious amounts of it! Mint comes back year after year and requires little maintenance – just keep using it and it will keep growing.

If you don’t have a garden you can grow it in a pot on your windowsill – it’s really hardy and a great plant for those yet to develop their green fingers. There’s the added bonus that it is bug free too!

Mint tea is a very North African drink and it’s served differently everywhere. In Tunisia there are roasted pine-nuts floating on the top, in Morocco and Egypt it’s mixed with gun powder green tea and sugar… and served with a light bubbly froth on top!  There are many ways to make it and serve it.

I’ve created my own adaptation of the tea as I find the traditional Middle Eastern tea really sweet! I drink my version of it throughout the day, so I make it in my little Tunisian enamel tea pot I brought in a market in Tunis. I love to serve it after meals too, so if I have guests I use my beautiful Japanese cast iron teapot with it’s leaf infuser.

peppermint & pea vegan gluten-free muffins
mmmmmmm minty and pea YUM

Mint is really good for the digestive system, and if ever I have an upset tummy or have been gluten-nuked I make my minty slushies. They are really refreshing and feel like they cool, comfort and calm my upset stomach.

Weirdly I don’t put mint in many of my savoury dishes! But do make scrummy mint and pea savoury muffins every spring when the ingredients come into season I thought I would share. I also use it in my North African side dish of cucumber and coconut yogh*rt.

I hope you find some inspiration to grow your own mint and start playing with it in food and drinks too!

Peace, love & namaste to you,
Rai x

mint tea (infusion)

mint tea (infusion)

This is a very simplified version of the sweet and more complicated mint teas of North Africa. Great for the digestion and really easy to make.

Allergens: no allergens
Dietary: healthy
Yield: 2 glasses
Cooking Method: boiling
Prep Time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • handful of mint leaves and stalks (I use black peppermint)
  • boiling water

Method:

  1. Pop your mint leaves and stalks into your teapot, glass or mug.

  2. Pour boiling water over the top and leave to infuse for five minutes.

  3. Pour out into a glass if you used a teapot (transfer some of the mint into you glass too). And savour that lovely minty flavour!

Notes:

For a more traditional North African mint tea add an equal measure of sugar and gunpowder green tea to the pan as you heat up the water, make sure the leaves stay submerged as the water warms up and stews. 

vegan mint-chocolate smoothie

vegan mint-chocolate smoothie

This lush vegan mint-choc smoothie is über luxurious and pretty surprising. It’s really refreshing, thanks to the mass of fresh black peppermint. It’s awesome as it tastes naughty but makes your body feel really nice!

Allergens: no allergens
Yield: 1½ pints!
Cooking Method: blending
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana skinned & broken up
  • ½ an avocado peeled & stoned
  • 400ml m!lk alternative (we use coconut m!lk koko)
  • 3-5 dates stoned (dependant on how sweet you like your smoothie)
  • 2 Tbs raw cacao powder*
  • handful of blueberries (I keep mine in the freezer)
  • handful of ice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • huge handful of black peppermint** including stalks

Method:

  1. Bung all the ingredients into your blender in the order above and blitz thoroughly until it's a smooth thick consistency. Pour into your favourite jar and enjoy! 

Notes:

*If you're using normal cocoa powder add an extra Tbs

**If you're using normal mint add in a little extra as black peppermint is really strong!

This would also make a great vegan nice-cream :D

peppermint & pea vegan gluten-free muffins

peppermint & pea vegan gluten-free muffins

These muffins are full of that fabulous fresh flavour combination of mint and peas. Perfect for picnics and summer snacks!

Allergens: no allergens
Yield: 10 huge ones
Cooking Method: baking
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 C petit pois (I use frozen ones)
  • 14 stalks of fresh peppermint
  • 1 C boiling water
  • ¼ C ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • ¹⁄³ C oil (we use organic sunflower oil)
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbs cider vinegar
  • 1 C gluten-free oats
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 C 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan oven). Prep your muffin tins with muffin cases.

    peppermint & pea vegan gluten-free muffins
    lovely & lumpy with textures of pea & peppermint

  2. Pop the petit pois, peppermint and boiling water in a pan and keep over a flame for a couple of minutes until the peas are soft and edible.

  3. Blitz the lot - I don't pulverise them as I like a bit of pea and peppermint texture in my muffins. 

  4. Pour the mix into a mixing bowl and stir in the ground flaxseed and marmite. Then stir in all the other ingredients in the order above. As soon as the mix is combined spoon out in the waiting muffin cases. (A lumpy mix is what you want!)

  5. Pop into them into the oven for 25 minutes. (If you are making smaller muffins they will cook quicker; 18-20 minutes)

pineapple, ginger-root & mint green juice

pineapple, ginger-root & mint green juice

This juice is great if you have a bad tum, due to being fed a food you are intolerant to.  It stores in the fridge beautifully (in an air-tight jar*) so I can have a glass later in the day as well as when I first make it.

Allergens: no allergens
Yield: makes a couple of glasses
Cooking Method: juicing
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 pineapple skinned
  • 1 cucumber 
  • 2-3 huge handfuls of spinach
  • 4 cm³ ginger root
  • three good stalks of fresh mint

Method:

  1. Juice your pineapple, spinach and cucumber together into a jug. Once they're juiced put your ginger and mint through the juicer. I put some of the pulp through again to ensure I get all the mint and ginger flavour.

  2. Pour as much as you want to drink now into a glass. Pop the rest into a glass jar with a lid, and into the fridge for later*

Notes:

*I use a recycled passata jar for my juices in the fridge. 

Often the repercussions of eating a food our body cannot tolerate go way past the initial throwing up and reaction. Our digestive systems can suffer for days after. I make this juice every morning after I have had a reaction, until my tummy and system have returned to normal.

grape, ginger-root, lime & mint slush

grape, ginger-root, lime & mint slush

This über refreshing, cleansing, tummy taming slush which is tasty to boot. It's a great way to start the week, to perk you up and refresh you and your tummy if it's feeling a little miserable!

Allergens: no allergens
Yield: serves 1
Cooking Method: liquidising
Prep Time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 30 grapes (I used white/green)
  • 3cm³ fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lime's juice freshly squeezed
  • 8 or so fresh mint stalks (I use black peppermint)
  • handful of ice
  • water

Method:

  1. Pop all your ingredients into your liquidiser. Blitz it up. Pour into your glass of choice. Enjoy! 

Notes:

In terms of healthy perks of this drink, you can research the full extent of how good these ingredients are for you if you so desire. The main thing for me is that all four ingredients aid digestion, work as anti-inflammatories, and perk your body up by cleansing and refreshing!

If your stomach is a little unhappy after a weekend of indulgence; eating rich tasty grub then this lush slush will calm it right down. I make it with white/green grapes, however my sister made it with red grapes and they worked really well - so use whichever you prefer or have to hand.

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