There’s no equivalent to fresh herbs in cooking, but it’s not often that a whole bunch is required in one recipe. That’s why it’s essential to know a few tricks that will keep your herbs fresh and delicious for as long as possible. This article will give you some easy and interesting and effective tips and tricks that answer the question of how to store fresh mint and other herbs.
Say goodbye to compromising on taste by using dried herbs – you can happily use the last leaf on a fresh bunch with these sneaky storage techniques. Rest assured – each one has been tried, tested and proved effective!
HOW TO STORE FRESH MINT (TIPS)
TREAT THEM LIKE FRESH CUT FLOWERS
The first method that answers the question of how to store fresh mint leaves involves treating them like fresh cut flowers. Trim the stems as you would do with a newly purchased bunch of roses. Take the elastic band off and remove the leaves that have grown on the lower parts of the stems. You will need to use these leaves first, or, if you aren’t cooking right away, use one of the other techniques how to store fresh mint to preserve them until you are. Now that the stems are firm and strong right up to the ends, place the refreshed bunch of mint in a jug, glass or mug and fill it with water. Store the arrangement in the fridge with a plastic bag tied over it. This will provide a solution to the problem of how to store fresh mint for up to ten days or more.
If you choose the first method for how to store fresh mint leaves, make sure that you refresh the water every so often. I recommend doing this every second or third day, as you would do with flowers, to keep the mint as fresh as you can. You can use the same technique for a number of other leafy herbs. Parsley, basil and scallion all stay wonderfully fresh in this environment too.
You will need to use paper toweling for the second method on how to store fresh mint. Separate the stalks from one another in a way that will allow you to lay them flat on the towel. Make sure that the sheet of paper towel you use is moist, but not soaking wet. Softly wrap the towel around the mint leaves. Take care not to crush them. Place the wrapped leaves into a Ziploc bag and refrigerate it. Be sure to place the bag somewhere where it will not be damaged by the other contents of the fridge. This is a particularly great answer to the question of how to store fresh mint from the garden, as it allows for smaller stalks and stems and not just longer ones. This technique also works very well for coriander leaves.
ARE YOU READY TO CHANGE THE FORM OF THE HERBS?
The above two tricks are solutions for how to store fresh mint leaves in their whole state, while the following methods require that you change the form of the herbs a little in order to preserve them. They are as follows:
Create a sort of paste out of the herbs you wish to preserve. First, you must make sure that the herbs are completely dry. Do this by removing any excess moisture by patting them with a dish cloth or paper towel. Next, you must place them in a food processor with a dash of olive or coconut oil and a clove or two of fresh garlic. Once the ingredients have formed a puree, you can decant it into small glass jars to store in the fridge. If your goal is to use the mint in a dessert, use coconut oil instead of olive oil and leave out the garlic. The paste formed is a great addition to all manner of main courses, sandwiches and soups and you will only need very little for it to take effect.
Another great solution to the question of how to store fresh mint leaves is to freeze them. If you’ve ever tried to freeze fresh herbs in their natural state, you will know that this alone does not wield great results. However, chopping mint leaves and adding them to an ice tray filled with water gets great results every time.
If you are looking to store coriander, parsley, basil or dill, replace the water with a tiny portion of chicken broth in each ice cube compartment. When it comes to defrosting the cubes, a mint infused ice cube does very well in a cup of hot tea. They are also great when blended into a smoothie, cocktail or juice. You could even freeze chopped mint leaves along with orange juice if you plan to use the herb in homemade juice. Pomegranate arils and slivered mint ice cubes provide a lovely shortcut for summery infused water. The savory cubes are delicious in soup and roasted dishes as well as meaty stews in the colder months.
HERB INFUSED BUTTER
The last trick regarding how to store fresh mint from the garden involves making herb infused butter. Simply chop the leaves and put them into a blender with a proportionate helping of butter, then blend the ingredients until the butter is green in color and smooth in texture. You must then mould the butter into individual lengths and wrap them in wax paper or plastic wrap before placing them in the fridge. This is a great option if you’d like to use fresh herbs in sauces, pasta dishes or on grilled fish or meat.
The above methods are all great solutions to the question of how to store fresh mint as well as other fresh herbs. The most appropriate method for you depends entirely on what you intend to use the herbs for. Treating fresh herbs like fresh flowers and storing herbs in moist paper toweling provide the most versatile technique, while the blended and refrigerated as well as the frozen options are more limited, but will obviously keep for the longest time. Say goodbye to the days of throwing away half of your fresh herbs! These tips will keep them fresh for more than double the time they would last untouched.