Mint is truly one of the most versatile herbs that you could have on hand while cooking. Fresh mint leaves bursting with flavor can be added to both hot and cold dishes.

Be it for garnishing a dessert, adding fresh notes to roasted lamb, preparing fresh chutney to go with savory snacks or adding a vibrant color to fruit salads – mint is certainly a welcome addition. Also, our mojitos would fall flat without those fresh sprigs of mint, right?

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However, like any other fresh herb, mint has a short shelf life of about 2 weeks. So more often than not, you may not be able to use all of that fresh supply and end up throwing some away. But you can avoid the waste if you know the right way to preserve fresh mint.

Learn how to preserve and store mint
Learn how to preserve and store mint

We’ve compiled some clever hacks for keeping mint fresh longer. Also, if you want an off-season supply of mint, you could store it dried or frozen.

Read on to learn some of the best ways to store mint for weeks or months.

Method 1: Freezing Mint

Freezing is one of the best techniques to preserve the freshness and texture of mint leaves. Frozen mint leaves will stay good for up to 3 months.

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You can preserve them in ice cubes to use later in lemonades, iced teas or mint juleps. Frozen mint cubes not only provide the same fresh mint flavor but also make for an eye-catching cocktail.

You can also freeze just the leaves using the baking tray technique or vacuum sealing the mint sprigs.

# Ice Cubes

Things you’ll need:

things needed to preserve and store mint-using ice cubes

  • Mint leaves
  • Ice cube tray
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Paper towel
  • Distilled water

Step 1. Clean the mint leaves

Wash the mint leaves and dry them on a paper towel to preserve and store mint
Wash the mint leaves and dry them on a paper towel
  • Remove the rotten leaves and snip off the roots of the mint bunch.
  • Gently wash the mint sprigs under running water to get rid of any dirt and other impurities.
  • Spread out 2 or 3 sheets of paper towel on a countertop.
  • Spread out the sprigs on the towels to soak up all the dripping water.

Step 2. Chop up the mint leaves

Separate and chop up the mint leaves to preserve and store mint
Separate and chop up the mint leaves
  • Separate the mint leaves from the stems.
  • Collect all the leaves in one place on the chopping board and chop them into smaller pieces.

Step 3. Freeze the chopped mint in an ice cube tray

Fill an ice tray with the chopped mint leaves and distilled water to preserve and store mint
Fill an ice tray with the chopped mint leaves and distilled water
  • Place 1 to 2 teaspoons of chopped mint leaves in each compartment of the ice cube tray.
  • Fill each cube with distilled water.
  • Pop the ice cube tray in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Once completely frozen, pop the cubes out of the tray and transfer them to a ziplock bag. Put them back in the freezer for storage.
learn how to preserve and store mint
Pop out the frozen mint and water cubes as and when required

# Baking Tray

Things you’ll need:

things needed to store mint-using a baking tray

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  • Baking tray
  • Mint leaves (cleaned and separated from the stems)

Single-Step Method: Freeze the mint leaves on a baking tray

Put the mint leaves on a baking tray and then freeze to preserve and store mint
Put the mint leaves on a baking tray and then freeze
  • Spread out the mint leaves over a baking tray.
  • Place the tray in your freezer for 2 to 3 hours. The water in the leaves will freeze and stiffen up the leaves.
  • Retrieve the tray and transfer the frozen leaves to an airtight bag to store mint.
  • Store it in the freezer and use the mint as needed.
Learn how to preserve and store mint
Store the frozen mint leaves in the freezer and use as required

# Vacuum Seal

Things you’ll need:

things needed to store mint-vacuum seal

  • Plastic wrap
  • Mint leaves (cleaned)

Single-Step Method: Seal the mint in plastic wrap and freeze

Vacuum seal the mint leaves in plastic wrap and freeze to preserve and store mint
Vacuum seal the mint leaves in plastic wrap and freeze
  • Spread out a big sheet of plastic wrap.
  • Place the mint leaves evenly over the plastic.
  • Spread out the leaves so that they are not sticking together.
  • Place another layer of the plastic wrap over the leaves.
  • Seal the edges of the plastic wrap to form a makeshift bag and squeeze out all the air.
  • Freeze this plastic bag until it stiffens up. You can make multiple small bags and store them vertically to save space in your freezer.
  • Simply open up one of the bags when you want to use fresh mint leaves.

You can also use this method to store ginger.

Learn how to preserve and store mint
Open up the sealed bag and use your well-preserved mint leaves to flavor your dishes

Method 2: Drying Mint

Since excess moisture makes herbs rot quickly, dehydration is a smart way to store mint. Dried mint will stay good for up to 6 months.

