How to dry peppermint leaves to use in tea, beauty products, and food recipes. Methods include air-drying, using a food dehydrator or drying it in the oven #lovelygreens #preservingfood #herbs
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Three Ways for how to Dry Mint Leaves

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How to dry mint leaves to use in tea, beauty products, and food recipes. Methods include air-drying, using a food dehydrator or drying it in the oven

My mint grows from March to October but after that, it dies back for the winter. That means that I have two options to keep myself stocked up in mint over the cold months. Pot some plants up for inside or dry mint leaves to use until it starts re-growing in spring. There are several ways to dry leafy herbs and in this piece, I’ll take you through how to dry mint in the oven, a drying rack, and a food dehydrator.

Carefully drying herbs can preserve the flavor, color, and essential oils from the plant for months to come. Once dried, it will last for a year, and you can use it in tea or in beauty recipes like soap. The methods I share for how to dry mint apply to other leafy herbs too. So if you have a herb garden filled with lemon balm, basil, and parsley, you can dry them in the same manner.

How to dry mint leaves to use in tea, beauty products, and food recipes. Methods include air-drying, using a food dehydrator or drying it in the oven #herbgarden #preservingfood #herbalism
You can dry mint when the leaves are young and fresh like these

When to Harvest Mint

Pick mint it in the morning before the sun has a chance to evaporate away essential oils. The rule with harvesting herbs for drying is to take the plant material when it’s at its prime. For mint, this will be late spring for its first harvest. The leaves should look fresh and green, and it’s said that a plant’s volatile oils are at their peak just as its flowers are beginning to bloom. There are many types of mint out there but all of them will flower and bees will love them.

If your mint is looking tired or scruffy, it won’t be the best for drying. Cut it down to the ground, compost the leaves, and let the plant regrow. Within weeks you’ll have plenty of fresh green leaves to dry. You can do this several times over the spring and summer, and mint will happily rebound to give you even more aromatic leaves.

How to dry mint leaves to use in tea, beauty products, and food recipes. Methods include air-drying, using a food dehydrator or drying it in the oven #herbgarden #preservingfood #herbalism
Essential oils and flavor are at their peak just as mint’s flowers are beginning to open

Rinsing and drying mint

Before you proceed with any of the drying methods below, make sure to clean the mint. It will have been outside and may have dirt, insects, and whatever else on the leaves. First, lay the mint on a cloth outside in the shade for thirty minutes. This gives bugs a chance to fly off.

Next, fill the sink with cool water and submerge the leaves — it’s easiest to do this if they’re still on the stem. Swish the mint around gently then take it out and let dry. A dish rack is a perfect place but you can also spread it out on towels in a warm, airy place. It’s better to not put it in direct sunlight though.

How to dry mint leaves to use in tea, beauty products, and food recipes. Methods include air-drying, using a food dehydrator or drying it in the oven #herbgarden #preservingfood #herbalism
Air drying mint is easy and requires no electricity

How to air dry mint

There are two main ways to air-dry mint. You can tie bunches of it with string and hang upside down in a warmish, dry, dim, and airy place. It could be inside or even be on a protected porch. To keep dried leaves from scattering on the floor below, loosely tie a paper bag over the bunch. It’ll catch any bits that fall so they won’t make a mess and won’t go to waste.

To dry mint this way, it can take up to two weeks. If it takes longer then the air in the room might be too humid and you should investigate the oven or dehydrator methods below.

Another way to air dry mint is to use a drying rack. There are many types out there but I have a small cloth one that I use regularly. I lightly spread the mint on, stems and all, and leave it there to dry. It usually takes a week for it to dry if the room is warm enough.

I’ve had a lot of folks asking where I got my drying rack from. I bought it years ago and unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be available any longer. I have my eye on this one though if you’re interested.

How to dry mint leaves to use in tea, beauty products, and food recipes. Methods include air-drying, using a food dehydrator or drying it in the oven #herbgarden #preservingfood #herbalism
Dried mint leaves stored in a glass jar

Food Dehydrator Method

To dry mint quickly, use a food dehydrator. I use mine for drying all kinds of herbs, fruit, and veggies especially if they have high water content.

Clean the mint as instructed further above. Next, pluck the leaves from the stems and place them in a thin layer on the racks of your 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 it in jars. Residual heat can cause condensation in the jars and that will spoil the mint.

The dehydrator that I use is from Stockli. In the USA, I recommend this food dehydrator.

How to dry mint leaves to use in tea, beauty products, and food recipes. Methods include air-drying, using a food dehydrator or drying it in the oven #herbgarden #preservingfood #herbalism
Food dehydrators speed up the drying time

Oven Drying Method

If you have a drying rack or dehydrator, it’s easy to dry mint. But what if you don’t have either and need to dry a bunch now? Fortunately, there’s another method to dry mint that doesn’t require specialist equipment and is quick too!

Once your mint is rinsed and dried, lay it in a thin layer over a lined baking sheet. If you pluck the leaves off first, the mint can dry a little quicker. You can leave it on the stem if pressed for time. Pop it in the oven at 40°C/105°F until you’re sure it’s completely dry. Turn the leaves every half an hour or so and keep the oven door wedged open a crack so that moisture can escape. A tea towel or pot holder can help keep it open the right amount.

If you dry mint in the oven, it will take just as long as drying it in a food dehydrator. Keep in mind that drying large amounts of mint at a time can take even longer. You should also avoid drying large piles of mint at a time since it will take so much longer to dry and the herb’s scent and flavor will likely be impacted.

How to dry mint leaves to use in tea, beauty products, and food recipes. Methods include air-drying, using a food dehydrator or drying it in the oven #herbgarden #preservingfood #herbalism

Storing dried mint

High quality dried mint is still green in color and the scent and flavor will be very minty. If it’s black or is lacking in aroma, it’s likely that it spent too much time being heated. Try for smaller batches next time and I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it.

