Drying peppermint leaves

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Excited to try out my new to me food dehydrator, I collected some peppermint leaves from my 2 year old peppermint plants which is fighting the confirms of the 1 gallon pot I have used to keep it from consuming my entire flowerbed, lawn, house, etc.

For the best potency, it is best to collect mint right before they start to flower and first thing in the morning when their oils are at their peak.  Given it is a couple months before they will be flowering I picked them in the early afternoon.

If they were dirty you should wash them off and pat them dry with a paper towel and add directly to your dehydrator.  In my case we had a rain the night before and they were very clean so I skipped the washing step.

Next I simply put them into the dehydrator at 100F degree and in a few hours later they were all crumbly and looked like what you see below.

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To store the leaves I went with the poor man’s vacuum packing technique…Ziploc bag and sucking the air out with a straw which should keep the herbs fresh for a few months.

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Lastly I tried out the product by taking a pinch of the leaves and quickly breaking them up with my fingers and added them to a tea strainer.

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After a few minutes of steeping I had some good looking and tasting peppermint tea.

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I would say my testing of my new dehydrator was a success…now off to see what else in the fridge I can dry out.

7 Responses to “Drying peppermint leaves”

  1. Ragnar Says:

    I love peppermint tea from the garden. Easy and tasty.


  2. David S Says:

    Just wait until fruits start coming in season this summer and fall, you’ll be running that dehydrator 24×6. I do agree that dehydrating herbs is one of the best ways to extend the season for almost all the herbs I grow. Go out and get some lemon balm from the garden (or if you do not have any I can supply you with as many plants as you want). Great for your peppermin/lemon tea.


  3. Rob Says:

    Thanks for posting this. I use my dehydrator to make beef jerky! It is cheaper than the beef jerky in stores and everyone loves it at Christmas time!


  4. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Ragnar, I must say the flavor of the dried with pretty much the same as the stuff I make with fresh (crushed) leaves. Though I did make the tea 3-4 hours after drying…

    David, I have grown Lemon Verbana guess a distant cousin. It seems to come back every year. I haven’t seen many signs of life but probably shouldn’t worry until Mid-June then I may need to take you up on that. I also have a spearmint plant which I make a spearming/Verbana/Peppermint tea. Only bad thing about spearmint it lacks flavor until later in the season unlike the other 2.

    Rob, beef jerky is on my list as well. Currently on a “lower carb” diet and jerky is one of the few quick grab and go snacks I have left, but I agree the prices are crazy. Need to keep a lookout for some good sales on meat.


  5. Kate Says:

    I’ve tried herb drying wi/ microwave– varying success, but mostly good. Snip herbs, place on a sheet of paper towel on microwaveable pie plate. Cover with another paper towel. Microwave on high for about 1 minute.(Maybe less, if the leaves are small.) The leaves will be nice and crunchy, and when cool can be put into spice jar to be crumbled into cooked food. Basil– though not as fantastically flavored as pesto, was much better taste/scent than purchased product.


  6. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    I have heard about the microwave method, but worried about the potential mess and effectiveness. If I ever get backed up with my dehydrator will have to give it a try.


  7. lisa Says:

    Very nice, I’ve been enjoying fresh mint teas a lot this summer, and hadn’t even thought of drying it for the winter. I think I’ll have to go tea leaf picking tomorrow.


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