How to Dry Peppermint

How to harvest and dry Peppermint for teas, beauty products, and food seasoning. Instructions for both drying in the oven and in a food dehydrator.

I have several patches of peppermint growing at home and though I occasionally use it for tea, most of it is now been delegated for use in my handmade Peppermint & Sea Kelp soap. It’s merrily prolific but downright invasive so I try to keep it growing in containers for the most part. I’d recommend that for you too because when this herb is given space it can take over large patches of your garden.

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How to harvest and dry Peppermint for teas, beauty products, and food seasoning. Instructions for both drying in the oven and in a food dehydrator.

Though there are many reasons that you should try to use fresh herbs, even in the case of making peppermint tea, drying the herbs preserves them for times when it’s not available in the garden. Herbs dried carefully can preserve the flavour, colour, and essential oils of the plant for months to come. It’s also very easy to do and you can successfully dry mint, and other herbs, in both a food dehydrator or in an oven.

Handmade Peppermint & Sea Kelp soap by Lovely Greens

Drying peppermint is easy, whether you too want to use it in your own beauty products or simply to have some on hand for culinary purposes. First you have to grow a lot of it because it does reduce in volume when its dried. Pick your mint in the morning, before the sun has a chance to evaporate away essential oils, and just take swathes of stems and leaves at this point. Mint can be harvested at anytime of the year but the rule with harvesting herbs for drying is to take the plant material when it’s at its prime which happens to be when its flowering.

There’s a good deal of moisture in mint leaves so the drying process will leave you with much less than you started with. I’d estimate that it reduces down to around 1/8th the original size and maybe even a little less than that – you can see the difference between what you begin with and what you end with in the two pictures in the ‘Oven Method’ section below. Whichever method you use to dry your mint, when it is fully dry, pulse it with a stick blender to make it more compact and easy to store. Store it in sealed containers and store them in a cool and dark place to make it last at least a year.

How to harvest and dry Peppermint for teas, beauty products, and food seasoning. Instructions for both drying in the oven and in a food dehydrator.

FOOD DEHYDRATOR METHOD: Pick your peppermint, rinse it with cool water, and allow to dry. Next, pluck the leaves from the stems and place them in a thin layer on the racks of your food dehydrator. The one I use is from Stockli and can be found here on Amazon.co.uk: Stockli Timer Dehydrator with Steel Mesh Trays. In the USA, I can recommend this food dehydrator.

Dry at 40°C/105°F for three to five hours or until the leaves are brittle and crumble when rolled between your fingers. Allow to fully cool down before you store the dried peppermint in jars.

How to harvest and dry Peppermint for teas, beauty products, and food seasoning. Instructions for both drying in the oven and in a food dehydrator.

How to harvest and dry Peppermint for teas, beauty products, and food seasoning. Instructions for both drying in the oven and in a food dehydrator.

OVEN METHOD: After you’ve gathered a sizeable amount make sure to wash and dry it thoroughly. Then lay it over a lined baking sheet and heat it into the oven at 40°C/105°F until you’re sure it’s completely dry. It takes about an hour with a convection oven but can take over double that time with a conventional appliance. The mint will initially wilt and lie in sodden heaps on the tray so if you turn the mint over a few times during the drying process you can reduce the time somewhat. Opening the oven will also release moisture so make sure to do so fairly regularly.

How to harvest and dry Peppermint for teas, beauty products, and food seasoning. Instructions for both drying in the oven and in a food dehydrator.

How to harvest and dry Peppermint for teas, beauty products, and food seasoning. Instructions for both drying in the oven and in a food dehydrator.

 

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Tanya

Passionate about DIY projects, edible gardening and natural beauty products, Tanya makes everything from handmade soap to home and garden projects. She shares about how you can do it too on her blog, Lovely Greens.

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17 Discussion to this post

  1. Love this! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. I might try this Tanya – I have loads of the stuff growing in my garden and – yes – you are quite right, if you let it it will take over the whole garden.

    • It's a lovely herb but I think there can be too much of it… It really loves our cool wet climate and does seem to take advantage if you turn your back on it! Good luck with drying some yourself Pat 🙂

  3. Mint grows wild around our spring and it is nice to walk through it as it fills the air with the wonderful smell. It is hard to kill though our patch has moved around the building because a tree is shading the original patch now. Have you ever used blackberry leaves for tea? They are good and a medicine as well.

    • That's a really lovely mental image Sunnybrook 🙂 Do you know what type of mint it is?

      I've never used Blackberry leaves for tea before – does it taste nice? I'll have to look up their medicinal qualities.

  4. farmer_liz says:

    I'm drinking home-dried peppermint tea right now actually, I use a dehydrator, or just air dry if the weather isn't too humid. Drying makes it easier to take it to work.

    • Ideally I'd love to dry mint in the air or in a solar dehydrator – so much more energy efficient. Unfortunately we don't really get much heat this far north and herbs can tend to go mouldy using air drying methods. I suppose suspending small bunches of them over a radiator (if they're on) or using an electric dehydrator are some other ways to dry it for us. I really wish we had your Australian heat sometimes 🙂

  5. Sue says:

    I can only imagine how heavenly the house smells using that method! Sounds easy.
    We live in Sahara like conditions—a day or two hanging from a clothesline in my garage does the trick…..but, are the mice enjoying it? I think I'll try it YOUR way. Have a great weekend, Tonya!
    🙂

  6. Shirley says:

    I use a dehydrator for drying herbs, I also dry Rosella's and use them for making a delicious tea. Herb Robert is another favourite after reading of the huge health benefits of using it fresh or dried and used as a tea. I also love the Wild Flower post, very beautiful.

    Shirley http://themakingofparadise.blogspot.com.au/

    • We've got plenty of Herb Robert but making it into tea has honestly never occurred to me. I've just had a peek online and it seems it has cancer-fighting properties – thanks for the tip and I'll definitely give it a go! Have a nice weekend Shirley 🙂

  7. Gardening says:

    Hello Tanya!

    Thank you very much for the tip. I have a lot of peppermint growing in the garden and this is a quick way of dealing with the amount I'm going to cut away.

    Regards
    Garden Chair

  8. I've never dried my mint in the oven…I tend to just hang bunches in the kitchen…this does seem quicker though…can you dry all herbs this way??

  9. Lrong says:

    Tanya, you are really very skilled at such crafts… hmmm, I salute you…

  10. Since my husband is allergic, I'll stick to the oven method, which I can do while he is at work. Thanks for the tip.

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