The best time to harvest peppermint
If you want to dry peppermint, you should only harvest those stems that are particularly high in essential oils. They are then still very aromatic even after drying.
- Preserving peppermint - this is how it works!
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The best time to prune peppermint to dry is right before flowering, which begins in June. At this time, the mint contains the highest proportion of aromatic substances.
After a very sunny summer, you can still harvest peppermint to dry in autumn. Then the plant had enough time to fortify new essential oils. If the summer was very rainy and cool, drying the peppermint leaves is not worthwhile.
This is how peppermint is properly dried
It is best to harvest peppermint in the late morning to dry. Cut the stems as low as possible above the ground.
If it can be avoided, do not wash the harvested plants. This will wash out a lot of the essential oil and will take the plants much longer to dry out properly.
Tie no more than ten stems together in a bundle and hang them upside down in a suitable place.
The right place to dry peppermint
Direct sunlight is not advisable. This not only causes the plants to fade, they are also heated too much.
The place should be airy and comfortably warm. Suitable drying rooms are:
- Attic with window
- Bright basement room
- Covered porch
- Shady balcony as long as it doesn't rain
How long does it take for peppermint to dry?
How long it takes until the herbs are completely dry depends on the individual case. The thickness of the stems, the humidity of the leaves from washing and the humidity play a role.
The drying process can take up to two weeks.
You can tell if the peppermint is properly dried out by simply breaking the stems.
Store dried peppermint leaves
Put the whole dried peppermint in a dark container or a paper bag. You should only loosen the leaves from the stems shortly before consumption so that the aroma does not evaporate.
Keep the container in a dark, warm and preferably dry room until you use the peppermint.
How long can dried peppermint be stored?
Peppermint that is well dried out will keep for several months. Check from time to time that the stems are still okay and that no mold has formed.
Tips & Tricks
When drying peppermint, be careful not to touch the stems with your fingers as much as possible. This causes the components of the peppermint to evaporate.
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