Mint leaves form an essential ingredient in various Indian recipes. Mint is a versatile herb. You can grind it and have it as a paste. You can dry grind mint leaves into powder and use them in recipes. Mint leaves are an excellent addition to soups, stews, curry, and various rice dishes. So, mint has a constant presence in every kitchen. Therefore, there can be questions about its storage.
Can You Freeze Mint Leaves?
You can freeze mint leaves and maintain their essence, flavor, texture, and taste for later consumption. We shall discuss four different ways of freezing and preserving mint leaves. First, however, a little preparation before freezing mint leaves should be in order.
How To Prep The Mint Leaves For Freezing?
The best time to shop for mint leaves (or any green vegetable) is early in the morning. They are freshest in the morning. As the sun beats down, the mint leaves dry out. Now, choose the freshest mint leaves for freezing. Sort the leaves immediately after purchasing them. You can leave the yellowish mint leaves and stalk them for immediate consumption.
Give the fresh green mint leaves a gentle rinse. Please do not be harsh, as mint leaves are prone to bruising. Once clean, pat them with a dry paper towel. Air drying is also a good option for drying the mint leaves.
Cut the stems out. You can also snip the leaves to your desired size. Alternatively, you can leave them uncut at the branch. It does not matter much. The mint leaves are now ready.
How Do You Freeze Mint Leaves?
As we said earlier, you can freeze mint leaves in four ways.
Generally, it is advisable to consume mint leaves fresh. So, if you do not plan to store it for extended periods, flash freezing is ideal.
- Take a clean baking tray and line the mint leaves on it without touching each other.
- You can flash freeze in installments if you have a large batch to freeze.
- Place the baking tray with the mint leaves into the freezer and allow them to freeze for a couple of hours.
- Remove the mint leaves from the freezer and transfer them to a resealable ziplock bag.
- Expel the air from the bag and seal it properly.
- Note the storage date and place the freezer bag flat inside the freezer.
Freeze The Mint Leaves In Water
While flash freezing is suitable for preserving mint leaves for short periods, freezing them in water is ideal for extending their shelf life. Besides, it also ensures maintaining freshness and color for extended periods. In addition, this freezing mode is excellent for making drinks.
- You can either chop the mint leaves into small pieces or leave them whole.
- This method requires freezing the mint leaves in ice cube trays.
- Scoop out some mint leaves into each ice cube or silicone tray section.
- Add filtered water to the cubes to cover the mint leaves. We recommend leaving some space at the top to prevent the ice cubes from sticking to each other. Please note that the mint leaves can float in water. So, filling it to the brim can make a mess.
- Place the ice cube trays carefully into the freezer and allow the water to freeze for two hours.
- Remove the cubed herbs from the tray and transfer them to a resealable ziplock bag.
- Remove air and seal the bag carefully.
- Stick the date label and place the freezer bag inside the freezer.
Freeze The Mint Leaves In Oil
Freezing the mint leaves in oil is ideal for using them in soups, sauces, stews, and curry.
- Prep the leaves the usual way.
- Blend the mint leaves with a quarter cup of olive oil in a food processor to form a chunky semi-solid paste.
- Keep the ice cube or silicone tray ready.
- Pour the blended mixture into each cube section and leave some space to prevent the cubes from sticking together.
- Freeze the herbs for two hours. Then, remove the frozen cubes and place them gently into the resealable ziplock bag.
- This process requires you to work fast. In addition, the cubes can melt because of the heat from your hands.
- Squeeze excess air out and seal the bags carefully.
- Label the bags and keep the bag flat inside the freezer.
Drying And Freezing Mint Leaves
This freezing method is ideal for extending the shelf life of the mint leaves the longest. Besides, it intensifies their flavor.
- Clean the mint leaves and place them on a microwave-safe tray.
- Air-dry the leaves for an hour.
- Once dry, place the tray in the microwave and set the microwave at high heat for 1 to 3 minutes. Please pause every 30 seconds to flip the leaves.
- Once dried thoroughly, place them in an airtight container.
- Note the storage date and push it into the freezer.
How Long Do Frozen Mint Leaves Last In The Freezer?
The fresh mint leaves can remain frozen for three months, whereas the dried, dehydrated, and roasted mint leaves last six months.
How Do You Defrost The Frozen Mint Leaves?
You need not defrost the frozen mint leaves before consumption, primarily if you use them in cooking or as ingredients in drinks. Instead, adding the frozen mint leaves directly from the freezer to the recipe should suffice. The leaves thaw automatically due to the heat.
There is no need to thaw them even if you use them in your iced drinks. Instead, you can comfortably add them directly to your glass and enjoy the taste as the frozen leaves defrost slowly while cooling your drinks simultaneously.
Can You Freeze Mint Leaves For Tea?
You can freeze the mint leaves and have them spice up your tea.
Can You Freeze Mint Leaves For Mojitos?
You can freeze the mint leaves for mojitos the way described here.
Can You Freeze Mint Chutney?
You can freeze mint chutney in ice cube trays and preserve them for extended periods.
Can You Freeze Mint Sauce?
Yes, it is possible to freeze the mint sauce and preserve its taste.
Mint is an essential herb with myriad uses. Hence, preserving mint leaves is necessary. So, can you freeze mint leaves and preserve their taste and flavor for subsequent consumption? Yes, it is perfectly possible.