A multifunctional herb is a mint. It can be used for baking, preparing food, and blending drinks. Mint adds a pleasant zing to any beverage or food, and we’re delighted to hear that it freezes so nicely.
Mint can be frozen and used at a later time in dishes. But first, you must understand how to store mint properly. Mint leaves should first be wrapped in wet paper towels. Then, to prevent the mint leaves from being wet and susceptible to mould, place them in a paper bag and seal them snugly but not too tightly. Before placing the leaves in the bag, trim them.
What is Fresh Mint?
Popular and flavorful mint is a member of the Mentha plant family. This rapidly expanding crop, which has hundreds of types and is farmed worldwide, is utilised in candies, gum, health and beauty treatments, and food goods. Since excessive heat will destroy the mint flavour present in the leaves, it is better to add this delicate herb at the end of cooking.
How to Freeze Mint?
Therefore, we must immediately emphasise that the goal of freezing mint is to preserve the herb’s natural flavours so you can use them later.
This implies that it will have no impact on the herb’s quality. It would help if you always used the healthiest leaves available to achieve the finest outcomes.
Use only mint leaves of the highest calibre and freshness. Avoid broken, insect-infested, and older leaves as much as possible. Likely, their flavours have already been altered. Therefore, it is not worth the effort to freeze damaged leaves.
It would help if you now gathered the supplies and equipment you’ll need before we continue. Make sure you have the following items available:
- Ice cube holder
- Freezer-safe food storage bags
- Paper towels or a salad spinner
The two techniques for freezing mint are described here. Check them out to discover which one suits you the best.
Method 1: Freezing Mint Leaves Whole
You can freeze your mint as individual leaves using the first approach.
While it can initially need a bit more time and work, this will prove useful. This is so that you may more easily measure ratios and quantities while cooking with whole leaves.
Your frozen mint becomes nearly identical to fresh mint after this treatment. How to freeze whole mint leaves is detailed below:
So, before doing anything else, you must first prepare your mint. Particularly when working with fresh herbs, this is essential. Trim the top portion of your leaves as a result. Repeat the process for each of the mint’s stalks. Just remember to leave at least two-thirds of your plant whole. Before continuing, ensure sure the mint has been thoroughly cleaned and dried.
Lay them Out – Be cautious while arranging your mint leaves in a neat row on your baking sheet. It would help if you made sure that the leaves do not overlap in addition to laying as flat as feasible. Remember that overlapping leaves will be challenging to separate once frozen and cause significant issues.
Once the mint leaves have been spread out on the tray, you must ensure they are well covered. We advise using wax paper or plastic wrap. Make certain that all of your leaves are covered. To prevent them from slipping off the tray is the goal. Additionally, you don’t want any additional moisture or dirt to enter.
Mint leaves should be placed in the freezer overnight for best results.
Ensure the mint leaves are properly frozen before being placed in freezer-safe bags. You can move the mint leaves if they are completely frozen. Put the leaves in the freezer-safe food storage bags after removing them from the tray. Before refreezing the bags, make sure to name each one.
The mint leaves won’t cling together in the bags, so you won’t have to worry about that. Because of their frozen status, this is not possible.
As a further suggestion, upright placement of freezer-safe storage bags in the freezer is a great method to make the most of the available space.
Method 2: Making Ice Cubes from Fresh Mint
The second technique is freezing your herbs to create refreshing, mint-flavoured ice cubes that can be thawed, melted, and consumed whenever you like.
All you have to do to use your mint ice cubes is toss them into your recipe and wait for the ice to melt.
Prepare the Mint Leaves – If you’re using fresh mint, you’ll also need some preliminary work. You must trim the top third of your leaves, leaving the remaining two-thirds of the herb intact, like the first step in the prior approach. Ensure that the leaves you use are in good health. How to freeze fresh mint in ice cubes is as follows:
Once you are satisfied with the herbs on hand, wash the mint leaves in cool water and pat dry. After that, remove any extra moisture. The best action is to pat them dry with two paper towels gently. A salad spinner is another option. Before freezing, make sure to drain almost all of the water.
