My Little Korean Mint Plant

Back in March, my daughter and I went on a weekend in London.  We had an amazing time at a pop up Sunday brunch with The Raw chef at the Tiny Leaf in Notting hill.  The Herball were there too giving out their wonderful plant infused drinks of wines, cocktails and teas.  As a gift, we were given a choice of seeds and a little pot to plant them in, I chose Korean mint and look what’s happened….

My little Korean Mint Plant
My little Korean Mint Plant

I put the picture up on Instagram and tagged the guys at The Herball and they loved it, apparently I’m the first to send an update on all the seeds that were given out.  I asked what to do with the herb and they said it can be planted in the garden or a large pot and is great for making herbal tea with or for cooking.  Strangely enough, the leaves of the plant don’t smell like the usual mint when you rub them, they have a smell, but I couldn’t place it.

So I googled it, as you do and this is what I found…

Medicinal use of Korean Mint:

Korean mint is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Considered to be a “warming” herb, it is used in situations where there is “dampness” within the digestive system, resulting in poor digestion and reduced vitality. The leaves and stems are antibacterial, antifungal, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, febrifuge and stomachic. They are used internally to improve the appetite and strengthen the digestive system, they relieve symptoms such as abdominal bloating, indigestion, nausea and vomiting. They are also used to treat morning sickness. The leaves are also used in the treatment of chest congestion, diarrhoea and headaches. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of angina pains. The plant is used as a folk remedy for cancer, extracts of the plant have shown anticancer activity.

Edible parts of Korean Mint:

Young leaves – raw or cooked. A strong anise-like fragrance, they are normally used as a flavouring or as an addition to the salad bowl. We find them a bit coarse and too strong for use as a salad. The leaves can be used as a tea substitute. A pleasant flavour. The seed is possibly edible. No further details. The seed certainly should not be poisonous, but it is very small and its use would be very fiddly.

I’ll have to experiment – on hubby first! ♥

 

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Sunday Brunch

On Sunday my son Brad and his wife Faye came round for brunch.  They are both into healthy eating and so I thought I would do an alternative to the usual cooked breakfast.  Inspired by a couple of recipes from my Eat Healthy magazine I did roasted sweet potato, butternut squash and red pepper frittata, homemade ‘baked’ beans and grilled gluten free sausages by Heck.  It went down really well and was surprisingly filling.

The baked beans were a combination of two recipes, I just took the flavours I like and the ingredients I had and a little bit of hey presto!

Here is the recipe if you fancy having a go yourselves:

  • coconut oil for frying
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tin of cannellini beans
  • 1 tin of mixed beans
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml passata
  • a large tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp Tamari
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp coarse-grain mustard
  1. In a small frying pan, gently fry the onions in the coconut oil for about 10 minutes until they are nice and soft
  2. drain and rinse the beans and add to a large saucepan
  3. add everything else and the cooked onions
  4. bring to the boil and simmer for at least 30 minutes, the longer you simmer the thicker the sauce.

They were very simple to make and a lot healthier than the usual tinned baked beans.

They also bought me a beautiful flower arrangement for the table, it’s from their favourite florist  Penny Jane Flowers in Leigh-on-sea.

Beautiful flowers from my lovely son and his wife
Beautiful flowers from my lovely son Brad and his wife Faye

 

Cakes for birthday pressies!

Tomorrow it’s one of my colleague’s birthday.  He will be 60 years old, although he doesn’t look or act like 60!  He’s having a little shindig and as I have no idea what to buy him I decided to make it personal and make him a cake.  This cake is one of my favourites and I’ve been making it for years, it’s called ‘Venetian carrot cake’ and it’s from the book ‘Kitchen’ by Nigella Lawson.  The great thing about this cake is that it is naturally gluten free and dairy free, although Nigella does suggest you accompany a slice with a dollop of mascarpone cream, which is yummy!   So Happy Birthday Dave, here’s looking at you kid!

New book, New Enthusiasm!

Hello everyone out there in the big wide blogging world.  I’m afraid I have been a little off my blogging game of late.  I haven’t blogged for weeks!

I think there are a number of reasons, one being that Spring has sprung and I have a renewed vigour for road cycling, I have got a bit obsessive for cycling the hills around town.  Also, I haven’t had the enthusiasm to bake new things, not that I haven’t been baking, I’m always cooking up something or other but I just haven’t blogged about them.

So, when I was visiting my Mum the other weekend, we were in town and I was perusing the cook books in WHSmith and came across this little number

Gluten Free Baking by Joy May
Gluten Free Baking by Joy May

I flicked through it and thought, yes, I like a lot of these recipes and I fancy giving them a go.  The book is a traditional baking book, in that it uses good old fashioned ingredients like sugar and golden syrup, so it’s not for those ‘sugar free’ fans out there!  I also like the fact that she uses Dove Farm flours, which are easy to buy in the supermarkets.

I made my first bake from the book today – Muesli cookies and they came out perfect. They were delicious, didn’t taste ‘gluten-free’ and I substituted the butter for Pure vegetable spread so that they are suitable for Vegan.  They made loads, so I took a small pile round to my daughter, who is vegan, and she woofed them down.  I shall be trying out many more of the recipes, so watch this space ♥

Muesli Cookies
Muesli Cookies