When the mint is bone dry and room temperature you can put it in containers to store. If it’s destined for tea, I’ll crumble the leaves up by hand or use a stick blender (or food processor). I also store the leaves whole. They look pretty placed on top of handmade soap and can also be infused in oil whole. Mint leaves will dry into a fraction of the size you began so plan to use a container that’s a quarter to one-eighth the size of the mint when fresh. Dried mint has a shelf-life of at least a year. After that, it tends to lose its flavor.

PS — if drying mint seems like too much trouble you can also freeze it. A good friend of mine buys bunches of peppermint at the farmers market, pops it in the freezer, and takes handfuls out when she makes tea.

How to dry mint leaves to use in tea, beauty products, and food recipes. Methods include air-drying, using a food dehydrator or drying it in the oven #herbgarden #preservingfood #herbalism
Learn how to make Peppermint Soap
How to dry peppermint leaves to use in tea, beauty products, and food recipes. Methods include air-drying, using a food dehydrator or drying it in the oven #lovelygreens #preservingfood #herbs

How to Dry Mint

lovelygreens
Three ways to dry mint at home using a simple air-drying method, a food dehydrator, and the oven. A great way to extend your mint harvest for tea, skincare, and food, right through the winter.
5 from 17 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 4 hrs
Course Preserves
Cuisine American, British
Servings 2 cups
Calories 1.4 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups fresh mint leaves

Instructions
 

Clean the mint

  • Before you proceed with any of the drying methods below, make sure to clean the mint. If you've grown it yourself, it will have been outside and may have dirt, bugs, and whatever else on the leaves. First, lay the freshly picked mint on a cloth outside in the shade for thirty minutes. This gives insects a chance to fly off.
  • Next, fill the sink with cool water and submerge the leaves — it’s easiest to do this if they’re still on the stem. Swish the mint around gently then take it out and let dry. A dish rack is a perfect place but you can also spread it out on towels in a warm, airy place. It’s better to not put it in direct sunlight though.

Method 1: Air-dry mint

  • By hanging in an airy place: There are two main ways to air-dry mint. You can tie small bunches of it with string and hang upside down in a warmish, dry, dim, and airy place. It could be inside or even be on a protected porch. To keep dried leaves from scattering on the floor below, loosely tie a paper bag over the bunch. It’ll catch any bits that fall so they won’t make a mess and won’t go to waste. To dry mint this way, it can take up to two weeks. If it takes longer then the air in the room might be too humid and you should investigate the oven or dehydrator methods below.
  • Drying rack: Another way to air dry mint is to use a drying rack. There are many types out there but I have a small cloth one that I use regularly. I lightly spread the mint on, stems and all, and leave it there to dry. It usually takes a week for it to dry if the room is warm enough.

Method 2: Dry mint in a food dehydrator

  • Clean the mint as instructed further above. Next, pluck the leaves from the stems and place them in a thin layer on the racks of your food dehydrator. Dry at 105°F (40°C) 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 it in jars. Residual heat can cause condensation in the jars and that will spoil the mint.

Method 3: Dry mint in the oven

  • Once your mint is rinsed and dried, lay it in a thin layer over a lined baking sheet. If you pluck the leaves off first, the mint can dry a little quicker. You can leave it on the stem if pressed for time. Pop it in the oven at 105°F (40°C) until you’re sure it’s completely dry. Turn the leaves every half an hour or so and keep the oven door wedged open a crack so that moisture can escape. A tea towel or pot holder can help keep it open the right amount.
  • If you dry mint in the oven, it will take just as long as drying it in a food dehydrator. Keep in mind that drying large amounts of mint at a time can take even longer. You should also avoid drying large piles of mint at a time since it will take so much longer to dry and the herb’s scent and flavor will likely be impacted.

Storing dried mint

  • When the mint is bone dry and room temperature you can put it in containers to store. If it’s destined for tea, I’ll crumble the leaves up by hand or use a stick blender (or food processor). I also store the leaves whole. They look pretty placed on top of handmade soap and can also be infused in oil whole. Mint leaves will dry into a fraction of the size you began so plan to use a container that’s a quarter to one-eighth the size of the mint when fresh. Dried mint has a shelf-life of at least a year. After that, it tends to lose its flavor.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tspCalories: 1.4kcalSodium: 1.7mgFiber: 0.1gVitamin A: 75IUCalcium: 10mgIron: 0.6mg
Keyword Mint, peppermint
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

23 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are exactly the sort of directions I was hoping for as a first-time mint gardener with a huge mint plant. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    I love the drying rack you have. Simple and easy. Do you mind sharing where you got it from? Great tips! Thanks!

    1. $4.00 a wooden shoe rack with paper towels spread across it and I washed the peppermint carefully and shake it a little bit and set it on the rack it has two shelves and only cost me $4

  3. 5 stars
    Tanya
    Thanks for the ideas on how to dry mint. I usually dry mint on a kitchen towel but the drying rack is an excellent idea.
    I love all your tips on gardening, creams and soaps which I myself made some of them.
    Take care
    Maria

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks for your mint-drying methods. I decided to air dry, so after snipping the mint and rinsing it, I dried it all in a salad spinner and laid it all out on a sweater drying rack in my living room. I’ve enjoyed several of your other videos, too. Thanks for posting!

  5. 5 stars
    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

  6. 5 stars
    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

    1. 5 stars
      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. 5 stars
    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, Tanya!
    :)

    1. Mint drying on the line…you should get a picture of that! :) I may have to try that if we get a few hot days this summer – it's back to raining for now and apparently we're due a 'British Monsoon' next week. Joy.

  8. 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.

    1. 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 :)

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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 :)

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