How To Freeze Mint - The Ultimate Guide
Mint is one of those criminally underrated herbs. The number of home cooks who swear by this unique spice is far too small, which is a real shame. The name itself suggests the light and refreshing taste of this herb.
Not only is it indispensable when it comes to preparing cocktails, but it also comes in handy when you’re craving amazing salads and desserts. That said, it never hurts to always have such a versatile ingredient on hand.
If you want to know how to freeze mint, it’s pretty easy. You can freeze whole mint leaves by trimming them and wrapping them in waxed paper, or you can freeze freshly trimmed mint into ice cubes that can be thawed and used later. Frozen mint can keep up to six months.
Luckily, this freezing guide has you covered as we’ll go over the various methods you can use to freeze mint.
Remember that this is done to prolong the life of your weed. So, keep reading and follow our instructions carefully!
Why freeze mint?
Summer is often a joyous occasion for home cooks and hobby gardeners. After all, this is the season when fresh herbs, including mint, are especially plentiful.
Of course, it would be impossible to use all of it in the course of a season. That being said, proper storage is crucial in times like this.
If you want to go the simpler route, just wrap the mint leaves gently in a damp paper towel and place them in a paper bag. But be careful not to close them too tight, or you risk creating conditions for mold due to trapped moisture.
You can also trim the ends of the mint and place them in a glass filled with water.
However, it should be remembered that freezing is still the best option. This is especially true if you want to maintain the intensity and freshness of the mint for as long as possible.
In our experience, freezing is also the most effective method if you want to preserve as much of the original color, flavor, and texture of your herb.
While there are other methods you can try, such as drying, that can help extend the longevity of an herb, we’ve found freezing to be the most effective when it comes to mint in particular.
The results are simply incomparable.
One of the main reasons is the high moisture level of mint . Other similar herbs are chives, coriander, basil, and dill. Be aware that drying mint and similar herbs can cause rot. It can also cause the growth of mold.
Also keep in mind that unlike drying, freezing does not concentrate the flavors of your mint.
This means you no longer have to adjust the proportions in your recipe like you would when using dried herbs. You can continue cooking as you normally would by using fresh ingredients.
Freezing mint is effective for one simple reason: because the process leaves the essential oils and flavors of the herb intact . This is the secret why frozen mint can effectively last up to 6 months in the freezer.
How to freeze mint
So first of all, it’s crucial that we say here that the purpose of freezing mint is to prolong the natural flavors of the herb so that you can use it later.
This means that it will not do anything to improve the quality of your weed. Therefore, it is vital that you always use the healthiest leaves possible to get the best results.
Make sure you use the best quality, fresh mint leaves . Try to avoid damaged, insect and old leaves. Most likely, its flavor has already been compromised. So freezing damaged leaves is not worth it.
Now, before proceeding, you will need to gather the materials and tools you will need. Make sure you have the following on hand:
- ice cube tray
- Pair of scissors
- baking sheet
- wax paper
- Freezer food storage bags
- Paper towels or a salad spinner
Remember that below are two methods for freezing mint. Be sure to check them out to see which one suits you best.
Method 1: Freeze whole mint leaves
The first method allows you to freeze the mint as individual leaves.
Although it may take a little more time and effort at first, it comes in handy later on. This is because the whole leaves make it easier for you to measure ratios and proportions while cooking.
This process makes your frozen mint virtually indistinguishable from fresh. Here’s how to freeze whole mint leaves:
- Prepare the mint - First of all, you will need to prepare the mint. This is crucial, especially when working with fresh herbs. To do this, trim the top of the leaves. Do this for each of the mint stems. Keep in mind not to leave less than two-thirds of your plant intact. After this, make sure the mint is thoroughly washed and dried before proceeding.
- Arrange - Care should be taken when lining up the mint leaves on the baking sheet. Not only do they have to be as flat as possible, but you also have to make sure that the sheets don’t overlap. Remember that overlapping leaves will be difficult to separate once frozen and will become a big problem.
- Cover well - Once the mint leaves are placed on the tray, you will need to make sure they are well covered. We recommend that you use plastic wrap or wax paper. Make sure all the leaves are covered. The goal is to prevent them from falling off the tray. You also don’t want any extra moisture or dirt getting inside.
- Freeze the mint - Leave the mint leaves in the freezer overnight for optimal results.
- Store in freezer-safe bags - Check to see if the mint leaves are frozen well. If the mint leaves are frozen solid, you can proceed to move them. Remove the leaves from the tray and place them in the freezer-safe food storage bags. Be sure to label each bag before putting them in the freezer.
You won’t have to worry about the mint leaves getting stuck in the bags. After all, his frozen state prevents that from happening.
As a bonus tip, you can put your freezer safe storage bags upright as this is an effective way to maximize available space.
Method 2: Turn fresh mint into ice cubes
The second method is to turn your herbs into cool, minty ice cubes that can be thawed, melted, and used anytime.
When you decide to use your mint ice cubes, all you have to do is add them to your recipe and let the ice melt.
Here ‘s how to freeze fresh mint in ice cubes:
- Prepare the mint leaves - If you are working with fresh mint, you will also need to prepare it accordingly. As in the first step of the previous method, you’ll need to cut off the tops of the leaves, leaving two-thirds of the grass intact. Make sure you use healthy leaves.
- Wash and dry the mint leaves - Once you’re happy with the herbs you have on hand, wash them under cold water. Next, remove excess moisture. Drying them with two paper towels is the safest way to go. You can also choose to use a salad spinner. Try to remove almost all the water before freezing them .
- Chop the mint - Although you still have the option of using whole mint leaves, we recommend that you chop them into definite measurements that will work better in the future. For example, we recommend that you cut the leaves and add a tablespoon of mint per tray.
- Line the ice cube tray with mint - Once you’ve divided the mint into portions, fill the freezer tray(s) with the desired amount.
- Freeze - After scooping the mint into the ice cube tray, proceed to fill the individual cubes halfway with water. For optimal results, you want to make sure all the mint leaves are submerged in the water . Put the tray in the freezer for at least an hour or until it is completely solid. Once frozen, top up the extra water until it reaches the top of the tray and refreeze.
There are countless different ways to use these mint cubes. The versatility of these mint cubes is nothing short of impressive.
For example, they can serve as the beautiful finishing touch to your cocktails, iced tea, lemonade, and other tasty beverages. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, these mint cubes are flavor bombs waiting to be released.
These mint cubes can also be used for all kinds of recipes. You just have to throw them in and wait for the ice to melt. Don’t worry, excess water will not affect the final product.
There you have it, a short guide to freezing mint: why you should freeze mint and the best ways to do it.
Just remember that if you want to extend the life of your fresh herbs, consider putting them in the freezer.