Drying Peppermint: How to Dry Mint for Later Use

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - photosforyou

Peppermint grows like a weed so you often end up with more than you dreamed of. Wondering how to dry mint? Drying mint is incredibly easy to do, so you can enjoy your harvest all year round in a variety of different ways. 

When drying mint, it’s best to cut it just before flowering. That is when the herb contains the highest proportion of aromatic substances, which are retained even after drying. Mint typically begins to blossom in June, though that very much depends on your location.

How to Dry Mint

There are many varieties of mint you can grow in your garden including peppermint, spearmint, and apple mint. Regardless of the type of mint you are using, the drying method is the same.

  1. Harvest the mint by cutting just before the last pair of leaves above the ground. Use scissors and put the mint stems in a basket or cloth bag.
  2. Avoid washing the peppermint stems if possible in order to better preserve the aromatics
  3. Remove the leaves from the stems
  4. Place the leaves on a drying rack in an airy, warm place. Do not expose them to direct sunlight.
  5. Turn the leaves from time to time.
  6. After two weeks at the latest, the mint should be completely dry.

If you just want to experiment with drying mint, any cooling rack you may have in your home will do. If you think you will be drying a lot of herbs, consider purchasing a drying rack**

Another method to dry mint is to tie the stems together in small bundles and hang them upside down:

  • Tie no more than 10 stems together 
  • Ensure that the peppermint bouquets can get air from all sides
  • When the leaves are completely dry, carefully remove them from the stem
  • Store them in an airtight container 
  • In a dark, dry place dried mint will keep for several months.
drying peppermint - how to dry mint
Dried mint should retain some green colour — it turns brown if it has dried too much (Photo: © Utopia - Karen Stankiewicz )

Drying Mint: Uses

Dried mint is very versatile and can be used in many ways. Though its most popular use is for brewing peppermint tea, there are plenty of other uses. Here are just a few examples:

  • Add it to leaf and pasta salads
  • Use it in sauces and soups
  • Spice up your oriental dishes and dips, like couscous salad
  • Make a mint simple syrup (boil 2lbs of sugar with 4 cups of water and add two handfuls of dried mint)
  • Have an aromatic bath by adding it to bathwater
  • Use in potpourri or fragrant sachets

Regardless of how you choose to enjoy it, drying mint is a wonderful way for you to ensure you know where your products are coming from. It doesn’t get much better than homegrown!

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can view the original here: Pfefferminze trocknen: Anleitung und Tipps

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