If you purchased or cut fragrant herbs and did not use them, send them to the refrigerator for storage. To prevent the mint from wilting, rinse the branches with leaves and shake a little from excess water. Wrap in wet gauze or a towel and refrigerate.
The washed greens can be placed in a plastic container and covered with a lid. If you do not have a suitable container, put the fragrant branches in a disposable bag and tie them tightly to prevent air from entering. You can also put greens in a glass of water. Mint can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
How to store peppermint for a long time?
The collection season for this fragrant green is in late July - early August. At this time, it contains the largest amount of essential oils. If you know how to properly store fresh mint, you can enjoy its pleasant aroma throughout the year.
If you want to prepare mint for the winter, then know that there are two ways to do this:
Before freezing greens, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. Fold the prepared twigs and leaves in bags or containers and send to the freezer. To prepare mojito and other cold drinks, mint can be frozen in ice molds. Fill the forms with water by putting a pair of clean mint leaves in each compartment. Freeze.
For long-term storage, it is recommended to dry the plant. Rinse the branches thoroughly and tie them into small bunches. Hang brooms in a place where there is no sunlight.
When the green is completely dry, put it in glass jars and close the lids. You can also use linen bags to store dried mint. In this form, an aromatic plant is used to make tea, and when ground into powder, as a seasoning for meat dishes, salads and snacks.
Knowing how to store mint, you can use it both in summer and in winter. There are several easy ways. You can keep the greens fresh in the refrigerator for several days or make reserves for the winter.
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Mint Harvesting for Winter
The best season to harvest mint for the winter is July and August. In most regions of the country, mint is about to bloom at this time or is already crowned with pinkish or pale lilac inflorescences. In the foliage, tops of shoots and flowers during this period, the largest amount of essential oil and other active substances accumulate, for which culture is so valued.
The best raw materials can be obtained:
- from plants 2-3 years old,
- in the morning or evening hours when there is no dew on the plants,
- in dry, non-hot weather.
Cutting is carried out at 1/3 of the stem length, since its hard part is not suitable for winter storage, but it can still give a new shoot before the end of the season.
Harvested greens before being stored in the refrigerator or before mint is dried, freeze, carefully sorted out, removing dry, damaged parts of the plant and impurities, washed and necessarily dried. If you want to keep the mint fresh for the winter, put the prepared greens in bundles in a container with a small amount of water, cover it with a film or a plastic transparent bag and transfer it to the refrigerator.
Peppermint shoots or leaves separated from the stems can be wrapped in paper napkins and laid in resealable bags or containers.
In this form, "bouquets" of mint and green leaves retain their freshness and pristine appearance for up to 4 weeks, but then nature takes its toll. Greens lose their color and elasticity, moisture and nutrients disappear.
How to store mint if it is impossible to preserve plants for a long time in the refrigerator? You can use one of the oldest ways - to dry mint, which in this form will retain both aroma and valuable oils.
How to dry mint at home?
Drying mint does not require serious labor or complicated preparations. Prepared, clean, without traces of moisture, mint:
- understands into small bundles,
- the tops of the shoots are lowered into spacious paper bags,
- bandaged and hung in a dry, ventilated place without access to sunlight.
With this drying method, the grass is not exposed to ultraviolet radiation and heat radiation, wind and dust, in addition, it is not accessible to insects.
If desired, other spice-flavoring herbs are included in the bunches, for example, oregano, St. John's wort, thyme or sage. Such sets will not only help diversify winter tea drinking, but will also become an excellent healing tool.
If the mint is dried on pallets, plant materials are spread in a thin layer and also provide protection from the sun, draft, insects or pollution. In this case, so that the process goes more evenly and faster, the grass will have to be carefully torn from time to time.
Features of drying and storage of mint greens
Mint greens, like other spicy herbs, can be dried in modern electric dryers, however, in this case, it is important to remember some features of spicy herbs. How to dry mint so that it retains as many essential oils, vitamins and healing substances as possible? First of all, do not expose raw materials to high temperatures. The optimum temperature for drying herbs is 20–35 ° C. Therefore, the most gentle mode is used in the electric dryer, and it is not recommended to dry the mint in the oven for the winter.
Tender greens lose moisture quickly, so the drying process is very intense. Do not overexposure the mint inside the electric dryer, as this will lead to excessive fragility of the leaves and the loss of some useful properties.
