How To Store Mint – 7 Methods of Storing Fresh Mint To Enjoy All Year Round

Bunch of Fresh green organic mint leaf on wooden table

Mint, like any other leafy herb, wilts easily compromising its flavor and nutrient content. There are several methods you can use, however, to store mint to extend its lifespan whether on the countertop, in the refrigerator, or freezer.

Below are detailed steps for 7 methods of storing fresh mint, but first, what steps should you take to prepare mint leaf for storage?

How To Prepare Mint Leaves For Storage

To ensure your mint stays fresh for long, you must start with a fresh bunch. Whether you buy your mint from a local grocery store or you have some that are ready for harvesting in the garden, you want to go for a high-quality mint.

Make sure it has a strong minty smell, and green, blooming leaves. Look out for yellow, dried, or darkened leaves and get rid of them. Depending on the storage method, you may need to wash the mint leaves first or pat them dry. Also, sort the mint to remove any weeds or bugs.

You can retain thick and purplish mint stems for further propagation. Simply cut the end of the stems and put them in a glass jar with water. Mint leaves will begin to sprout within a week.

How To Store Mint: Refrigerating

Fresh mint can stay in the fridge for up to 1 month if stored appropriately. There are several methods you can store fresh mint in the fridge including in a glass jar with water, wrapped up in a damp paper towel, or a lunch box. Some methods allow you to store the mint together with the stems, while in other cases you need to separate the leaves. Below are detailed steps for storing fresh mint in the refrigerator.

Method 1: Mint Stems in a Glass Jar with Water

What You Need

  • Glass Jar
  • Fresh mint
  • Clean running water
  • Plastic bag
  • Sharp knife or kitchen scissors

Instructions

  1. Clean your mint with flowing tap water.
  2. Bunch the mint together with the stems aligned.
  3. Make a slanted cut on the lower edge of the stem to encourage proper hydration.
  4. Arrange the mint stems in a glass jar with the leaves hanging out.
  5. Fill the jar with water until the stems are submerged.
  6. Loosely cover the top of the jar and mint leaves with a plastic bag.
  7. Store the mint in the refrigerator.
  8. To keep the mint fresh, change out the water in the jar every few days.

Method 2: Wrap Mint Leaves in a Wet Paper Towel

What You Need

  • Fresh mint
  • Paper towel
  • Bowl of water
  • Plastic bag

Instructions

  1. Separate the mint leaves from the stems.
  2. Take a long piece of paper towel and dip it in a bowl of water.
  3. Squeeze out the excess water.
  4. Spread it out and lay the mint leaves on one side.
  5. Roll the paper towel from the end where the mint leaves are laid and put it in a plastic bag. Close the bag leaving a bit of space at the top to allow for aeration and place it in the fridge. The mint leaves will last for up to 3 weeks.

Method 3: In a Lunch Box

What You Need

  • Fresh mint
  • Lunch box
  • Paper towel
  • Kitchen towel

Instructions

  1. Separate the mint leaves from the stems.
  2. Spread out a clean, dry kitchen towel on the kitchen counter.
  3. Lay the mint leaves on one-half of the towel.
  4. Fold the other half of the towel over the mint leaves and gently pat them dry.
  5. Dry your lunch box and line it with a dry paper towel.
  6. Put the dried mint leaves in the lunch box on top of the paper towel.
  7. Cover them with another paper towel.
  8. Tightly close the lunch box and put it in the refrigerator. The mint leaves can last up to 1 month.

Freezing Mint

Mint can stay in the freezer for up to 6 months. There are several ways to store mint in the freezer including the ice cube method, the baking sheet method, or using a vacuum sealer.

