Whether you’ve had a bountiful harvest from your garden, or you’ve simply bought too much at the market, you may be wondering how to store mint so it stays fresh. Here’s everything you need to know about storing fresh mint to keep it good for weeks!
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How to keep mint fresh
Mint is a delicious and refreshing herb that can be enjoyed in many different ways, from salads to sauces, desserts and drinks.
It is generally best used fresh, and so once it has been cut you will need to make sure you store it correctly so that it will stay good for as long as possible.
Luckily there are a few ways to store it. This article has all the tips on how to store mint so you can enjoy its fresh flavor for as long as possible.
Scroll down for the printable card with instructions for storing mint, or read on for all the details.
How do you store fresh mint?
Use the freshest mint
Use the freshest mint possible. Either pick it right before you are ready to store it, or choose the freshest bunch of mint you can from the grocery store or farmers market.
If harvesting your own, cut the mint from the top down, just above a leaf pair.
>> Related post: How to Harvest Mint
Prepare mint for storage
To prepare the mint for storage, remove any wilted or dead leaves from your bunch of mint.
Then wash the cut mint under fresh cold water to remove any surface dust or dirt, and spin dry in a salad spinner or gently pat dry on paper towels.
How to store fresh mint in the fridge (2 ways)
Storing mint in the fridge is the best way to keep it freshest for the longest. The aim is to create a damp environment to slow the loss of water from the leaves, but without the leaves being wet and becoming slimy.
There are two basic approaches:
1. Stand mint in water
Trim the ends, then stand the cut stems in a glass or jar of cool water just like you would with fresh flowers. Change the water every couple of days to keep it fresh.
Loosely cover the jar with a food-safe plastic bag or cling wrap to keep the leaves clean.
You can keep the jar on the kitchen counter or in the refrigerator. If storing it on the kitchen counter, the flavor will gradually be lost as the natural oils in the leaves are lost to the air.
Storing it in the fridge will preserve the flavor for longer, so choose this option if you have the space.
Alternatively, you can store the fresh mint in large mason jars and cover with the lid, or get yourself a herb saver*, which is a purpose-made jar for keeping fresh herbs fresh.
These are designed to fit in the fridge door of most standard-sized refrigerators.
2. Store mint between damp paper towels
Store mint sprigs in the refrigerator between two damp paper towels either in an air tight container or a ziplock bag.
You want the paper towels to be damp rather than fully saturated. I like to spray the paper towels with water rather than stick them under the tap, as it is easier to control the amount of water you apply.
Store the container in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Check the mint every couple of days and replace the paper towels as needed.
How long to store mint in the refrigerator
Fresh mint will keep for around three weeks if stored correctly in the refrigerator.
You will know it is time to throw it out when the mint starts to turn dark or brittle, or if the stems start showing signs of sliminess or mold.
Remove any leaves or stems that start to show these signs, rinse the rest of the bunch and replace the water or paper towels. This should help the remaining mint to last longer.
How to store fresh chopped mint
Chopped mint can be stored in oil for a few days. Simply place the chopped mint in a small container and cover it with olive oil.
It also freezes well. Place the chopped mint in an ice-cube tray, cover with olive oil or water and freeze. Then you can pop out a mint cube as needed and add it to your recipe. This is a great way to store fresh parsley to flavor soups or steamed vegetables like potatoes or peas.
How to store fresh mint long term
If you want to store fresh mint for longer than 3 weeks, you have a few options. The best option to choose will depend on how you want to use the mint.
1. Freeze it
If you want to store it for a longer time, then try freezing the mint (see above for how to freeze chopped mint).
Fresh mint can last for about a week in the fridge, but you can also freeze it to make it last longer. To freeze fresh mint, wash it and dry it off, then chop it into small pieces. Spread the chopped mint on a baking sheet and freeze for about an hour, then transfer to a freezer bag. Frozen mint will last for about three months.
2. Dry it
Alternatively, mint is a very easy herb to dry. The flavor won’t be quite as good as fresh or frozen mint, but it is a very convenient way to store it, and if stored correctly, it can keep its flavor for up to a year.
- 1 bunch fresh mint [Note 1]
- A large jar or drinking glass and a lid or plastic bag OR
- An air-tight container and paper towels
First, prepare the mint
- Remove any wilted or dead leaves from your bunch of mint.
- Wash the cut mint under fresh cold water to remove any surface dust or dirt
- Dry using a salad spinner or gently pat dry on paper towels.
Method 1: Stand in water
- Trim the ends of the mint sprigs (unless freshly harvested), then stand the cut stems in a glass or jar of cool water.
- Loosely cover the jar with a food-safe plastic bag or cling wrap to keep the leaves clean.
- Store the jar in the refrigerator.
- Change the water every couple of days to keep it fresh.
Method 2: Store in paper towels
- Line an air tight container (or ziplock bag) with damp paper towels.
- Place the mint sprigs or leaves into the container and place another damp paper towel on top.
- Seal the container and store it in the crisper draw of your refrigerator.
- Check the mint every couple of days and replace the paper towels as needed.
Fresh mint should keep for around 3 weeks if stored using one of these methods [Note 2].
- Use the freshest mint possible. Either pick it right before you are ready to store it, or choose the freshest bunch of mint you can from the grocery store or farmers market.
- You will know it is time to throw it out when the mint starts to turn dark or slimy, or if the stems start showing signs of sliminess or mold.
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