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Storing, Drying & Freezing Mint

January 2, 2012
Adams Fairacre Farms

Storing Fresh Mint

Wrap the mint leaves gently in a dampened paper towel.
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 mold.
Trim the ends and place in a glass filled with about 1” of water. Cover with a loose fitting bag and refrigerate. Replace water when it gets cloudy.

Drying Mint

Cut the mint about 1/3 down the main stem, including the side branches.

Wash lightly in cold running water. Drain thoroughly on absorbent towels or hang plants upside down until the water evaporates. Strip leaves off the stalks and remove blossoms. Follow directions for your dehydrator.

Natural Air Drying
Dry in the dark by hanging bunches upside down in paper bags. Choose a well ventilated, dust-free area (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.

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 2 minutes (check after 1 minute and microwave in additional 10 second increments as needed). When completely dry, leaves may be crushed (I use a food processor) or stored whole in airtight containers (canning jars, for example). Check daily for moisture – if you see any, repeat the drying process. Herbs will mold quickly if exposed to moisture. Store the mint in a cool, dry place, away from light.

Freezing Mint
Ice Cube Method

  1. Pick through the fresh mint, removing damaged leaves and tough stems and rinse. Gently spin dry or pat dry between two kitchen or paper towels.
  2. Chop the mint leaves (remove stems) and place 1-2 teaspoons into each compartment of an ice cube tray, filling about halfway.
  3. Top off with water and freeze.
    Once the cubes have frozen, remove and store in an airtight freezer bag or container in your freezer, up to 3 months. Don’t forget to label and date.

Using frozen mint: Mint ice cubes can be used in 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.

Baking Sheet Method

  1. Follow step one from Ice Cube Method.
  2. Place leaves on a baking sheet and freeze 2-3 hours.
  3. Place mint into freezer bags, label, date and store in freezer up to 3 months.

Vacuum Sealer Method

  1. Follow step one from Ice Cube Method.
  2. Make a bag from the roll material large enough to hold the sprigs of mint and allow space between the herb and final seal. Seal one end.
  3. Label bag with contents and date.
  4. Place herb sprigs in bag.
  5. Place bag end into the sealer and vacuum seal, following manufacturer’s directions.