Peppermint is a very versatile herb. Especially when it's dry. Here is a drying guide and tips on how to use it.Dried peppermint can be used in many ways. Perennial peppermint usually grows so abundantly that you can harvest regularly from mid-May. The leaves are fresh for tea and for cooking, but can also be dried very well. They can then also be used outside the kitchen.
Dried peppermint leaves fit e.g. into the bathing water, in scented sachets and in a fragrant flower pot pourri.
The right time for the harvest
Sunny or at least dry, cloudless days are well suited. It's good if the past few days have been rainless. Wait until late morning for the dew on the plants to dry completely. Then cut off the stems just above the ground so that there is as little soil as possible.
Prepare peppermint to dry
Peppermint, no matter what type of peppermint, should be clean, but should not be washed if possible. In your own garden, you can be sure that there are no foreign contaminants on the plants. Pluck off dirty and damaged papers. Now loosely tie several stems together and hang the bundle in an airy, dry place.
Alternatively, you can pluck all the leaves you want to dry and spread them out on a layer of newspaper or kitchen paper. The leaves then dry in a shady, dry and protected place within a few days. Do not dry in the sun, because then the leaves will turn brown and lose their aroma. The process is complete when the leaves are crumbly. Then you can simply strip 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 be no moisture left in the leaves, otherwise the dried leaves may become moldy. The storage containers must also be completely clean and dry. Metal cans and jars with screw lids are well suited. It is better not to use plastic containers, because condensation can form in them despite all caution.
Store the supplies in a cool place. Glasses should also be dark, because peppermint contains essential oils that are weakened by exposure to light.
Examples of use for peppermint
Tea is a prime example when it comes to peppermint. Peppermint tea is refreshing and stomach-friendly. The dried mint also fits in salads, vegetables, lamb and minced meat dishes and sauces. Peppermint is ideal for oriental cuisine - together with other exotic spices, it develops the typical taste of the Orient. In English cuisine, mint sauce is a classic accompaniment to lamb.
Peppermint in sachets and potpourris:
The aromatic scent of peppermint goes well with fragrance bags that you can hang up in your closet. It is not as intense as that of lavender and does not last very long. So either make a mixture with various other herbs or renew the filling in the sachet every now and then. You can make your own fragrant potpourri from dried rose petals, lavender flowers and peppermint.
Peppermint as a bath additive:
Bathe in peppermint! To keep the bathtub clean, do not put the dried leaves directly into it, but prepare a tea infusion. Dose calmly vigorously so that you can really enjoy your aromatic peppermint bath!