Mint likes to grow rampant in many a garden. The best motto is then: don’t be angry, just eat. Fresh mint is a great herb, dried it also makes a delicious tea. Learn how to dry mint below.
Versatile herb: dry mint
With its fresh aroma, it ensures good breath, a spicy-exotic taste in food and hot and cold drinks with a special kick: mint. The fragrant herb has been used in cooking and medicine for thousands of years. Peppermint tea, for example, is popular and has been shown to reduce inflammation, digestive problems, and colds. Incidentally, peppermint is just one of around 30 different types of mint. It owes its name to the mild pepper aroma. Other strains taste more like lemon, pineapple, or even chocolate. Mint is not just mint, so keep that in mind if you’re buying mint and want to dry it for use in the kitchen.
The best ways to dry mint
It is best to dry fresh mint in the air: this is how cooking experts recommend it. Taste and ingredients are well preserved in this way. However, since this takes one or more weeks and not everyone has the appropriate space to hang up the bunches of herbs, the question of a faster method arises. And there are: Like all herbs, mint leaves also dry well in the oven if you choose a low temperature: 50 degrees is enough. Leave the leaves in the oven at this temperature, and spread out on a baking tray lined with baking paper, until they are dry. Important: The door should be left ajar to allow moisture to escape. For example, clamp a wooden spoon to hold it open. If you have a food dehydrator, simply preserve the mint in this device. You can find out how to use it to dry herbs properly in the operating instructions.
Which herbs can be planted on the balcony?
Most herbs for the kitchen can also be planted on the balcony. However, you should take into account the different location requirements of the plants and find out before you buy which herbs are best suited for the balcony and which combinations of herbs go particularly well together.
Herbs for the south-facing balcony:
Suitable for the north balcony:
It is best to choose plants that have been brought forward for the balcony. Because you can harvest them immediately. Rearing with seeds is more time-consuming and takes several weeks to germinate. Once you have chosen the right herbs for your balcony, plant them directly in a window box or in a large pot that has been enriched with nutrient-rich garden soil. For better growth, the potting soil can be mixed with some compost.
When you buy the plants from a nursery, find out which container is ideal for your type of herb and how it should be watered. Dill, for example, should be planted in a higher pot as a deep root. Make sure your spice gets enough water, but be sure to avoid waterlogging. It is, therefore, best to use containers with a drainage hole. In this way, the water can run off and does not accumulate in the pot.
Drying or freezing mint – the right way to go
Whether you use the oven, air, or a drying oven to dry the mint: the right harvest time and careful preparation of the herb are important in any case. Like other herbs, such as lemon balm, the plant develops its best aroma before flowering. If possible, do not wash the mint before drying. If this cannot be avoided, rinse the stalks and then let them dry thoroughly on paper towels. There should be no residual moisture left before the drying process. Immediately after drying, pour the mint into clean, airtight jars – this way it will keep for several months without losing too much of its aroma. While you should dry mint for tea, you can also freeze the herb for use as a condiment. To do this, simply freeze entire sprouts in bags or fill small chopped leaves with a little water in ice cube molds.