Preserving Mint Leaves: Storing, Drying & Freezing Mint

Preserving Mint Leaves: Storing, Drying & Freezing Mint

Preserving Mint Leaves: Storing, Drying & Freezing Mint

 

Preserving Mint Leaves: Storing, Drying & Freezing Mint is very important. As the winters set in the mint leaves start to dry up. Much as I try to save them…the frost kills them and destroys this valuable herb. Then I have to wait for spring to use and preserve the mint leaves. So I derived an easy way to preserve them along with their flavour so that from November to February I don’t have to bother about their availability. I love to use mint in my veggies preparations like aloo puri, kaddu ki sabji, biryani, raita, dips and sauces.

Preserving Mint Leaves: Storing, Drying & Freezing Mint

 

Air Drying Naturally


Pluck the required amount of mint leaves. Wash them and put them out to dry on a clean sheet of muslin cloth, a sieve or any absorbent cotton sheet or dry in the dark by hanging bunches upside down in paper bags (paper bags is optional). I normally save my McDonalds paper bags for this. Choose a well ventilated, dust-free area like kitchen stores (although the bags will help keep out dust and other surprises). Leaves are ready when they are dry and crumbly, in about 1-2 weeks. In peak summers they’ll take only 3-5 days.

They are best dried in shade and are best preserved in summers and not monsoons. In monsoons, they may fall prey to fungus. Let them dry naturally. Check daily for moisture – if you see any, repeat the drying process. Herbs will mould quickly if exposed to moisture.

During monsoons, you can wash them, let them dry for a day on a clean sheet and then wrap them in a lean tissue and keep it in the refrigerator and forget. The dehumidifying conditions there will help it dry better. Then bottle it and keep it in the fridge.

preservation of mint frozen

Oven Drying


Use low heat (less than 180 degrees). Spread leaves on a cookie sheet for 2 to 4 hours. Leaves are ready when they are dry and crumbly.

Microwave Drying


Place the leaves on a paper towel and microwave for 1 to 3 minutes, mixing/tossing every 30 seconds. When completely dry, leaves may be crushed or stored whole in airtight containers. Check daily for moisture – if you see any, repeat the drying process. Herbs will mould quickly if exposed to moisture. Always store your mint in a cool, dry place, away from light.

preservation of mint frozen

Freezing Mint: Ice Cube Method


  • Pick the fresh mint for damaged leaves and remove the tough stems and rinse the leaves. Gently spin dry or pat dry between two kitchen or paper towels.
  • Chop the mint leaves (be sure to remove the stems) and place 1-2 teaspoons into each compartment of an ice cube tray, filling about halfway.
  • Top off the ice tray with water and freeze.
  • Once the cubes have frozen, remove and store in an airtight freezer bag or container in your freezer. It will last up to 3 months. Use it in your drinks if you wish too.

preservation of mint frozen

Uses of frozen mint: Mint ice cubes can be used in Nimbu Pani, Lassi, Jal Jeera, Sauces, Teas and Soups. To use the frozen mint as fresh, place the cube in a glass until melted and strain through a sieve to remove the mint from the water (personally I prefer not to strain the leaves. I love to chew on it and relish its flavour).

preservation of mint13

Storing Fresh Mint


Wrap the mint leaves gently in a dampened paper towel and keep it in your kitchen. Place the mint in a plastic bag, not sealing all the way so that air can circulate. Do not wrap tightly; trapped moisture will cause the herbs to mould.

Bottle them up in an air-tight jar. Store the mint in a cool, dry place, away from light. You can also keep the jar in the kitchen or in the refrigerator. Now they are ready to be used in the winter months or whenever you feel lazy to go out and pluck the mint leaves from your kitchen garden.

When completely dry, leaves may be crushed or stored whole in airtight containers. Herbs will mould quickly if exposed to moisture.

Quick Overview
Preserving Mint Leaves: Storing, Drying & Freezing Mint

Recipe Name: Preserving Mint Leaves: Storing, Drying & Freezing Mint

Author: Ranjeeta Nath Ghai

Description: Preserving Mint Leaves: Storing, Drying & Freezing Mint is very important. As the winters set in the mint leaves start to dry up. Much as I try the frost kills it and destroys this valuable herb and then I have to wait for spring to use and preserve the mint leaves. So I derived an easy way to preserve them along with their flavour so that from November to February I don't have to bother about their availability.

Preperation time: 1-2 weeks

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