Can You Keep Fresh Mint At Room Temperature?

Having fresh mint on hand in your kitchen is a game-changer, from the wide range of different recipes you can use mint in to how lovely it smells. The challenge with fresh mint, however, is just how quickly it starts browning and wilting. One day you have brilliant green, aromatic mint on your counter, and the next day you've got a dead plant you can't use. So, how can you prolong the joy of fresh mint?

Being able to keep mint out on your counter at room temperature really is the dream. This may very well inspire you to use it more often, and if you're throwing it into nearly everything you're making, it might be gone before it even has a chance to wilt. Once you know the basic tips for cooking with mint, you can elevate your favorite recipes with its zing, from simple fruit salads to Indian curries. The good news is that you can absolutely keep your mint out at room temperature with just a little bit of prep. Make sure you pick a fresh-looking leaf bundle at the store. If it's in one of those plastic containers, take it out as those can allow some bacteria in, which will spoil the mint faster. Trim the stems and put the mint in a jar filled with water, changing the water each day to maintain freshness. The mint will stay in good shape for about a week this way.

You can also refrigerate or freeze mint to keep it longer

To keep mint fresh for a longer period, consider using the fridge. When maximizing mint's life in the refrigerator, you're looking at about three weeks. One method is to wet a paper towel with cool water, squeeze out any excess water, wrap the mint up in that, and seal the whole thing tightly in a Ziploc plastic bag. The other option is to simply refrigerate that little vase or jar of water and mint that you would otherwise prepare for room temperature storage. To truly maintain an absolutely perfect level of moisture for the mint, cover the jar with a loose plastic bag.

You can even freeze your fresh mint, which gives you three-to-six months. To do this, rinse and dry your mint, remove the stems, and chop up the leaves a bit. Then, take an ice cube tray and fill each slot halfway up with mint leaves and the other half with water. Once you've got solid minty ice cubes, you can move them into a tightly sealed plastic bag. Whenever you want to use the mint, just let however many cubes you need defrost and then dry the mint. Of course, you could also pop a couple of cubes right into a beverage — for example, fresh and frosty mint will really make your next homemade mojito sing.