Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dried Mint

This spring, I had a *brilliant* idea - I decided to plant some mint cuttings in one of my flower pots.  I thought it would be pretty and practical.  It didn't work - the mint took over.  Charlie recently suggested I trim the mint back a little.  I thought it was a great idea. 

However, now I had all these trimmings and I just couldn't put them in the compost pile!  I decided to dry them.  

I plucked the leaves off the stem and laid them out in a single layer on my food dehydrator trays.

By the way, make sure to check each of the leaves (top and bottom) for impurities.... very important.  I found a little surprise.

I have found in the past that the food dehydrator is the best way to dry herbs - they really keep their color and have an intense flavor.  I have tried air drying, but they loose their color and a lot of their flavor.  I have heard you can also use the microwave, though I haven't tried it. I think oven drying would be the next best thing to using the dehydrator. 

If you have a dehydrator, set it to the lowest temperature.

The mint dried for about 21 to 22 hours.  You just keep the dehydrator going until the leaves are crispy.  I was really surprised it took so long, but then I read that herbs that have a lot of essential oils take the longest to dry.

Ok, next: I think I'll try mint tea.  What do you do with your mint?

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