Growing Mint? Here Are 10 Clever Ways To Use It

Check out these 10 clever uses for fresh garden mint so it doesn't go to waste!

If you’re like many, you grew mint this year thinking a sprig or two would be refreshing in your summer iced tea. But as you may have already discovered, mint is a very prolific plant and now you’ve got more of it than you know what to do with. We’ve shared tips for growing mint as well as its medicinal properties, now we’ve got some clever uses for all that mint so it doesn’t go to waste!

10 Uses For Your Garden Mint

1. Add it to drinks

Refreshing summer cocktail with mint.

Whether you’re making mojitos, mocktails, iced tea, or fresh lemonade, your garden mint can add the perfect refreshing taste to any summer drink. Just toss a few sprigs in each glass or pitcher!

2. Freshen up your fresh spring rolls

Fresh Asian spring rolls with mint.

Fresh spring rolls are a delicious and healthy meal on a hot summer night and are a great way to make use of your mint. Give them a try with this recipe here.

3. Make mint ice cubes

Mint and lemon frozen into ice cubes.

Freeze a mint leaf in a large silicone cube tray (available at most dollar stores) to add pizzaz to your summer drinks. Your guests will love them!

4. Make your own mint tea

You can buy pre-made mint tea bags, but it’s so easy to make your own! Just steep your fresh mint leaves in boiling water for about five minutes and serve. Sweeten with honey if desired. It’s a great digestive aid after a big meal.

5. Add it to your fruit salad and fruit salsas

Fresh fruit salad with mint in a bowl on a wooden table.

Mix a few leaves in for a refreshing treat.

6. Make a fresh mint oil rub

Peppermint - Spearmint oil.

For an effective home remedy for sore muscles, crush fresh mint leaves with a mallet or a mortar and pestle to release the oils. Place the mint in a jar and cover it with about 2 oz. of a flavorless, odorless carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or almond oil. Shake to combine. Place the jar in a warm place for 24 hours, then strain the oil through a piece of cheesecloth to remove the mint leaves. Apply topically to soothe sore muscles.

7. Whip up a batch of healthy tabouleh salad

Fresh tabouleh salad on a plate with lemon and mint.

One of the key ingredients in tabouleh (besides bulghur wheat) is fresh mint. It’s a tasty dish that’s easy to make and so good for you! Try this recipe.

8. Make a sachet of homemade mint potpourri

Two scented sachets of homemade potpourri.

Dry fresh mint leaves in your dehydrator or in the oven at the lowest temperature. Once dried, chop them and place them in a cloth bag. Secure with a ribbon and keep them inside drawers, or give them as gifts this holiday season—tell your friends and neighbors it’s mint from your garden!

9. Use mint to repel bugs

Mosquitoes - Insect repellent

Many critters find mint unpleasant. Try these repellent ideas:

  • Make a spray repellent by adding fresh mint leaves and a few citrus peels in a small pan covered with water. Bring to a boil. Allow the mixture to sit overnight, and then strain out the solids. Add 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol and add to a spray bottle. Then spray on your body before going outdoors (be careful of clothing to avoid staining).
  • Use the oil of fresh mint to repel biting insects. If there’s no time to create a spray, just crush a few leaves and rub the oils on your skin. Note: Garden mint is not safe for pets.
  • In places where ants are a problem, crush some mint leaves in your hand to release the oils, then scatter them around where you see ants in your home.

10. Make a healthy “Shamrock” milkshake for St. Patrick’s Day (or any day!)

Milkshake - Shamrock Shake

Healthy Shamrock Milkshake

Make these yummy copycat recipes for St. Patrick's Day or any day!
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 2


  • cups milk (dairy or non-dairy, such as coconut milk, almond milk, or oat milk)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 banana
  • ½ avocado
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • Optional: honey or maple syrup to sweeten
  • Vegan whipped coconut cream (recipe here)
  • Optional Healthy Toppings: Cacao nibs, mint leaves


  • Place everything except whipped coconut cream and toppings in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses and top with whipped coconut cream, and sprinkle with toppings of your choice. Serves 2.
Keyword healthy shamrock shake recipe, Milkshake Recipe

Looking for a classic mint julep recipe? We’ve got one!

Got your own cool ways to use mint? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!

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You have “(recipe here)” next to the listing for “Vegan whipped coconut cream,” but there is no link to a recipe! I hope someone can correct this.

Katherine Harper

I first had this drink in Israel and it’s become a seasonal favorite!


We moved into a home that had mint in the garden and oh my goodness how it took over the entire garden. It’s very difficult to remove as it spreads by runners. If you grow it, it’s best to contain it in a planter or flower pot. Each summer we pull out tons of it and it just grows right back. The only thing I can do to is trim it short so it doesn’t block the sun to other plants. If you grow large shrubs like hydrangea or spirea or lilacs you’d be OK. But it doesn’t go well with other tender perennials – it will take them over and crowd them out.

Susan Higgins

Hi Sally, yes, we always recommend planting mint and all its cousins, like catnip, in containers.

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