Mint is a beautiful herb to have around your kitchen garden. The only problem with mint is that it has a short shelf life and doesn't keep well after being picked. Fortunately, there's an easy solution: dry it! If done correctly, this simple process will allow the delicate flavor to stay intact while removing moisture from the fragrant leaves. Learn how to dry mint and go from fresh leaves to tea leaves in a short time.
Are you looking to make homemade mint tea and learn how to preserve your fresh herbs for a long time? Let's do this!
Why This Recipe Works
Drying mint is a great way to preserve it and bring it out of hibernation in the dead of winter. When dried, mint leaves can be used in cooking and baking and as a garnish for salads, soups, and stews.
Once dried out, the herb can be stored in airtight containers or a glass jar until you're ready to use them again (or gift them as gifts). This article will explain how to dry mint using a food dehydrator so you can enjoy this healthy treat all year!
- Use fresh mint leaves. It's best to use fresh mint leaves in your dehydrating process. If you have access to a food processor, chop them well before dehydrating.
- If you have mint plants as I do, feel free to snip whole mint sprigs but make sure to work in small bunches, unless you know you have enough trays.
- Remember that different herbs need different drying times. Mint is one of those herbs that will dry quickly.
- You may want to check on it occasionally during its drying period, as some parts may be ready before others are finished drying out completely.
How to Dry Mint
Wash and prepare herbs
the first thing to do is prep your herbs after picking them. After stripping the leaves from the stems, rinse the whole leaves in plenty of water.
Pick individual stems with four or five leaves per stem. If they're small enough to fit on your countertop (and not too wet), gently wash them with water before drying them off completely. If not, place them in a colander or salad spinner so they'll drain while being dried out by the sun or heat source.
After that, drying them is a piece of cake.
How to Dry Mint in a Food Dehydrator
To dry mint in a food dehydrator, set the temperature to 95 degrees F. Every couple of hours, check and make sure they're not drying out too much.
Remove one of them from the tray and break off a little piece of it with your fingers (don't worry if they're dry enough yet).
If it's still pliable, let them continue drying until they become crispy and brittle—this should take upwards of 4-5 hours but can as little as two, depending on the weather, humidity, and moisture content of the leaves.
When you're happy with how dry they are, take them out and store them in an airtight container until you're ready to use them.
How to use Dried Mint
Dried mint is a useful ingredient to have in your pantry. You can use it in all of the following ways:
- Add dried mint to salads and soups.
- Use it as an ingredient for lemonade or tea during the summer months; add a few leaves for each drink you make.
- Add dried mint leaves to baked goods, such as cookies and cakes. It's particularly good with fruit-based desserts like peach cobbler or apple pie!
Now that you've dried your mint, how long can you store it?
- Store in an airtight container in a dry and dark place.
- Keep out of direct sunlight and heat.
- Keep out moisture, too—you don't want to experience moldy mint!
- 1 bunch of herbs
- water for rinsing