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Having fresh herbs and spices on hand allows home cooks to season and flavor their kitchen creations at any time, from hot and cold main dishes to desserts and drinks. Those who enjoy using mint in drinks and dishes may be wondering How to Store Mint and keep it as fresh as possible.
Fragrant Vase of Freshness
Mint is a delicate herb that can add a touch of elegance and specialness to any dish with just a sprinkling. Mint spreads and grows incredibly fast. However, using up the remaining mint before it wilts and goes bad is a real challenge.
Although fresh mint has a very short shelf life, there are many ways to store a large quantity of it to keep it fresh for days, weeks, or months. Here, we’ll go through different methods for storing fresh mint.
Health Benefits of Mint Herb
Mint is a calming herb that has been used for thousands of years to relieve an upset stomach or indigestion.
In addition to that, mint is an excellent source of vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for eye health and night vision.
Peppermint oil contains the compound menthol, which is thought to relax the muscles of the digestive tract.
The Most Effective Methods for Storing Mint
On the shelf
Fresh mint can be stored in a small amount of water on the shelf. This method requires the least amount of effort.
Fill a small jar or glass with water, then trim the mint stems. Place the mint in the water similarly to how you would place flowers in a vase. Finally, set the mint on the shelf.
The mint should last about a week if you change the water when it becomes cloudy.
A Masterpiece of Art
In the Refrigerator
Tender herbs should be stored upright in a glass jar of water and loosely wrapped in a plastic bag.
Wrap mint leaves in damp paper towels and store them in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator to keep them moist and fresh.
With this method, you don’t need to change the water, and the mint should last for about three weeks.
Freeze the leaves
If you want to preserve the flavor of mint for a long time, freeze it in ice cubes. After removing the mint leaves from the stems, place them in an ice cube tray. After pouring water over the tray, place it in the freezer.
Alternatively, freeze batches of fresh leaves in a single layer on a baking sheet. After a few hours, place the frozen leaves in a freezer bag.
Frozen mint can be stored for up to six months.
Dry the leaves for long-term storage
- Using the Oven: After thoroughly drying your mint, separate the leaves from the stems and spread them on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 180°F and check the mint every 15 minutes. Depending on the moisture content of the leaves, it could take 2 to 4 hours.
- Using a Dehydrator: Remove the mint leaves from the stems once they have been rinsed and dried. Place the leaves in a single layer on your dehydrator tray, leaving enough space between them for air to circulate.
- Dry the mint for 2 to 5 hours at 105°F, until it is brittle and crumbles to pieces rather than bending. Allow the mint to cool completely before placing it in an airtight container.
- Air-Drying: Hang a bunch of mint in a paper bag upside down in a well-ventilated area until the leaves are completely dry. After that, finely chop the dried mint in a food processor and store it in an airtight container away from heat and light.
Each Leaf Carries Love and Refreshment
Tips For Storing Mint
Try cutting up your mint leaves and freezing them into ice cubes to freshen your summertime beverages and cocktails. Nevertheless, dried mint is the best option if you want whole leaves to garnish your cuisine.
Mint is widely used in Middle Eastern cuisine, including tabouli and other dishes. Preserve mint in the form of mint jelly for a traditional accompaniment to lamb.
Make your own mouthwash by combining 1 quart of boiling water and chopped mint leaves. Strain. Keep refrigerated when needed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Look for mint leaves that are vibrant and even in color, rather than wilting. Smell them if you’re at a farmer’s market. You should get a whiff of that distinct aroma.
Plant mint outside after the danger of frost has passed in the spring. Rainfall in the spring will benefit mint.
Fresh herbs can last two to three weeks in the refrigerator and months in the freezer if properly stored. Dried herbs, on the other hand, can be stored in the pantry for years.
More Hacks to Try:
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How to Store Mint
- 3.5 ounces mint
- After rinsing and patting dry the fresh mint, arrange it in a bouquet and tie it together with twine or string at the base of the stems.
- Next, hang the bouquet somewhere warm and well-ventilated, away from direct sunlight.
- Finally, allow the mint to dry for a few days to a week, or until it is dry and 'crumbly' to the touch.
- Storage Note: You can store the dry mint leaves whole, crumbled, or powdered in a cool, dark place for up to 12 months.