From your herbal teas to a little condiment to add flavor to your dishes, there are tons of ways to put dried mint to use.
But how easy is it really to dry mint leaves, and can you really do it yourself at home, without a dehydrator? Well, guess what? You totally can!
While there are several ways to dry mint at home, I love using my trusty Air Fryer.
I absolutely love my herb garden. You'll always find me picking fresh mint leaves or cilantro from the little pots on my windowsill, and using them to garnish my favorite culinary creations.
But for all those of you who don't have a green thumb or access to space or resources to have your own fresh herb garden, dehydrating those herbs can be a great workaround.
And be it fresh mint or practically any other herb- all it takes is just a few minutes of time and effort to preserve those precious, flavor loaded leaves and improve their shelf life.
What's So Great About the Recipe?
If you've been curious to learn how to dry fresh herbs in different ways, you'll love the simplicity of this recipe. I know I did.
As opposed to the packaged versions, this dried mint has so much more flavor, and can instantly add tons of flavor to your foods.
The best part is, you don't even need a food dehydrator to make it- how cool is that!
What You'll Need
Fresh mint leaves: I used a bunch of fresh mint leaves with their stems on. You can choose to remove the leaves from the stems if you want to.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Dried Mint in the Air Fryer
Of all the ways to dry mint leaves and preserving mint for later, using the Air Fryer is my favorite.
Start by washing your bunch of mint leaves under running water or soaking them in water. You can also toss them into a salad spinner if you want to.
Once all the dirt has been removed, let them air dry. The idea is to remove all the moisture before drying.
After you air-dry them, arrange the leaves in a single layer in your Air Fryer basket.
Set your Air Fryer at its lowest temperature and add the basket in. Bake for 3-5 minutes, occasionally checking.
If you’re using the dehydrator to ensure even drying, remember to set the dehydrator at its lowest setting.
How to Store the Air Fryer Dried Mint
Storing mint is super easy! The best way to store dried mint is to transfer it to an air-tight container or glass containers and leave it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
This way, you can increase the shelf-life of your homegrown herbs (in this case, mint) for up to 8 months, if not more. This way, you can enjoy mint all year long.
Remember that the container you choose does not allow any air or moisture to enter. You can use the mint leaves whole, or crumble them into their powdered form using the back of a wooden spoon, a grinder or a food processor.
If you're drying mint for the first time, I would recommend checking the airtight container after 2-3 days to see if you are able to spot any signs of moisture in there.
If you do, you might want to repeat the process of drying once again to ensure that the mint is completely dry before you store the leaves.
Just remember to keep it stored safely away from sunlight. This is because, when exposed to sunlight, the essential oils can get destroyed and the essence of the dried mint leaves can deteriorate.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- You don't need to line your Air Fryer basket with parchment paper. Just place the small basket with holes on top of the mint leaves, so that they don't fly while they're being air fried.
- If you’re drying the mint with the stems on, they might take longer to dry as opposed to if you’re drying just mint leaves.
- This method works for almost all kinds of mint- peppermint and spearmint!
- Remember to carefully dry the mint before you pop them in the Air Fryer. Air-drying mint is an absolute essential step to this process.
- Remember that since mint leaves are fragile, they’re more likely to end up burning if you don’t watch them and get them out of the Air Fryer at the right time.
- Make sure you set the Air Fryer at the lowest possible temperature. This will help preserve the aroma, and you can always use the residual heat to dry up any moisture that may have been left over.
How to Use the Dried Mint
There are several ways to use dried mint and most dried herbs for that matter. Here are a few good ideas to get you started.
Make Herbal Tea
One of the simplest ways to use up the dried mint is to use it to make mint tea or any other herbal tea of your choice.
Mint tea has a very refreshing and soothing effect on your senses, and can be a great, caffeine-free drink to rejuvenate your senses.
To Make Compound Butter
I’m a big fan of herbed butter and compound butters. I recently tried some pesto butter, and I was amazed at how delicious it turned out. I’m pretty sure you can try making some mint butter too.
To Make Flavored Cheese
Whether you’re making a cheese platter or a charcuterie board for some guests you’re entertaining, you can actually make your own flavored or herbed cheese by simply using some of the dried mint leaves with your favorite cheese.
In a Marinade
This dried mint can be a wonderful rub or marinade for all of your meats and grills. I also love adding some of it to my homemade rub for my grilled corn- it tastes great!
In Salad Dressings
Another great way to use the dried mint is to throw some of it into your homemade salad dressing. I love the idea of adding some of it to my creamy mango salad dressing to lend it a bit of a fresh, summery, minty flavor.
You can also crush the dried leaves of mint and add them to your minty buttermilk and practically any other recipe that calls for the use of fresh mint, but you don’t have any at hand.
You sure can! Simply harvest mint leaves, wash them, pat dry and allow the mint to rest in the open in a place where you’ll have lots of air circulate and ventilate, until you’re able to dry the leaves properly. You can also use a herb drying rack for this purpose if you want to.
If you’re planning on drying the herbs for a longer period, you may want to cover them up with a paper bag to keep them from attracting any dust.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Dried Mint | How to Dry Mint Leaves
- Air Fryer
- 1 bunch fresh mint leaves
- Start by washing your bunch of mint leaves under running water or soaking them in water. You can also toss them into a salad spinner if you want to.
- Once all the dirt has been removed, let them air dry. The idea is to remove all the moisture before drying.
- After you air-dry them, arrange the leaves in a single layer in your Air Fryer basket.
- Set your Air Fryer at its lowest temperature and add the basket in. Bake for 3-5 minutes, occasionally checking.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove