Can You Freeze Mint?
Mint is a popular flavor that is often used in candy, gum, and toothpaste. It is also used to make mint tea. Mint can be grown in many places around the world. Similarly, you can freeze mint for months without losing its flavor.
Mint has a refreshing taste that is cooling and invigorating. It is also said to aid in digestion. Mint can be enjoyed fresh, dried, or as an essential oil. If you are growing mint at home, it is important to keep it well-watered and in a sunny spot.
Mint likes to spread, so it is best to plant it in a pot or container. There are different varieties of mint which are grown across various parts of the world. Spearmint is most commonly used for cooking purposes.
Ways to Store and Freeze Fresh Mint
Mint is an intricate herb that comes with a short lifespan. Therefore, it often becomes difficult to store them without losing their original texture or color. We have prepared a list of three methods that will assist you in freezing mint leaves.
1. Direct Freeze:
In this method, you can freeze mint leaves as a whole. There is no need to cut or trim the leaves before freezing. Therefore, it is a faster method of freezing leaves without investing much time in the process. Start by washing the leaves thoroughly so that any dirt or soil extracts are no longer present in the leaves.
Then, dry the leaves by pressing them gently with some towels. As soon as the leaves are almost entirely dry, you can line them on a baking tray. Freeze these leaves for some hours (minimum 3 hours) so that the enzymes in the leaves stop their process of senescence.
Then, remove the frozen leaves and pack them in airtight bags. Press the bags gently so that excess air molecules are removed. Add labels to these bags so that you can stay on alert while using them.
Now, toss these bags into the freezer and this is how the direct freeze method works. However, we would recommend this method for a short span only. Do not use these leaves after a month. Also, there is a high chance that leaves will lose their color and wilt away.
2. Freeze Mint Ice Cubes:
Mark our words, freezing herbs like basil is a tricky task. Because no matter what, there is a high possibility that the herbs will lose their original color and texture. However, the ice cube method of freezing stands out to be the best way to preserve leaves for longer periods.
Start by cleaning the leaves with water and then dry them using a napkin or allow them to air dry. Once the leaves are sufficiently dry, chop them into fine pieces using a sharp knife or food processor.
Take clean and dry ice cube trays and wipe them with a dry cloth. Now, add your leaves to the ice tray so that every block is filled to ⅔ rd of its volume. Then add water, oil, or butter as per your choice so that the leaves are immersed in it.
Now freeze these mint ice cubes for a couple of hours so that you will get nice and clean ice cubes. Then remove the ice cubes and shift them into freezer-safe bags or boxes. Add labels to these containers and freeze them for future use.
Can you freeze Mint for the entire winter?
If you are thinking of freezing mint in October then, yes you can use them till mid-January. Freezing mint ice cubes help to extend the shelf life of the mint leaves. Therefore, you can store them for three months without any harm. However, do not store mint leaves in the freezer for more than three months. Mint has a strong smell and it will affect other ingredients in your freezer if you keep it for longer periods. Thus, refrain from storing it for more than three months.
How long does Mint stay in the fridge?
If you follow the direct method of freezing then the mint leaves will stay in a nice condition for a month. If you store it for more than a month then, you will end up having mushy wilted leaves. On the contrary, if you use the ice cube method then the leaves will remain in a better condition for three months. You can use these ice cubes directly in your recipe without thawing them.
Tips for Freezing Mint
Now that you are aware of the process for freezing mint leaves, here are some quick tips to aid you in the process.
- Freezing mint ice cubes with water or oil is the ultimate way to preserve their original texture. Therefore, if you hate the brownish development of mint leaves then avoid freezing them as a whole.
- Though it is possible to freeze mint leaves without water, we wouldn’t recommend this method. Because even if you freeze mint leaves as a whole, they will easily wilt away and turn into dark green or brown color. In the worst case, they can turn mushy and won’t be good enough for cooking purposes.
- You can stack multiple herbs together in the ice cubes. Therefore, do not restrict yourselves to mint leaves only, instead try mixing other herbs as well.
- Who says freezing mint in ice cubes is the only way to freeze them? You can prepare mint popsicles as well! Perfect for summer evenings or to drink throughout the year, these popsicles will leave you craving for more. Simply combine sprite, rum, lemon juice, sugar, and crushed mint leaves and then freeze them in popsicle molds.
- Another way to use mint ice cubes made from water is to pop them directly into lemonades and other summer drinks!
Can you Defrost and Refreeze Mint?
When you freeze mint leaves, there is no need for thawing them or defrosting them before use. You can directly add the frozen mint leaves cubes to the recipe and the taste will be managed automatically. However, for garnishing uses try to use fresh mint leaves.
It is possible to refreeze mint leaves but at the cost of loss of texture and flavor of mint leaves. Therefore, you know it is not worth it to refreeze them.
Is it possible to freeze Mint Chutney or Sauce?
Yes, freezing mint chutney is possible. All you have to do is store the prepared chutney or sauce in an airtight container and place it in the freezer. When you feel the urge to eat your chutney you can defrost it in the freezer or in the microwave for some time. However, do not refreeze mint chutney.
Is it okay to freeze Mint Syrup?
Preparing mint syrup is an extremely easy recipe. Simply prepare sugar syrup by dissolving two cups of sugar in one cup of water over a pan on medium flame. Then turn off the gas and add chopped mint leaves to it. Allow these leaves to stay in the syrup for 15-20 minutes so that the flavors are absorbed well. Then store this prepared mint syrup in airtight bags as rectangular pancakes or in ice trays as ice cubes. You can use them directly in your drinks.
Mint leaves, mint syrup, and mint chutney are best kept when frozen as ice cubes. Therefore, try the tips and tricks given in this blog to store them properly.