If the room where the bundles of mint are hung is wet, the grass needs to be transferred to another place as soon as possible, otherwise mold will form on the stems and leaves and make the raw materials unusable.
Over-dried or exposed to high temperatures mint is easy to recognize by the brown color of the leaves. Such grass is practically odorless and useless for health.
How to store mint in dried form?
At room temperature, drying takes several days. The readiness of dried mint can be determined by pressing on the sheet plate, if it is easily separated from the stem with rustling and crumbles, drying can be completed, the raw materials crushed and packaged for long-term storage.
Do not forget how to properly store mint after drying. Although chopped greens take up less space, it loses taste and aroma faster, so it’s wiser not to turn dry grass into powder, and when grinding, use not a coffee grinder, but gentle manual methods.
The best containers for storage are glass clean, dry jars with a tightly lidded lid that prevents moisture, pests, or odors from entering. At the same time, in a cool, dry place, spicy herbs retain their aromas and taste for up to 6–8 months.
How to freeze mint for the winter?
With the advent of powerful modern freezers in the houses, the hostesses have another opportunity, how to prepare mint for the winter. Under the influence of low temperatures, the plant seems to be preserved, all processes stop in it. As a result, mint retains color, aromatic and taste. It is possible to freeze mint for the winter in bunches as well as in separate leaves by packing washed and dried raw materials in cling film, bags, foil or plastic containers.
Fans of aromatic refreshing drinks can use mint leaves to make portioned ice cubes. Shredded grass or individual whole leaves are placed in molds and filled with boiled water, sent to the freezer.
For medicinal tea, which is extremely useful for winter colds, along with mint, you can freeze a slice of ginger or a little lemon zest.
After hardening, the cubes are convenient to store in resealable bags, preventing melting and repeated freezing.
Flavored Fresh Mint Sugar
Another way to keep mint fresh for the winter will appeal to all lovers of sweets. Flavored sugar based on selected peppermint greens is suitable for preparing a wide variety of culinary dishes, it can be added to pastries, drinks, fruit salads and desserts. At the same time, the sweetness takes over all the beneficial properties of the plant, and the mint is kept fresh for the winter.
For 200 grams of chopped greens, mint take the same amount of sugar. The ingredients are thoroughly crushed and mixed in a blender until smooth, and then laid out in dry, clean jars, simultaneously compacting the sugar.
Sugar with peppermint greens is stored in the refrigerator for a rather long time, and in order for food to get the real aroma of this fragrant plant, it is worth adding it to the finished dish.
One and a half glasses of chopped peppermint greens from your garden will require a glass of sugar and the same amount of water. Mint leaves are covered with half sugar and left for several hours, so that the grass gives juice, and sugar begins to dissolve. Syrup is made from the remaining sugar and water, checking its readiness after boiling, drop by drop on a saucer. If the drop does not spread, the sugar syrup is ready and you can add mint to it.
To preserve all the properties of the plant, syrup should not be kept on fire for too long. Immediately after boiling, remove the pan, cool the syrup and, rubbing it through a sieve, pour into sterilized dry bottles or jars.
How to store peppermint syrup? Vitamin and very fragrant syrup perfectly stored for up to two months, if the corked cans are removed in the refrigerator or cellar.
Terms and methods of storage
Mint shelf life depends on the selected way storage. For convenience, all information is collected in the table:
|Storage method||Storage time|
|At room temperature||2-5 days|
|In a refrigerator||5-7 days|
|In the freezer||4-6 months|
|In dried form||1-2 years|
In a refrigerator
You can keep the mint fresh in the refrigerator. Rinse the branches of grass, shake off the water. Just wrap the stems in a damp cloth or cloth and place them in a container or plastic bag. Close the container well to prevent air from entering. Store peppermint in the vegetable compartment or on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
In the freezer
Mint can be stored in the freezer. The freezing process is very simple and involves several steps:
- Sort the greens and remove the sluggish, wrinkled and spoiled leaves.
- Wash the branches well in cool water, and then dry them with a paper towel. If you do not remove excess moisture, the mint will stick together in one lump, which will make it difficult to divide it into portions after freezing.
- Fold the prepared peppermint in a plastic bag and place in the freezer.
Mint, intended for drinks, freeze without stems, in separate leaves. Fold the prepared products in a plastic container and slightly loosen to ensure normal air circulation. This will prevent the leaves from sticking together and help maintain their appetizing appearance.
