Peppermint is a very versatile herb. Especially when it’s dried. Here are instructions for drying and tips for use.
The perennial peppermint usually grows so abundantly that you can harvest regularly from mid-May. The leaves are suitable fresh for tea and cooking, but can also be dried very well. They can also be used outside the kitchen.
Dried peppermint leaves fit e.g. in bath water, in scented bags and in a scented flower potpourri.
The right time for harvesting
Sunny or at least dry, cloudless days are well suited. It’s good when the past few days have been rainy. Wait until late in the morning until the dew on the plants has completely dried. Then cut off the stems just above the ground so that there is as little soil as possible on them.
Prepare peppermint for drying
The peppermint, no matter what type, should be clean, but if possible not washed. In your own garden you can be sure that there are no foreign contaminants on the plants. Pluck dirty and damaged sheets. Now tie several stems loosely together and hang the bundle in an airy, dry place.
Alternatively, you can pluck all the leaves you want to dry and spread them on a layer of newsprint or kitchen paper. In a shady, dry and protected place the leaves dry within a few days. Do not dry in the sun, as the leaves will turn brown and lose their aroma. The process is complete when the leaves are crumbly. Then you can just wipe them off the branches.
The best storage for dried peppermint
When the peppermint is completely dry, it can be stored for autumn and winter. Important: There must not be any moisture in the leaves, otherwise the dried leaves can get moldy. The containers for storage must also be completely clean and dry. Metal cans and jars with screw caps are well suited. It is better not to use plastic containers, as condensation can form in them despite all precautions.
Keep the supplies in a cool place. Glasses should also be kept dark, as peppermint contains essential oils that weaken when exposed to light.
Examples for the use of peppermint
Dishes with peppermint:
Tea is the prime example when it comes to peppermint. Peppermint tea is refreshing and kind to the stomach. The dried mint also goes well in salads, vegetable, lamb and minced meat dishes and sauces. Peppermint is ideally suited for oriental cuisine – it develops the typical taste of the Orient together with other exotic spices. In English cuisine, mint sauce is a classic accompaniment to lamb.
Peppermint in scented bags and potpourris:
The aromatic scent of peppermint fits well in scented bags that you can hang in your wardrobe. It is not as intense as that of lavender and does not last very long. So either make a mixture with different other herbs or renew the filling in the bag every now and then. From dried rose petals, lavender blossoms and peppermint you can make your own fragrance potpourri.
Peppermint as a bath additive:
Why don’t you take a bath in peppermint? In order to keep the bathtub clean, do not add the dried leaves directly, but prepare a tea infusion. Take your dose calmly and vigorously so that you can really enjoy your aromatic peppermint bath!