Apple Cider Vinegar Homemade Mouthwash

The hero recently ran out of mouthwash and instead of buying another expensive bottle I decided to make my own.  I used apple cider vinegar, some peppermint from our garden, and water.  Simple.

Apple Cider Vinegar Mouthwash

1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon dried mint leaf (or amount to taste)

about 12 oz. water.

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I used an empty glass soda bottle with a twist off top to keep it in so first I put the apple cider vinegar in the bottle.  Then I heated up some water and poured it over the mint in a coffee cup.  I let it steep for a few minutes then added it to the bottle.  Then I filled the rest of the bottle with water and put the top on.  It’s not water tight anymore, but it will keep the dust out.

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We both tried it after brushing our teeth this morning.  It seemed to work.  I had been a little afraid it wouldn’t leave that minty fresh feeling but it did.  The hero said he was a little concerned about its effectiveness, but he’s going to keep using it and see how it works.

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White Chocolate Mint Leaves

I had just a little bit of chocolate left over after making another recipe.  Much to the delight of children everywhere, there’s only so much you can scrape out of a bowl.  I figured out a way to use a little bit more of that chocolate.  I did this with white chocolate but it probably would work with milk or dark chocolate.

Basically I just scraped the bowl that I had melted the chocolate in with mint leaves and then patted them face down on wax paper to spread out the chocolate.  Super easy and frugal!  After peeling the leaves off the wax paper, I left them to solidify face up in the freezer.  This gives a very thin layer of chocolate on top of the mint leaves.  They are tasty even before they solidify, but I didn’t sneak any or anything…

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They were also delicious frozen.  These would be a perfect classy finish to a meal.  A little bit of sugar and a lot of mint.  Very high class.

Peppermint “Tea”

We tried a very haphazard version of mint tea using lemon mint a few days ago.  This time I used peppermint and actually dried it before brewing.

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I took the peppermint leaves and dried them in my dehydrator.  You could air dry them too, it would just take longer and I already had the dehydrator running. If you do air dry them you can hang them upside down in a paper bag.  Make sure they have enough room around them for air to circulate and leave them for a few days.  The time they take to dry will depend on your weather.  The paper bag is to keep dust off of them.

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After I dried the leaves I ground them in my mortar and pestle and put about a tablespoon of the ground up leaves in a reusable tea ball.  Then I put that in a pitcher of hot water and let it brew for a few minutes.  Then I put the pitcher in the fridge and had some cold later.  It was really good.  I was afraid it would not be minty enough and the hero was afraid it would be too minty, but it was perfect.  A very refreshing and healthy drink!  I suspect it would be good hot too.

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Lemon Mint “Tea”

Lemon mint is a type of mint that smells very lemony when you tear a leaf in half.

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It also makes a light and summer-y beverage.    My dad grows lemon mint and he decided to try this today.  Take a couple handfuls of leaves and haphazardly crush/tear them up in your hands.  You probably would get a stronger flavor if you ground them up more in a mortar and pestle.  Take the leaves and stems and cover them with just enough water so they are mostly covered and put it to a boil.  Keep the water boiling for about 10 minutes and then strain out the liquid.  Add sweetener of choice to taste.  We used agave nectar, but you could also try sugar, honey, maple syrup, maybe even molasses.

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Pour over ice and enjoy.  It was good, we think the very slight lemony flavor needs something to compliment it.  Maybe a bit of orange zest or something.  We don’t know but suspect other mint that doesn’t have the lemon flavor might not need that.

You could also try making this as sun tea, where you place the leaves and water in a clear container (preferably glass) and leave it in direct sunlight all day.  By dinnertime, you have a yummy drink.

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It would be interesting to try various mixtures of herbs such as peppermint and basil.  Or maybe cilantro.  What ideas do you have?

Red #strawberry

That’s a number symbol not a hashtag.  Like in Red #40.  It’s not clever if I have to explain it is it?

Anyways, one of the minion’s friend’s just turned one year old and his mom didn’t want to use artificial dyes in the cake but she wanted to do the caterpillar from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

This guy:

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She considered dying the cake with beets and spinach or something like that but she was worried that would be too much trouble and might change the taste of the cake.  She had a very creative solution, she used strawberries for the red and mint leaves for the green.

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It was yummy too!  Happy birthday to the friend of the minion!