You’ve come to the right site if you’re wondering how to keep mint leaves. Three storage techniques are available: freezing in ice cube trays, air drying, or refrigeration. I’ll give you three instances of each. Discover which one suits you the most by reading on. To ensure the freshest and longest-lasting leaves, follow the instructions for the chosen method. Don’t forget to give them a try as well.
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 utilized in candies, gum, health and beauty treatments, and food goods. Since excessive heat will destroy the mint flavor present in the leaves, it is better to add this delicate herb at the end of cooking.
How to Store Mint Leaves?
Fresh mint can be preserved in various methods to lengthen its usable life. It’s best to clean your mint with cold water before preserving it, regardless of the method you choose. Think about the subsequent storage techniques:
Tender herbs can be preserved by standing them upright in a glass jar of water (much like a bouquet) and lightly enclosing them in a plastic bag. To keep mint leaves moist and extend their freshness, you may also wrap them in several layers of damp paper towels and store them in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator.
Mint leaves should be separated from their stems and put in an ice cube pan. After covering the tray with water, put it in the freezer. You can use the frozen mint ice cubes as needed by thawing them first or adding them to the dish or cocktail you’re making after they’ve frozen. Alternatively, you might freeze quantities of fresh leaves in a single layer on a cookie or baking sheet. The frozen leaves can be transferred to a freezer bag after a few hours. Up to six months can pass after freezing mint.
One long-term way to keep mint is to dry it. When drying mint in the oven, detach the leaves from the stems. Completely dry the mint to remove any excess moisture, then spread the leaves on a baking sheet. You’re looking for dry, crispy leaves, so place the sheet in an oven set to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and check the mint about every fifteen minutes.
Depending on how moist the leaves are, it may take two to four hours. Another option is to use a dehydrator, which may contain instructions for drying herbs. A bunch of mints can also be air dried by hanging it upside-down in a paper bag in a well-ventilated place until the leaves are fully dried. The dried mint can then be processed into a fine powder in a food processor before being stored in an airtight container away from excessive heat or light.
These techniques effectively dry fragile herbs, commonly referred to as soft herbs. Cilantro, tarragon, parsley, dill, mint, and basil are tender herbs since they have soft stems and leaves.
Mint leaves can be dried in two ways: dehydrating them and letting them air dry. Both approaches demand some patience and time. You should watch the mint leaves carefully while they dry in the air to prevent burning. First, gently wash the twigs in cool running water. Wash each mint leaf individually to ensure they are free of dirt, soil, and other foreign items. To drain excess water, place the mint leaves in a colander or absorbent towel. The drying process will be slowed down by too much moisture.
Health Benefits of Mint
Mint has many physiological advantages that science has demonstrated. The finest ways to use mint to keep your body healthy are listed here.
Encouraging digestive enzymes supports the digestive system. Mint leaves are renowned for being a fantastic appetizer. Mint oil has antiseptic and antibacterial characteristics that help to treat stomach infections, indigestion, and other conditions. Because methanol is present, it has anti-spasmodic properties.
Reference: Prospective Role in Treatment of Major Illnesses and Potential Benefits as a Safe Insecticide and Natural Food Preservative of Mint (Mentha spp.): A Review
Relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A typical digestive system disorder is irritable bowel syndrome. It may result in indigestion, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and stomach pain. A change in diet is the primary and most effective treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. However, some research has suggested that mint oil may also be beneficial.
Menthol, a substance found in mint oil, has calming effects on the gastrointestinal tract muscles.
Improve Respiratory Complaints
People with Asthma are advised to consume mint leaves frequently since it helps chest congestion and is an excellent relaxant. Patients with Asthma can have a calming effect from the daily consumption of mint leaves.
Menthol and mint are both believed to help people breathe more easily. It also soothes the irritation brought on by a persistent cough.
After devouring a bowl of garlic soup, what would you do next? Grab a piece of gum. To eliminate the unpleasant odor, try chewing mint leaves the next time. Having germicidal qualities, mint leaves could assist in rapidly freshening your breath.
Extract from mint leaves can assist in removing plaque buildup from teeth. Chewing gum, mouthwash, and toothpaste with menthol can stop the growth of oral bacteria and keep your mouth healthy.
Improve Brain Power
Mint leaves stimulate the brain. Consuming mint may improve alertness and cognitive abilities, according to research. Mint leaves might increase mental clarity and memory capacity.
