Can you put fresh mint in a dehydrator to use later. If so how
long can you store it? Thanks You
Yes, you can dry fresh mint leaves. Mint is done just the
same as other herbs you might
dry. Most herbs are at their
peak flavor just before
flowering, so this is a good
time to collect them for drying
To be certain, check drying
directions on specific herbs in
a reliable reference book. Cut
off the herbs early in the
morning just after the dew has
dried. Cut annuals off at ground
level, and perennials about
one-third down the main stem,
including the side branches.
Wash herbs, with the leaves on
the stems, lightly in cold
running water to remove any
soil, dust, bugs, or other
foreign material. Drain
thoroughly on absorbent towels
or hang plants upside down in
the sun until the water
Strip leaves off the stalks once
plants have drained and dried,
leaving only the top 6 inches.
Remove all blossoms.
Natural or Air Drying:
Herbs must be dried thoroughly
before storing. Herbs with high
moisture content, such as mint
and basil, need rapid drying or
they will mold. To retain some
green leaf coloring, dry in the
dark by hanging plants upside
down in bunches in paper bags.
Hanging leaves down allows
essential oils to flow from
stems to leaves. Tie whole stems
very tightly in small bunches.
Individual stems will shrink and
fall. Hang in a dark, warm (70o-80oF
well-ventilated, dust-free area.
Leaves are ready when they feel
dry and crumbly in about 1 to 2
For quick oven drying, take care
to prevent loss of flavor, oils,
and color. Place leaves or seeds
on a cookie sheet or shallow pan
not more than 1 inch deep in an
open oven at low heat less than
for about 2 to 4 hours.
Microwave ovens can be used to
dry leaves quickly. Place the
clean leaves on a paper plate or
paper towel. Place the herbs in
the oven for 1 to 3 minutes,
mixing every 30 seconds.
When completely dry, the leaves
may be screened to a powder or
stored whole in airtight
containers, such as canning jars
with tightly sealed lids. For a
few days, it is very important
to examine daily the jars in
which you have stored dried
herbs. If you see any moisture
in the jars, remove the herbs
and repeat the drying process.
Herbs will mold quickly in
closed jars if not completely
Once you are sure the herbs are
completely dry, place them in
the airtight containers, and
store them in a cool, dry place
away from light. Never use paper
or cardboard containers for
storage as they will absorb the
herbs' aromatic oils.
Linda Stradley - By
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