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Looking for a way to keep mint fresh and flavourful for longer? Freezing can be a great option. Read on to learn how to freeze mint effectively with a couple of different methods.
Does mint freeze well?
The most important thing to bear in mind is that frozen mint will never return to its pre-frozen state. You will lose the texture and colour of the vivid green and plump leaves. However, if your frozen mint is destined to add flavour to your cooking or to jazz up blended drinks then it freezes very well! If you want to use it for garnishes or as full leaves to pretty up a glass of iced tea, then it won’t live up to expectations. After thawing the mint will be a darker shade and very limp. So, while it’s great for flavour, it won’t be ideal in appearance.
If you are using the ice cube method (see below), you can actually add the ice cubes directly into many different recipes – like soups, curries, stews and casseroles.
How long does frozen mint last?
Frozen mint will last up to 1 year in the freezer. However, it needs to stay at a consistent temperature.
Many frost-free freezers stay ice-free by raising the temperature in the freezer several times a day. This prevents any water particles from freezing, and instead, they are drained out of the freezer automatically. Therefore, you may find that if you have a frost-free freezer the leaves do not last as long unless preserved in ice.
What other herbs can I freeze?
Why stop at mint? There are many other herbs you can easily freeze at home. Why not try:
How to freeze mint
Here are the two main methods for success when freezing mint. Both can be used for either whole or chopped mint leaves.
1. The Ice Cube Method
Freezing mint leaves in ice cubes is a quick and easy way to preserve them, and they’ll be ready to use whenever you need them.
- Start with clean, mint leaves. Add the stems to a bowl of cold water and allow any dirt to be dislodged and sink to the bottom of the bowl. Remove the mint and pick all the healthy-looking leaves from the stems.
- Fill an ice cube tray so it is nearly full with water.
- Press a few mint leaves into each hole so that the mint is fully submerged in the water. Place the tray in the freezer until ready to use.
When you’re ready to use the mint, just pop a cube or two out of the freezer and add them to your recipe. The mint will add a fresh, flavourful touch.
2. The Dry Leaf Method
Freezing whole, dry mint leaves adds a few extra steps to the freezing process. However, it will give you mint that is ready to use immediately and in recipes where an ice cube wouldn’t work well.
- Start with clean, dry mint leaves. Wash the leaves, and then gently pat them dry with a paper towel or leave them to air dry.
- Place the mint leaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure the leaves are not touching each other.
- Put the baking sheet in the freezer and allow the mint leaves to freeze for several hours.
- Once the leaves are frozen, transfer them to a piece of paper towel. Layer another piece of the towel on top and then transfer them to a freezer bag. Place the bag in the freezer.
Pop a few leaves out every time you want to add a touch of minty flavour to your creations.
How else can I preserve mint?
While freezing mint will preserve it for the longest time, you can also extend the life of mint in a couple of different ways.
Use a herb keeper.
I love my Cole & Mason herb keeper. I’ve tried several different ones and I’ve found this most sturdy and easy to use. You simply add some water to the bottom of the container and then strip the bottom leaves from the individual mint stems (any leaves that sit in the water will turn mushy and ick). Place the stems in the water and then place it in the fridge.
I find that fresh mint will keep for a good couple of weeks this way. You can also use a simple glass of water with a freezer bag over the top, secured in place with an elastic band. However, if you do this regularly it’s better to use a keeper such as this as it’s easier to simply pop up the lid and grab what you need rather than constantly reaffix the plastic bag and band.
Propagate the mint
While this doesn’t strictly prolong the life of the mint, it does help you create your own home-grown mint plant, giving you a supply of mint for months or years to come.
To propagate herbs simply take a few stems and strip all the leaves apart from the top 2-4. Trim the bottom of the stem 1-2cm below one of the nodes (the nobbly bits on the stem). Place the stems in water and place on a windowsill. You can also dip the stems in some of this rooting powder before adding them to the water to increase the success rate and speed of propagation.
Some of the leaves will likely turn brown and dry out but don’t worry too much. As long as the stem starts to produce new white roots then you’ve successfully propagated the mint.
Once the roots are 2-3cm long then transfer the stems into a pot of soil. I like to plant a few stems in each pot as inevitably some will die out in the process. Propagation also works well with basil, sage, thyme and rosemary.
Wondering what to do with all that frozen mint? Why not try:
Products that work well for prolonging herbs:
Non-spillable Ice Cube Tray With Ice Bucket
20 Pack Reusable Food Storage/Freezer Bags
Cole & Mason Herb Keeper
How to Freeze Mint
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 1
- Diet: Vegetarian
Looking for a way to keep mint fresh & flavourful for longer? Freezing is a great option. Learn how to freeze mint effectively with 2 different methods.
- fresh mint
- ice cube tray OR paper towels and freezer bags
- Start by washing the mint by adding it to a bowl of water and swilling it gently to dislodge any dirt. Any soil or muck will then sink to the bottom. Remove the mint and pick off the healthy-looking leaves.
- If you want to chop the mint before freezing then go ahead and do so. I recommend using the ice cube method if you prefer to chop it first.
- Fill up an ice cube tray with water until it is nearly full. Press a few pieces of mint into each well so that the leaves are completely submerged. Place the ice cube tray in the freezer and pop out a mint cube whenever you need one for your cooking.
- Dry the mint leaves with paper towel, or allow them to air dry. Spread the leaves out on a baking tray lined with parchment/baking paper. Place them in the freezer for at least an hour. Once frozen, place the leaves on a piece of paper towel and then add another piece of paper towel over the top. Pop into a freezer bag and freeze until required.
- Frozen mint will never return to the same state as fresh mint. It will be a little discoloured and limp when defrosted. Therefore, it is better to use frozen mint in recipes rather than as a garnish or in place of fresh whole leaves in drinks.
- Frozen mint will last for up to a year in the fridge. The ice cubes will tend to last longer than the leaves.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Category: How To
- Method: Freeze
- Cuisine: Herbs
- Serving Size: 5 leaves
- Calories: 2
- Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 0.5g
- Protein: 0g
Keywords: herbs, frozen, kitchen tips, how to