Mint has many vitamins and antioxidants that boost immunity. These vitamins from plants aid in cell damage prevention. Additionally, mint leaves can stop the growth of tumors by blocking certain enzymes.
Beats Stress & Depression
Mint plays a crucial role in aromatherapy. Its powerful and energizing aroma may reduce stress and revive the mind. Your mind is quickly relaxed when you inhale the perfume of mint.
For quick relief from stress and depression, add mint to your tea, use the mint extract in a vaporizer, or take a mint bath.
Help in Breastfeeding Pain
Breastfeeding can be uncomfortable and challenging for mothers with sore and cracked nipples. Evidence suggests that mint essential oil on aching muscles and damaged nipples can help relieve pain.
Helps in Weight Loss
Mint leaves are crucial for achieving healthy weight loss. Mint leaves to aid in weight loss by improving digestion and metabolism. Mint tea is a wonderful calorie-free, calorie-refreshing beverage to encourage weight loss.
Mint is a traditional remedy for skin issues, including acne and scars. Mint leaves have potent antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory qualities that can effectively treat acne and reduce the swelling and redness brought on by acne flare-ups.
The high salicylic acid and vitamin A content of mint leaves help treat acne by regulating sebum oil production in the skin.
Acne can be treated and prevented with mint leaf extract. Mint leaves’ abundance in menthol and natural antioxidants make them excellent skin cleansers, toners, astringents, and moisturizers. Mint leaves soften dry, irritated skin and tone it.
Aid in Reducing Morning Sickness
Effective treatment for nausea is mint. Additionally, it works well for reducing morning sickness-related nausea.
2019 research has demonstrated that mint includes 53 different chemicals with anti-allergic effects. As a result, mint consumption may, in some cases, aid in treating various allergies.
High in Nutritional Content
According to the nutritional information for spearmint or mint, as it is more popularly known, it can also offer a good dosage of balanced nourishment. Among other nutrients, two tablespoons of mint provide 1.5 mg of vitamin C, 0.4 grams of protein, 0.9 grams of carbs, 0.8 grams of dietary fiber, 22.4 mg of calcium, and 6.8 mg of phosphorus, 51.5 mg of potassium.
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 in the 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.
How to Use Mint?
Mint is a very versatile herb that may be used to season and garnish various dishes. Savory meals like roast lamb can be enhanced with mint, while Indian dishes go well with mint chutney. Adding mint to savory 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 will Mint Leaves Stay Fresh?
Fresh mint and other herbs should be in a glass container and handled like a bouquet if you want to keep them in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can keep mint leaves for two to three weeks by simply storing them between damp paper towel sheets.
How do You Defrost Mint Leaves?
Until the leaves can be removed, run the cubes under cold water. To defrost the mint cubes, fill your sink with the coldest water possible. Keep the water flowing as soon as you can easily separate the leaves from the remaining ice. The texture of the thawed leaves will be softer than that of fresh leaves.
Can I Dry Mint Leaves?
Mint can be dried in three ways: in an oven, in a dehydrator, or by air drying. My preferred option is to use a dehydrator because of the low heat and quick turnaround. Mint may be dried quickly in an oven, but you must be careful not to fry or burn the leaves because you frequently cannot get such low temperatures.
What are the Side Effects of Mint Leaves?
Mint leaves negative effects. Fresh mint leaves or mint oil may infrequently produce adverse responses when consumed. The menthol in mint can cause heartburn, nausea, abdominal pain, and dry mouth when consumed in large doses. Peppermint should be avoided if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Mint leaves are generally safe to eat, but those who have gastroesophageal reflux disease should limit their intake as it may irritate their stomachs. Children should not be exposed topically to menthol oil since it may make them have trouble breathing.
For long-term storage, mint can indeed be frozen! Mint leaves can be frozen by rough chopping and putting them in an ice cube tray. Place the ice cube tray in the freezer after filling it with water. Place the ice cube in a fine mesh strainer, allow it to melt at room temperature, and then strain the water to use the frozen mint. The ice cubes should be frozen before being placed in a freezer-safe plastic zip-top bag and kept in the freezer. You can also plop frozen mint ice cubes into iced tea or other beverages. Mint leaves that are properly maintained and kept frozen can endure for three to six months.