Although you can still use entire mint leaves, we advise chopping them into predetermined measurements since this will work better in the long run. For example, we advise you to cut the leaves and portion a tablespoon of mint in each tray.
Once your mint has been divided into portions, fill your freezing tray(s) with the required quantity.
Freeze – After dividing the mint into tablespoon-sized portions on the ice cube tray, fill each one of the cubes halfway with water. Make sure your mint leaves are immersed in the water for the best effects. Place the tray in the freezer and leave it there for at least an hour, preferably longer. After it has frozen, add more water until the top of the tray is reached, then refreeze.
These mint cubes can be used in a plethora of different ways. These mint cubes’ adaptability is nothing short of remarkable.
For example, they can add a lovely finishing touch to your cocktails, iced tea, lemonade, and other delicious drinks. These mint cubes are not only visually appealing but are also flavour explosions waiting to happen.
Additionally, you may use these mint cubes in a variety of recipes. Drop them in and watch the ice melt. Don’t worry; the extra water won’t impact the finished item.
Here is a quick guide on freeze mint, including the best methods and reasons to do so.
Avoid freezing your fresh herbs if you want to increase their shelf life.
Reference: STUDIES ON PROCESSING AND STORAGE STABILITY OF ASHGOURD–MINT LEAVES JUICE
How to Defrost Mint Leaves?
The leaves can be easily defrosted before use. Make sure to begin defrosting two to three hours beforehand.
Defrost each leaf individually
- The frozen leaves should be taken from the freezer bag and placed on paper. While it is defrosting, this will aid in absorbing any moisture.
- Let the mint defrost at room temperature for two to three hours.
- Any extra water should be wiped from the leaves with a paper towel. Use as necessary.
Thaw ice cubes
- Mint cubes should be removed from the freezer and placed in a colander with fine mesh. The filter should be put in the sink.
- Please turn on the cold water in your faucet and run it over the ice cubes.
- Run the water until the ice and mint can be separated.
- With a paper towel, dry.
It’s important to keep in mind that once the mint has thawed, it cannot be frozen once more.
How Long does Frozen Mint Stay Fresh?
Mint that has been frozen can be kept there for up to a year. It must, however, maintain a constant temperature.
Many frost-free freezers maintain their ice-free condition by increasing the freezer’s temperature daily. As a result, any water vapour is kept from freezing and is automatically evacuated from the freezer. Therefore, you can discover that unless the leaves are stored in ice, they do not last as long in a frost-free freezer.
How to Use Mint?
Mint is a very versatile herb that may be used to season and garnish various dishes. Savoury meals like roast lamb can be enhanced with mint, while Indian dishes go well with mint salsa. Adding mint to savoury soups, stews, and curries is terrific. Additionally, you may use mint leaves to make desserts like lemon-mint sorbet or add them to sweet foods like fruit salads.
A prominent mint variation is a peppermint, used to make mint tea, served hot or chilled, depending on the season. Slices of cucumber, citrus fruit, and fresh mint stems can be added to chilled water to make a delightful drink. Additionally, you may use mint as a garnish for drinks like mojitos and mint juleps or add fresh mint leaves to a smoothie.
How Long does Fresh Mint Last?
Fresh herbs can quickly turn brown and wilt if exposed to too much water and oxygen, especially if stored in a supermarket bag or crisper drawer. Due to its high moisture content, mint wilts quickly when the water evaporates from the stems and leaves cells. Fresh herbs can be kept for two to three weeks in the refrigerator and months in the freezer if properly preserved. On the other hand, dried herbs can keep for years in the cupboard.
Many recipes, from drinks to desserts, might benefit from the usage of mint ice cubes. They are simple to produce and a fantastic method to cut costs. You can either grow your mint or purchase a package from the market. As an alternative, the mint syrup can be purchased; it is less expensive and requires little preparation.
Ice cubes of mint go well with tea and coffee. They can also be used to boost the flavour of lemonade. To add a bit of freshness to your beverage, you may also add them to a mojito or a mint julep. Sift mint leaves twice before freezing them to create your mint ice cubes.