Melt #3 Summer Spice Blend – Mint, Fennel and Black Pepper
I’m so psyched about this three ingredient summer spice blend, the flavor profile is simple, refreshing and its very easy to make. I made a small batch and sprinkled it on salads, over some freshly squeezed orange juice and on slices of watermelon…so good!
Most people believe spices are ‘hot’ and are limited to cayenne or black pepper, this blend counters that common misconception. Spices are anything that can enhance the flavor and bring life to food. Even though mint is categorized as an herb, it makes food taste better and can be used as a spice. What’s notable about this blend is that it can be used as a seasoning even without cooking, I’ve literally sprinkled it on every fruit and salad this summer!
Mint belongs to the pepper family, it has a very refreshing flavor and is great for digestion. Dried mint is easily available in most grocery stores, you can also let some fresh mint dry on the kitchen counter and use once its dried.
Fennel seeds belong to the fennel plant that is a vegetable, herb and spice. The seeds have a licorice like flavor and a sweet after taste, they are roasted are used as a plate cleanser and a digestive aid after any big Indian meal.
Even though black pepper is the most common spice in current times, it was known as the ‘king of spices’ during the spice trade era. With its origins in South India, in present times black pepper is used commonly all across the world. I almost never buy ground pepper due to the fear of it being adulterated and highly recommend buying whole black peppercorns and grind them in small batches or use a pepper grinder. As with pepper or many other whole spices, once ground they start losing their volatile oils and this results in lack of flavor when used in cooking.
Black pepper speeds up the process of digestion and has various health enhancing properties, it can be used to prevent or treat constipation, indigestion and high blood pressure amongst many other diseases.
1/4 Cup Dried Mint
1 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
1 Tsp Black Peppercorns
Dry roast fennel seeds and black peppercorns until fragrant, be careful not to burn the seeds.
Grind the roasted fennel seeds, black peppercorns first, then add dried mint and grind together. I used a mortar and pestle but you can also use a spice grinder.
Since I made a small batch I also added a few pinches of Himalayan pink salt, this is optional.