Can You Freeze Mint Leaves? (Explained)
Mint leaves are a versatile ingredient that can be used in everything from sauces to beverages, but can you freeze mint leaves to use later?
Freezing mint leaves is a wonderful way to preserve their texture and flavor. When stored properly, frozen mint can last for up to six months.
In this article, I will tell you how to freeze mint leaves and how to thaw the frozen mint for use. In addition, I’ll also cover some of the benefits of including mint in your dishes.
How to Freeze Fresh Mint Leaves
In general, the process is as simple as washing the mint and discarding damaged leaves, drying until completely dry, and then freezing.
You can place individual mint leaves on a paper towel and let them air dry. You can also pat dry with paper towels. You can even use use a salad spinner to get the fastest results.
Once completely dried, place the mint in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Remove as much air from the container as possible to prevent freezer burn.
Here are several specific ways you can freeze mint depending on how you want to use it later:
Freeze Whole Mint Leaves
The first way to freeze mint is to freeze the whole leaves. Start by removing the washed and dried leaves from the stem and placing them on a baking sheet that has been covered in parchment paper. Make sure that the leaves are not touching each other, and then put the sheet in the freezer for an hour or so.
Once the mint leaves have completely frozen, remove the tray from the freezer and package the frozen leaves in a freezer bag. Make sure to push out as much air as possible before putting the bag in the freezer.
Freeze Chopped Mint Leaves
You can also chop the mint leaves up before freezing them. This will help to release their flavor and make them easier to use in recipes.
Simply place the chopped leaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them for an hour or two. Once frozen, transfer to freezer-safe bags or containers.
Freeze Blended Mint in Ice Cube Trays
Another way to freeze mint is to blend the leaves in a food processor with a little water. This turns the leaves into a liquidy paste that can be poured into an ice cube tray and frozen. The ice cube method is good if you use mint leaves for smoothies or other blended recipes.
You can also drop the ice cubes into a drink, and the mint will slowly release as the ice cube melts.
Freezing Mint Leaves in Oil
Another popular way to keep mint leaves from drying out in the freezer is to freeze them in avocado oil. This will help to preserve their flavor and texture.
To freeze mint leaves in oil, simply place the leaves (whole or chopped) into an ice cube tray and cover them with oil. Make sure that there is a layer of oil on both the top and bottom of the tray so that the leaves are fully covered.
Once the cubes are frozen solid, you can remove them and store them in a sealable freezer bag to grab and drop into sauces and other cooked dishes.
Regardless of which of the above methods you use, make sure to label the container with the date and plan on using the frozen mint within six months.
How to Thaw Frozen Mint
Once frozen, you can use the mint leaves as needed. Remove them from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature, or give the bag a quick rinse under cold water to speed things up.
If you’re cooking, then there is no need to thaw the mint leaves at all. Just add them to your pot or pan as you’re cooking.
Can You Store Mint Leaves in the Refrigerator?
While freezing is the best way to store mint leaves long-term, you can also store them in the refrigerator for a shorter period. Place them in a container filled with water and store them in the fridge for up to two weeks. Remember, the leaves should be completely submerged in water to keep their contact with any air to a minimum.
When you refrigerate your mint leaves, be sure to use them within two to three weeks for the best flavor and texture.
Some Tips to Freeze Mint Leaves
Here are a few tips for freezing mint:
- Wash the mint leaves thoroughly and dry them completely before freezing.
- Remove as much air as possible from the freezer bag or container to prevent freezer burn. It is best to use an airtight freezer bag for the best results.
- Label the bag or container with the date, so you know how long the mint leaves have been frozen. Use them within six months for the best flavor and texture.
How to Use Frozen Mint Leaves
Mint is an adaptable herb that can be used in a variety of dishes.
Add Mint to Salads for a Fresh Flavor
Fresh mint can be used in salads for a blast of flavor. Simply add a few chopped leaves to your favorite salad recipe.
Mint in Cocktails
Mint can also be a special ingredient in making refreshing cocktails. Just muddle a few leaves in your glass before adding the rest of your ingredients.
Use Mint to Make a Homemade Tea
Mint tea is a rejuvenating beverage you can make with fresh or dried leaves. To make homemade mint tea, steep a few mint leaves in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
Add Mint Leaves to Your Favorite Recipes
Mint leaves can also be used in a variety of recipes, both sweet and savory. Add a few chopped leaves or blended mint ice cubes to your favorite recipe.
Mint Leaves to Make Green Smoothies
Green smoothies are an excellent way to get your day-to-day dose of vitamins and minerals. Add a few fresh or frozen mint leaves to your smoothie for a refreshing twist and an extra flavor boost. A minty flavor is perfect for summer smoothies and compliments the sweetness of the fruit.
Use Frozen Mint Leaves to Make Finger-Licking Mint Sauce
You can use frozen mint leaves to make a finger-licking-good mint sauce. All that is required is some white wine vinegar, sugar, and frozen mint leaves. Just put everything in a blender and give it a pulse.
The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks, so you can make it in advance and have it ready to drizzle over your lamb or chicken dishes.
Benefits of Mint Leaves
Mint leaves are a delicious complement to numerous recipes, but they also offer several health benefits.
Anti Inflammatory Properties
Mint can help soothe an upset stomach, relieve nausea, and even reduce inflammation.
Rich in Anti Oxidants
Mint leaves are also a great source of antioxidants, which can help to protect the body against damage from free radicals. They can also help boost the immune system and fight off infections.
Other Benefits Include:
- A refreshing and cooling effect on the body.
- They can help to boost the immune system.
- Relieve stress and anxiety.
- Help to improve cognitive function.
- Promote weight loss.
- Relieve headaches and migraines.
- Help to clear congestion.
- Prevent bad breath.
So, if you’re looking for a way to add extra flavor and nutrition to your diet, consider freezing mint leaves. Not only will they taste great, but you’ll also be getting all the benefits they offer.
Now that you know all about the benefits of mint, you’re probably ready to start freezing some. The good news is that it’s pretty easy to do.
Can You Freeze Mint Leaves – Final Thoughts
Now that you know how to freeze mint leaves don’t be afraid to experiment with them in your recipes! Mint leaves can be utilized in an assortment of dishes. So get creative and enjoy the minty flavor all year long.