Mint like any other fresh herb has a short life span. And that is the reason why you see chef’s cut the herbs fresh from the kitchen or garden and use them in the recipe directly. But if you are unable to grow fresh herbs in your kitchen then it is obvious you’ll buy them from a farmer’s market or supermarket. And then comes the biggest question, how to store fresh mint that it lasts longer?
Supermarkets or local farmer’s markets have to offer vegetables and herbs in a bunch. And it is not possible to use the entire mint bunch in a single day as mint leaves have a strong flavor. Just adding a few of them in the recipe or tea gives a nice minty flavor and aroma.
So what should you do with the remaining mint leaves? Should you leave them on the counter or throw the rest of the mint leaves in the fridge? Do not worry as I have come up with some amazing ways to store mint leaves. Check out different storage options and decide what works best for you to store the fresh herb.
How to store fresh mint
1. On the Counter
The easiest way to store fresh mint on the counter is by using a glass pitcher. Fill the pitcher with fresh or tap water halfway, enough to submerge stems of mint. The water will keep the mint leave hydrated and fresh for a long time. Also, a bunch of mint leaves in a glass pitcher looks beautiful on the kitchen counter, plus, you can easily cut mint leaves to add to a recipe.
- Fill glass pitcher or any long jar with filtered/tap water.
- Now trim the roots of the herb as we only want the stem part. You can also cut leaves near the root.
- Keep the bunch of herb into the pitcher/jar such that its end is at least 1/4 submerged into the water. Just like you’d put fresh flowers into the vase.
- Store the mint on the counter away from direct sunlight for it to last longer.
- Change water every 2-3 days to maintain its freshness.
This way the mint remains fresh for 7-10 days on the counter.
2. In the Refrigerator
If you’re looking for a method that will help stay mint fresh for a longer duration then refrigerate them. This method is a bit time consuming than above but perfect for people who are looking to store the herb for weeks.
- Fill a small jar or pitcher with water.
- Cut the roots/end of the stems about 2 inches and add them into the water.
- Keep the pitcher/jar in the fridge with a plastic bag loosely wrapped around leaves. The plastic bag will prevent moisture loss and keep mint leaves fresh for a long time.
This method will keep the herb fresh for 2-3 weeks without the need to change the water every 3-4 days. However, change the water after a week for hygienic reasons.
Also Read: 10 Best Undercounter Refrigerators
3. Damp Paper Towel & Plastic Bag
Do you lack enough space inside the fridge to store a water pitcher or jar? Then store mint leaves using paper towels and a zipper bag. This is a space-saving storage technique that can also keep the herb fresh for 2-3 weeks.
- Separate mint leaves from stems and rinse them under running water.
- Pat dry with clean paper towels and let them air dry for 10-15 minutes.
- Damp a few paper towels and lay few leaves over. Wrap the damp paper towel. Make more wraps in case you’ve got many leaves.
- Keep the damp paper towel in a plastic/zipper bag. Do not seal the bag entirely as it can lead to the growth of the mold.
How to Store Fresh Mint Leaves in the freezer?
Love preparing mocktails and drinks at home? Or perhaps sauces or marinades with mint as an unskippable ingredient? Then the best way to store mint for weeks or say months is by storing them in the freezer.
1. Mint Cubes
Freezing fresh mint leaves into ice cubes is one of the easiest and best ways to increase its life span. However, do not expect the same amount of freshness from the herb but still, it holds a good flavor and smell. Thus, perfect to add in drinks and sauces.
- Pluck the leaves, rinse, and pat them dry.
- You can either chop mint or use whole leaves as per the size of your ice cube tray.
- Distribute mint leaves into all the cube compartments and fill the tray with water.
- Place the tray into the freezer and wait till they form into nice solid ice cubes.
- Once the cubes are made, transfer them out from the tray and store them in a zip lock bag again into the freezer. At the time of need, dissolve the cube into a bowl or glass.
The ice cube mint storage method is perfect for keeping the herb fresh for up to 6 months.
2. Baking Sheet
Another popular method is by directly freezing mint leaves onto an aluminum baking sheet. No water is needed in this method. Therefore, you only need to take care of plucking good leaves from the stem and discard the black and brown ones.
- Pluck good green mint leaves from the stem, rinse them, and pat dry with paper towels.
- Spread them evenly on a baking tray and put the tray into the deep freezer for 30 minutes.
- Once solid, take the herb leaves from the baking tray and store them inside a freezer bag back into the freezer.
This way you can keep the mint leaves fresh for up to 3 months.
Mint is a staple herb used widely in many households. There are many benefits of incorporating fresh herbs into your diet. And thanks to the strong taste and pleasant smell of mint that goes well in soups, salads, and drinks. Now that you know proper ways to store fresh mint in the fridge and on the counter, I’m sure you’ll be able to use the herb optimally.