Wondering how to store mint and keep it as fresh as possible? We’re here to help you out with a few simple and practical tips.
Mint is a delicate herb that needs to be stored properly to stay fresh. Today, we have some tips on how to store mint so that it stays fresh for as long as possible.
Store Mint in the Fridge
The best way to store mint is in the fridge where it will stay nice and cool. This is the case for many herbs!
If your mint is in it's full form, leaves and stems in-tact, you can store it upright in a glass or plastic container. Add 1/2 an inch of water at the bottom the container to so the cut stems are able to soak. Place it into the fridge and enjoy your mint for 3-5 days. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh.
Or, if you have loose mint leaves, wet a paper towel and then ring it out. Add the leaves to the damp towel and gently fold the sides over the leaves making a small packet. Transfer the packet to a plastic bag or plastic container and close it up. Place it into the fridge and enjoy your mint for 3-5 days.
Separate Mint From Other Strong-Smelling Foods
Mint is a very fragrant herb, so it's best not to store it near other strong-smelling foods like onions or garlic. This will prevent the mint from taking on the other flavors.
Some of the foods that have the strongest smells (for better or for worse) include:
- Cabbage: The smell of cabbage is notorious for its ability to permeate entire houses. If you're going to be storing mint near cabbage, be sure to put it in a well-sealed container.
- Fish: Fish is another food with a very strong smell. If you must store mint near fish, be sure to wrap the fish tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in the fridge. This will help to keep the fish smell from seeping into the mint.
- Cheese: Like fish, cheese can also have a strong smell. If you're going to be storing mint near cheese, be sure to wrap the cheese tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil before placing it in the fridge. This will help to keep the cheese smell from seeping into the mint.
- Other Cruciferous Veggies: Foods like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts can also have a strong smell. If you're going to be storing mint near any of these veggies, be sure to put them in a well-sealed container.
Storing mint near these foods will cause it to absorb their flavors, so it's best to avoid it if you want to keep your mint tasting fresh.
Use Mint Within a Week
For the best flavor, use mint within a week of purchasing it or picking it. After that, the flavor will begin to fade.
You might be wondering if it's safe to eat mint that's been stored for more than a week. The answer, fortunately, is yes. You don't have to worry about ending up with a stomach ache from cooking with "expired" mint.
However, if the mint has been stored for more than a week, it will not taste as fresh as it could. You might notice a bit of a stale flavor and smell coming from the leaves rather than the distinctly refreshing aroma that you'd expect.
Freeze Mint for Long-Term Storage
You can always freeze if you need to store mint for longer than a week.
Simply wash and dry the mint leaves, then place them in a freezer bag. You can also chop up the mint leaves before freezing them, which will make them easier to use later on.
Some at-home cooks opt to freeze their mint inside an ice cube tray. This can be a simple, no-nonsense way to have small, ready-to-use portions of mint on hand, but it's not necessary. While your grandma might swear by this method, you can get by just fine with chopped mint in a freezer bag.
Dry Mint for Tea or Potpourri
Another option for long-term storage is drying the mint leaves. This is a wise choice if you plan on using the mint leaves for tea or potpourri. Hang the mint leaves upside down in a dark, dry place until they are completely dried out.
Making your own mint tea isn't as hard as it might seem, and drying your own mint leaves is the perfect way to get started. All you need are some fresh mint leaves, a pot of boiling water, and a bit of time to let the tea steep.
To make mint potpourri, simply combine dried mint leaves with other dried herbs, flowers, and spices. Add a few drops of essential oil if you want a stronger scent. Mix everything together, and then put it in your favorite bowl or jar to display.