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This will ensure a steady supply of mint for your cup of brewed mint tea or to use as a seasoning for meat dishes. Apart from cooking, dried mint leaves can be used in potpourri and as a safe pest repellent.

Step 1. Spread the mint leaves on a paper towel & microwave them

Microwave the fresh mint leaves to preserve and store mint
Microwave the fresh mint leaves to dry them completely
  • Clean and separate the leaves like we did in Step 1 of Method 1.
  • Spread the leaves on a paper towel. The towel should be just wide enough to lay flat on the microwave tray.
  • Microwave the leaves on high for 1 to 3 minutes, pausing every 30 seconds to turn them over in order to dry the leaves evenly.

Step 2. Store the dried leaves in an airtight jar

Store the dried mint leaves in an airtight jar to preserve and store mint
Store the dried mint leaves in an airtight jar in a cool, dry, and dark place
  • Retrieve the leaves from the microwave and put them in an airtight jar. You can store them whole or grind the leaves in a food processor and then put them in the jar.
  • Place the airtight jar in a cool, dry, and dark place to preserve the minty aroma longer.

Method 3: Using Water

Mint can also be kept fresh longer by placing them in water, similar to cut flowers. Dunking the sprigs in water will give the stems a steady supply of water and its minerals, keeping the mint leaves fresh and crispy. Since exposure to air can make the mint wither, covering them with a plastic bag will protect the leaves from the cool air of the refrigerator.

Storing mint like this will keep it fresh for 1 month.

Things you’ll need:

things needed to store mint-using water

  • Plastic bag
  • Rubber band
  • Mason jar, filled halfway with water
  • Scissors or knife
  • Mint bunch

Single-Step Method: Place the mint bunch in water, cover it with plastic & refrigerate it

Place the mint bunch in water, cover it with plastic & refrigerate to preserve and store mint
Put the mint bunch in a jar filled with water, cover it with a plastic bag & refrigerate
  • Wash the mint bunch under running water to get rid of any dirt or impurities.
  • Cut off the roots of the sprigs. However, leave enough stem so that the bunch can be placed upright in the water. Also, about 1 inch of the stem should stay submerged under the water.
  • Cover the mint leaves with a plastic bag. Leave enough room at the top so the bag does not stick to the leaves. Secure the base of the bag with a rubber band.
  • Store the jar in your refrigerator. Change the water every 3 or 4 days to keep the mint fresh longer.

Method 4: Using Moist Paper Towels

You can also wrap your mint sprigs in moist paper towels to keep them fresh longer. The moist paper towel will supply just the right amount of moisture to keep the leaves from drying out due to lack of moisture or rotting due to excess water. This method will keep the mint fresh for about 2 to 3 weeks.

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Things you’ll need:

things needed to store mint-using moist paper towels

  • Paper towels
  • Mint bunch
  • Water in a spray bottle

Step 1. Roll the mint sprigs in paper towels

Place the mint sprigs on paper towels and roll them up to preserve and store mint
Place the mint sprigs on paper towels and roll them up
  • Spread out a long strip of paper towels on a countertop.
  • Place the mint sprigs vertically in an even row over the paper towel, as shown in the image above. If the mint sprigs are too long, snip off the stems to fit into the width of your paper towel. Also, if you have a lot of mint leaves, prepare several batches.
  • Begin rolling up the paper towel widthwise from one side. Do not wrap the bundle too tight or you’ll end up bruising the leaves.

Step 2. Dampen the paper roll with water & refrigerate it

Dampen it with water and refrigerate to preserve and store mint
Dampen it with water and refrigerate to preserve and store mint
  • Spray mists of water on the rolled up paper towel. Keep rotating the roll as you spray, so that it is damp on all sides.
  • Place the damp roll as is in your refrigerator, or place it in a plastic box and then pop it in the refrigerator.
  • Check the mint roll after 1 week and replace the paper towel if it feels too wet.

Tips

  • Before adding dry mint leaves to any drink or dish, crush them between your palms to release the aroma.
  • Instead of drying the mint leaves in the microwave, you can also roast them in the oven at 170 degrees for 2 to 3 hours.
  • You can also air-dry the leaves for storage. Spread them out on a paper towel and keep them in a dust-free, ventilated area for 1 to 2 weeks.
  • When storing mint in water, use distilled or mineral water to increase the shelf life. Also, cut the stems at an angle to provide a larger surface area for the stems to absorb water.
  • if are interested in learning how to store other foodstuffs, you can learn how to store garlic for up to 6 months and potatoes for up to 1 year.
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