Method 4: Storing Mint in the Freezer (Ice cube Method)

What You Need

  • Fresh mint
  • Ice cube tray
  • Paper towel or dry kitchen towel
  • Airtight freezer bag or container

Instructions

  1. Sort out your bunch of mint to remove dried, yellow, and withered leaves.
  2. Separate the mint leaves from their stems.
  3. Spread out a dry paper towel or kitchen towel on your kitchen counter and lay the mint leaves on top of it.
  4. Either pat the mint leaves or wrap and spin them with a towel to dry them.
  5. Unwrap the mint leaves, collect them, and chop them finely.
  6. Place 1-2 tablespoons of the chopped mint leaves in each compartment of the ice cube tray. They should fill the ice cube tray halfway.
  7. Add water to fill the other half of the ice cube compartments and leave them to freeze.
  8. Once frozen, collect the mint cubes and place them in the freezer bag or container. Close it tight and store it in your freezer. The mint can last up to 3 months. If you will be making subsequent batches, label the freezer bag according to the date of freezing. Use the frozen mint stored earliest.
  9. The frozen mint cubes can be used in teas, soups, and sauces. To use them, place the required number of cubes in an empty glass and allow them to melt. Once fully melted, sieve out the water and retain the mint. Use as need be in your recipes.

Method 5: Storing Mint in the Freezer (Baking Sheet Method)

What You Need

  • Fresh bunch of mint
  • Baking sheet
  • Paper towel or dry kitchen towel
  • Airtight freezer bag or container

Instructions

  1. Sort out your bunch of mint to remove dried, yellow, and withered leaves.
  2. Separate the mint leaves from their stems.
  3. Spread out a dry paper towel or kitchen towel on your kitchen counter and lay the mint leaves on top of it.
  4. Either pat the mint leaves or wrap and spin them with a towel to dry them. Freezing wet mint leaves can encourage mildew and mold growth.
  5. Lay the mint leaves on a baking sheet and freeze for 2-3 hours.
  6. Once frozen, put the mint leaves in a freezer bag or container and close it tightly. Store it in the freezer. The frozen mint leaves can last up to 3 months and can be used in a wide range of recipes. You don’t need to thaw the mint leaves to use them in recipes as it causes wilting. Use them as they are or chop them while still frozen.

Method 6: Storing Mint in the Freezer (Vacuum Sealer Method)

Vacuum sealing herbs is the best method of storing fresh herbs in a freezer. It is easy to do and preserves the nutrients and flavor.

What You Need

  • Fresh mint
  • Vacuum sealer
  • Vacuum sealer bags
  • Hot water
  • Ice cold water
  • Paper towel or dry kitchen towel

Instructions

  1. Sort out your bunch of mint to remove dried, yellow, and withered leaves.
  2. Separate the mint leaves from their stems.
  3. Blanch the mint leaves by dipping them in boiling water for 20-30 seconds. This helps to retain the mint flavor.
  4. Put the blanched mint leaves in ice water.
  5. Spread out a dry paper towel or kitchen towel on your kitchen counter and lay the mint leaves on top of it.
  6. Either pat the mint leaves or wrap and spin them with a towel to dry them.
  7. Use several small vacuum sealer bags instead of one large one and pack the mint leaves in small batches, enough for single cooking.  Remember to label the vacuum sealing date on each bag.
  8. Vacuum seal each bag and place them in the freezer. Vacuum sealed mint can last for up to 6 months.

On the Countertop

On the Countertop
Source: Unsplash

Method 7: Storing Mint Leaves on the Counter

This method works for keeping mint fresh for about a week.

What You Need

  • Fresh mint
  • Glass jar
  • Water
  • Kitchen scissors

Instructions

  1. Sort out the mint leaves.
  2. Bundle them up and trim the end of the stems.
  3. Dip the leave ends in water and hold them upside down to drain the excess water.
  4. Place the mint stems in a glass jar.
  5. Fill the glass jar with water until the stems are submerged
  6. Leave the mint in the glass jar on the counter.
  7. Change the water every day or if it gets cloudy. The mint should last for about a week.

Conclusion

Although mint has a short shelf life, the above storing methods will help you to extend its freshness for up to 6 months. These methods are easy and require tools that are readily available in your home. Use the countertop method for short-term storage, refrigeration for 1 week to 1-month storage, and freezing for long-term storage.

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I'm Jad, a biologist, blogger, and experienced indoor gardener. I am knowledgeable in plant biology, particularly in plant cultivation and propagation. I founded HerbsWithin.com in 2019 to share my knowledge in indoor gardening with passionate home growers.

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