Mint is something that grows in my family's garden every summer, and it spreads like weeds. We plant one little branch and mint grows all over the basil, tomatoes, and strawberries. We get so much mint every year that we have to freeze it in gallon-sized Ziplocks. It's great to have so much fresh-smelling herb in our freezer, but it can be hard to come up with recipes to use it. However, there are tons of mint uses that you've probably never thought of. 

1. Infused Water

mint, juice, water
Alexis Clark

Take plain water and add cucumber, mint, strawberries, lime, etc. Your water doesn't have to be boring because there are endless possibilities to start your day off with infused water. 

2. Tzatziki

Mackenzie Patel

Tzatziki is one of my favorite sauces that pairs perfectly with grilled meats or roasted veggies. The mint pairs well with the tangy yogurt, fresh lemon, and crunchy cucumber. Plus, it's super easy to make. 

3. Salads

strawberry, berry, salad, mint
Hannah Linn

Mint can add a fresh pop of flavor to any boring green salad. Not a fan of greens? Try a berry salad with fresh mint, which is still super healthy and refreshing. 

4. Popsicles

ice, ice cream, popsicle, cream
Jen Baron

Sometimes you just need to cool down. Instead of buying a sugary popsicle at the dining hall, try making cucumber mint popsicles. They'd even be the perfect treat for your next spa day. 

5. Pesto

herb, vegetable, tea, condiment, relish
Ellen Gibbs

Usually basil is the go-to herb for pesto, but mint can easily play the game. You can use this fresh mint pesto on salads, pastas, grilled meats, and more. 

6. Tea

tea, coffee
Jocelyn Hsu

Make your tea mint-tea (or minty) with fresh mint. If you'd like a hot beverage instead of cold infused water (see #1), try adding fresh mint with your favorite tea bag. It'll add a fresh flavor dynamic to your classic brew. 

7. Ice Cream

mint, chocolate, cone, dairy, dessert, scoop, icecream
Josi Miller

Make a naturally-flavored ice cream with tons of fresh mint leaves. You can add green food coloring, but the subtle color shows the true beauty of homemade ice cream. 

8. Bailey's Mint Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Spoon University

These mint chocolate pancakes are perfect for when you have leftover Bailey's from the night before and are feeling hangry. Fresh mint makes you wake up. And unlike the night before, these pancakes are unforgettable. 

9. Lemonade

juice, sweet, lemonade, lemon, citrus, mint, yogurt, cream
Jocelyn Hsu

No matter what time of the year it is, I always have those days where I crave a glass of ice cold lemonade. Upgrade your lemonade with fresh mint leaves. Just take your favorite store-bought lemonade and throw in as many leaves as you'd like. Let it sit in the fridge for optimal flavor. 

10. Noodles

ramen, noodles, pho
Milana Yemelyanova

Savory broth, soft noodles, spicy peanut sauce, crunchy veggies, and fresh mint. Skip the takeout and try a cheap and easy recipe for dinner or a late-night snack. From pho to pad thai to lo mein, mint can make any noodle dish sing. 

11. Indian Chutney

Mint chutney is a common Indian condiment that my mom makes with our homegrown mint. It pairs well with super savory Indian dishes like samosa and chaat. 

Fresh mint flavor shouldn't be enjoyed solely when you're brushing your teeth. Next time you have a ton of leaves on your hands, try one of these mint uses. And why try just one refreshing dish when you can try them all?