This easy guide with pictures shows how to dry mint leaves in the microwave and by air drying. These methods take little energy and are quick to do. Dried mint can be added to tea or to flavor meat and vegetable dishes.
Drying mint ensures you have a ready supply over the cooler months. It is an easy herb to grow however mint should always be grown in pots as it can be invasive. Cutting the mint for drying will help to keep the plant healthy and bushy.
The best time to cut mint for drying is in the late spring through to the fall or autumn. Flowering mint can be used however the flowers will need to be discarded so you may like to wait until after it has finished flowering.
Make mint tea with dried mint leaves by placing 1 teaspoon of dried mint in a tea leaf strainer then leave to steep in a cup of hot water for 1 to 3 minutes depending on how intense you would like the tea. Remove the strainer then add a teaspoon of honey if desired.
Drying Mint Leaves
Mint leaves dried in the microwave will retain a brighter green color than air dried mint however air-dried mint takes no energy which will save money. There is no difference in the taste.
Tools and Materials Needed
- Sharp Scissors
- Drying Racks or Towel
- Ceramic Plate
- Airtight Storage Container
- Label – These erasable food labels saves money as they don’t need to be constantly replaced and are top rated on Amazon. (Paid link)
Time needed: 15 minutes.
How to dry mint leaves in the microwave and by air drying.
- Harvest the Mint Leaves
First cut the stems with scissors or pruners above a node. New leaves will form from the nodes along the stems. Leave new stems then remove leggy stems to improve the look of the plant.
Wash the stems in a sink with an inch or less of water to save on water use. Agitate the leaves to remove any dirt then leave to try on a towel.
- Air Drying Mint
When air drying mint it is best not to hang in bunches as they may not dry evenly. Simply leave the mint on a towel in a single layer then place in a room with good air circulation and out of direct sunlight.
The mint leaves can also be placed on drying racks in a place away from direct sunlight.
- Removing Dried Leaves
It is easiest to remove the leaves from the stems after they have dried. Simply run your finger down the stems to dislodge the dried mint leaves into a bowl.
- Prepare the Mint Leaves to Dry in a Microwave
To dry mint leaves in a microwave simply remove the dry washed mint leaves from their stems then place in a single layer on a ceramic plate.
- Microwave the Leaves
Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Check to see if the leaves break easily. If not then heat in 10 second bursts checking the leaves each time. Leave to completely cool.
Note: If the mint leaves are not dry before placing in the microwave they may steam instead of drying.
- Label and Store
Place the dried mint leaves in an airtight recycled glass jar or container. Label with the contents and today’s date. Store dried mint in a cool, dry place for up to 2 years.
Mint can also be oven dried by placing washed leaves in a single layer on an oven tray. Bake at 212ºF (100ºC) for 1 hour. Check the mint then bake for longer if needed.
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