Last Updated on June 11, 2022
How to Dry Mint Leaves At Home
We used to spend our childhood summers in the village of Hasroun, 5500 feet high in the mountains of North Lebanon. Hasroun is a stone throw from Becharri, the town of the world renowned author Khalil Jibran. And that whole area which shoulders the Qannoubin Canyon, “Wadi Qannoubin” also known as the canyon of saints, is blessed with amazing summers, plenty of water, low humidity, moderate temperatures and very fertile soil which all make it so great for summer farming.
How to Air Dry Mint Leaves
Our mother, bless her hands, used to spend most of the summer days working with her friends and neighbors on preparing food for winter. This is called “Mouneh” in Arabic, the art of preserving food. Some of the foods they prepared include all kinds of dried veggies, grape leaves, pastries (fatayir), cheese, Labneh Makbouseh (dried Labneh), all sorts of jams, spices, preserved fruits, you name it. And all that was done the traditional way of preserving food, with no artificial preservatives. Dried mint was one of the savories that mom prepared, and since we had grown so much of it this year in our backyard, we decided to revive the tradition and make our own dried mint. The mint we grew this year includes varieties of local US Northeast spearmint, as well as varieties that a friend got us from Palestine.
Dried ground mint is used in traditional Lebanese dishes such as shish barak, omelettes, labneh (all types), yogurt, and virtually any dish that includes yogurt in it and it also tastes great in salads. This post features the simple process of preparing dried mint at home. Note that you will need a large quantity of green mint to make a 3/4 jar of ground dried mint, as in the photos below.
How to dry mint leaves naturally?
Make sure the mint is well dried with a paper towel or other absorbent material. The mint leaves should be removed carefully. They should be placed one by one on a cookie sheet. If they haven’t dried out completely, heat them in an oven for two hours at 180 F or 80 C.
Can you air-dry fresh mint?
Mint can be air-dried in two different ways. You can hang it upside down in a warmish, dry, dim, and airy place tied with string. This can be inside or on a covered porch. You can loosely tie a paper bag over the bunch to keep the leaves from scattering on the floor below.
How to Make Ground Dried Mint at Home
- 10 Bunches green mint freshly picked
- For best taste use freshly picked mint, and preferably organic
- Rinse mint with cold water and let dry
- Pick the green leaves and discard the stems
- Lay green leaves on a towel by a window (but NOT in direct sunlight) and in a well ventilated area and let dry for 5-10 days. Note that direct sunlight will blacken the mint leaves and weaken their taste. Alternatively you can dehydrate them in a dehydrator.
- Discard any yellowed leaves
- Place dried mint leaves in food processor, and let it run for a few minutes until it turns into a powder
- Filter the resulting powder mint in a fine filter/strainer to remove any stem leftovers
- Store filtered dried mint in an air-tight container/jar in a cool/dry place away from sunlight