We’re putting our wood and mesh Drying Rack to use this fall by harvesting mint before winter rolls in and buries it under an inch of snow. Most herbs can be dried but mint grows like mad in most gardens and can be used in a variety of cuisines, cocktails and teas. But beware, mint will overtake the entire garden space if not well-supervised. If you prefer, these same instructions would work with chamomile, sage or rosemary for cooking purposes, too.
Drying Mint Using Our Herb Drying Rack:
- Take cuttings from the top of the mint plant. Leave at least 1/3 of the plant, so it keeps growing. Don’t worry about upsetting the plant, most herbs like being trimmed once in a while.
- Bring your bounty inside and rinse with cold water to remove all the dirt and bugs on the leaves.
- Lay them out in one layer on the wood and mesh Drying Rack. Don’t overcrowd them; you’re aiming for good air flow.
- Store the Drying Rack in a dark place with good ventilation. We like to use the top of a nearby bookshelf, to keep it out of sight but not out of mind. The mesh allows for good circulation but we recommend placing it on a few blocks or sauce cups (like these) to ensure air can move around the herbs freely.
- It will take up to two weeks to air dry mint. So give it some time.
- When ready, the browned leaves will be crispy and easily crumble when handled.
- Once completely dried, separate leaves from stems and store in an airtight jar (such as this 4 oz Resealable Jar) for use in cooking and teas.
When the leaves are dry and brittle, it’s time to make a wonderful and fresh mint tea. Great for digestive issues, cold symptoms and freshening the breath, mint is a powerful herb to have handy.
The quickest path to a cup of steaming mint tea is to use a Tea Strainer (we have one here). Lightly crush mint leaves into the strainer and add to boiling water. The amount of leaves and the steep time will determine the strength of the tea. And enjoy after dinner or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
The dried mint leaves, or even the fresh leaves, can be used in any of our products that feature an infuser. Mix with strawberries for a summer flavor or lime for a mojito-like taste.
Olive oil is also a candidate for infusing. Herbs, fresh or dried, can be added to a bottle of oil to enhance the flavor, giving depth to pasta dishes or dipped French bread.
With so many applications, what do you use mint or other herbs for? Do you dry them? Tell us in the comments.