How to Use Mint Plants. Add easy-to-grow mint to your herb garden and enjoy this flavorful and versatile herb all season. There are several varieties of mint available to the home gardener, including both peppermint and spearmint. The aromatic leaves are rich in oils that lend the mint its signature flavor. Use mint fresh from the garden or...
Add easy-to-grow mint to your herb garden and enjoy this flavorful and versatile herb all season. There are several varieties of mint available to the home gardener, including both peppermint and spearmint. The aromatic leaves are rich in oils that lend the mint its signature flavor. Use mint fresh from the garden or preserve it for use in culinary treats. Harvest the leaves after the plant is 4 inches tall to allow the oils to fully develop. Leave some foliage in place so the mint can regrow for future harvests.
Things You'll Need
Ice cube tray
Cut two or more sprigs of mint leaves from the plant. Remove the sprigs from the outside of the plant, cutting them with small garden shears.
Gather the stems of the mint sprigs. Tie the stems together with a short length of twine.
Hang the bundle of mint upside down in a hot, shady location until the leaves are completely dry. A pantry or a covered porch in summer serve as good drying locations. Mint generally takes five to seven days to dry.
Place the dried leaves in an airtight container and store in a cool, dark cabinet. Use them to flavor soups, roasts and other cooked dishes, or use the leaves for making herbal teas.
Chop the fresh mint leaves finely with a sharp knife. Cut the mint into strips that are no more than 1 cm wide.
Fill the cells in an ice cube tray two-thirds full with the chopped mint. Add cold water to the tray until the cells are full.
Place the ice cube tray into the freezer. Freeze overnight or until the mint and water are completely frozen.
Remove the mint ice cubes from the tray. Place them in a sealable plastic bag and store them in the freezer until you are ready to use them. Add the mint ice cubes to soups, stews and sauces to add flavor.
Tips & Warnings
Different mint varieties lend differing flavors to dishes. Experiment to find your favorite use for each type of mint.
Do not store dried mint in hot or brightly lit areas. These conditions quickly cause the mint to lose both its color and flavor.
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