Close the lid of the container and send the workpiece to the freezer. This method of preserving the freshness of mint is used in bars and public catering places.
Defrost exactly the amount of mint that is needed at the moment. You can’t freeze it again, because then it will lose its taste, aroma and useful properties.
Another popular recipe for freezing is known: cut the mint leaves, put them in the cells of the container for freezing ice and pour in boiled water. Place the container in the freezer and store the product there as needed. Add frozen mint cubes to smoothies, tea, or desserts.
You can preserve the taste and aroma of mint for a long time by drying. For harvesting, collect raw materials in late July - early August. During this period, the grass has the most intense taste and aroma that essential oils provide. The well-known menthol is obtained from peppermint essential oil.
To dry, sort the mint, rinse and dry well with a paper or rag towel. Tie the prepared raw materials in bunches and hang or lay them in a dry, dark place. The main requirements for drying are the constant circulation of fresh air, low humidity and the absence of direct sunlight.
After complete drying, grind the leaves, and break the stems. Fold the blank in a glass jar with a sealed lid or linen bag. Keep mint in a dry place.
If the shelf life of dried mint has expired, do not rush to throw it away. Sew a small bag and fold the raw materials there. This sachet calms the nervous system and normalizes sleep. Also, the workpiece can be used to prepare an aromatic relaxing bath.
Growing mint on the windowsill
To always have a fresh sprig of mint on hand, it can be grown at home on the windowsill. Tear off a beautiful branch of grass from a bed and place it in a glass with water. Pretty soon the sprout will give roots. Transplant the plant into a pot with soil and place it on the windowsill. (Or you can plant a mint bush from the garden, transplant it into a pot and bring it into the house. This is easier and the plant will take root faster.) Do not forget to water the mint, otherwise it will begin to wither.
Mint has a special aroma and taste, it gives dishes and drinks a hint of piquancy and freshness. In order to be able to use the plant’s beneficial and tasteful properties year-round, take care of the grass harvest in advance.
Watch the video to familiarize yourself with the nuances of preserving peppermint for the winter:
Young mother, wife and mistress. Prepares delicious, and most importantly, wholesome dishes for households. Therefore, it seeks and experiences various options for preserving the beneficial properties of fruits and vegetables at home. She is ready to share her experience and experiment results with readers.
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Shelf life: week
To preserve the mint for a week, it also needs to be wrapped in a wet towel or placed in a container, put in the refrigerator.
Mint can be stored in the refrigerator and in a plastic bag, while there should be no air in it, then the mint will be stored longer.
Shelf life: 6 months
For prolonged storage, peppermint can be frozen. To do this, the grass, along with the stems, is placed in a plastic bag. Such mint can be added to tea, cocktails, ready meals. In order to keep the grass fresh after freezing, it can be placed in a plastic container, but not tamped so that air circulates freely between the stems. When the plants are already frozen, they can be folded tightly, but in such a way that they do not thaw.
[vc_message color = "alert-info"] If you have thawed mint, you can’t freeze it again. Because mint will quickly lose its taste, aroma and color. [/ Vc_message]
For lovers of cocktails, it is better to cut twigs and leaves with small straws, place them in a container without tamping, loosen them so that the air circulates freely, and send them to the freezer with a lid. In this form, it is convenient to put mint in containers for making ice, cocktails and drinks.
Shelf life: 12 months
Usually, mint is dried for long-term preservation. Grass in this case is selected from the beginning of July to the end of August. It was during this period that she was most rich in healthy essential oils.
The mint is washed, dried a little, collected in bunches and suspended or laid out in a dark place where direct sunlight does not fall. After the grass dries, you need to break off the stems and inflorescences, grind and store in jars with tight-fitting lids or linen bags. Usually, mint in this form is added to soups, fries, and other prepared dishes. Dried grass is stored for up to 1 year. If she has expired, it’s okay: you can make a fragrant soothing bath with mint.
[vc_message color = "alert-info"] In no case should you dry the mint in the oven, otherwise it will lose its taste and color. [/ vc_message]
Growing at home
For lovers of fresh mint from the garden, you can grow it yourself at home. The plant is not very whimsical. Dip a sprig into the water for several days, when the mint gives root, transplant it into a regular pot of water and water it if necessary. The more often you peel off mint leaves, the more it will grow.