Monday, May 17, 2010

When Your Garden Hands You MINT, Make Ice Cream.

In one of my more brilliant moments - ahem - I decided several years ago to plant some mint in my tiny little box garden. When I was a child, my nanny would make iced tea from the wild mint that grew in the fields on my grandparents' farm and I wanted to make some of that tea. I rooted some mint in my kitchen from a plant that I received from our CSA. I then planted it in my box garden.

I now have enough mint to make tea for the entire neighborhood. I am constantly ripping mint out of the box to try to control it. I don't want it to go away entirely, because my husband really loves the tea that I make, but I would like for it not to take over my entire box garden.

Okay, ignore the fact that my lawn needed mowed, but this pic was taken before I planted my veggies. The growing season was just starting in the northeast, but the mint started proliferating weeks prior.

Hopefully, you can see my dilemma, I can't make the tea fast enough, the mint just keeps growing and growing and growing...

I came upon this recipe a few years ago in a Martha Stewart Living magazine. I ripped it out and never tried it, until it was time to make some room for my tomatoes.

We like mint ice cream, but does ice cream made from mint from my garden taste the same as store bought?

Ready for the stove.

Ice mint bath, anyone?

Crushed mint leaves with milk.

At this point I had to take a long phone call, while I was making the cream, so I didn't take any pictures. There was a lot of stirring involved with heavy cream, sugar and eggs.

The finished mint ice cream.

I poured the ice cream into a container and put in the freezer to harden up a bit.

Doesn't everyone eat their ice cream in a martini glass? I shaved some dark chocolate on top of the MINT ice cream and garnished with mint leaves.

The verdict... We really enjoyed the ice cream. The flavor is different than what you will find in the grocery store. The mint flavor is subtle, but very fresh. It is comforting to know that the light green color comes from the plant and not dye. This will make a great dessert for a summer dinner party on the patio.

The recipe for Fresh spearmint ice cream courtesy of Martha Stewart Living.

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This post is a reprint, with a few edits from 2009. Enjoy!


  1. mint sure is an aggressive plant

  2. The ice cream looks delightful! I had to laugh when I read about the mint taking over your box. At 12, I transplanted some mint to ONE of my parents front flower boxes. Fast forward some 14 years and my poor parents have to try to thin it out of ALL of their flower boxes each spring. Sorry Dad and Mom! ;-D I had no idea that it would take over like that, but I have no idea how to control it now. Lots of sun tea with fresh mint leaves anyone??? :-D

  3. I am so impressed! :) That looks delicious! I have mint all over too, but it smells so good, especially when you are pulling it out of unwanted places! LOL!! I would LOVE the recipe for the iced mint it on here? (I will have to look.) :)

  4. Just found your "sun tea" recipe....I will have to try it with my mint! :)

  5. Carrie - that is so funny that the mint is still there 14 years can't kill that stuff.

    Queen of the House - I'm glad you found the mint tea recipe. you can never have too many recipes for mint! I too love the smell of fresh mint.

  6. wow -- awesome work! This recipe is officially bookmarked :-) May I share it in my Friday Favorites?

  7. I knew mint would take over my garden and I STILL planted some. Oh well. I've got lemon balm coming out of my ears! LOL! Great recipe! I've been thinking about making mint ice cream soon....I also saw a mint julep ice cream I'll try for the grown ups. :)

  8. Oh, yum! We love mint ice cream! Love how you used fresh mint!

    Thank you for sharing!

  9. I have the same problem with my mint garden...but love it! I love the endless supply, constant tea making and now ICE CREAM! THanks!

  10. Yum! That sounds great! I recently purchased some mint at the farmers' market for some smoothies (great yummy recipe by the way). I decided to see if a piece would root in the back garden and it did! So I dug it up (since mint can be invasive) and put it in a large patio pot. So far so good!

  11. Oh yum! Oh what a great DIY project. You are one clever and crafty girl.

    I just finished a project that took 23 years to complete.
    Come take a peek.

  12. Oh my goodness! That looks wonderful! We've got mint inour garden.... I've been using it for lemonade iced tea, but this looks even better!

  13. We just got an ice cream maker last Christmas and have been experimenting- this will be next on the list since I, too, have mint (in a big whiskey barrel, though!).

    I'm so glad you shared and linked to the Tuesday Garden Party!

  14. My mint has taken over as well - but at least it isn't in a container garden so we can just mow it over! I've never tired making ice cream with though - but we will remedy that situation soon! Thanks for the recipe!

  15. We'll have to try this. I contained my mint in a flower planter, but what do you do with all of it? My boys love mint ice cream so I'm for sure going to keep this recipe around for when I dust off my ice cream maker.

  16. Lesson learned... mint= ice cream; I like it! Boy is it ever an aggressive plant. I had some in a container, but it escaped and is now at various spots in the garden (through compost?). Seeing your picture is making me think I should go dig it out.
    (on Jami's garden tour)

  17. Stopping by from Tuesday Garden Party. i think it's really awesome that you grow mint. This is making me consider growing some myself in our garden. Happy to be your newest follower.

  18. Thanks everyone for all of the comments.

    Ott, A - Welcome and thanks for following along!

  19. Yummmm! I've been looking for mint to plant, thanks for the reminder. I will plant it in a secure location, so we don't have too much. (Mojitos Anyone?)

  20. I LOVE mint ice cream! You totally made me wish that I was your neighbor!

  21. Dee - Mojitos is the next thing on my list to make with all of my mint.

    Brandie - my neighbors aren't too interested in the mint.

  22. That is a fabulous way to use up your mint. You are so lucky to have such an abundant supply!

    Best wishes,

  23. This looks great! Good luck controlling the mint, if you find the secret please share! Many years ago Country Living Mag posted a biscotti recipe that used fresh mint (ground in processor with sugar), that's a good way to use it up too-have fun!

  24. I will definitely be giving this recipe a try!


  25. I definitely have to try this very soon! It looks delicious, thanks!

  26. Oh, that mint ice cream looks soooo good. My Mom always used to plant mint in her perennial gardens. Hope you can stop by my blog sometime. I just signed up to follow you. Have a great weekend!

  27. @Happier - I am going to have to google that biscotti recipe...I love biscotti and I certainly have enough mint.

    @House and Garden Boutique - thanks for following along. I will definitely stop by your site.

    Thanks everyone for all of the nice comments!!

  28. What a delicious use of excess mint!


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