Any spicy plants, including mint, I want to save so that they can be used in the winter. As a rule, drying is chosen for this purpose.
By itself, drying is the termination of biochemical processes occurring in plant cells. This method of preparation is good because it prevents the development of mold and various microorganisms in the raw material. However, under the action of cellular enzymes in the process of drying, the taste and aromatic properties of plants can significantly decrease. To avoid this, spicy herbs like mint need to be dried properly.
How to dry mint: preparation and collection of raw materials
Harvest mint because of the unique properties of this plant. It is not only a great spice that can be added to tea or food, but also a cure for many diseases.
Proper drying of minty can be carried out without proper collection of all the rules. The fact is that the concentration of aromatic and other useful substances in a plant differs at different times of the year and at different periods of its existence.
If you want to dry the stems, then the most favorable time for this will be a full flowering period. If you need to prepare the leaves, then collect these parts of the plant before flowering. However, it is necessary to wait until the inflorescences start to tie up on the mint stalks. The main thing is not to collect the leaves from the young mint for drying. They will not retain the aroma when drying, they will not bring much benefit, and they will also wither.
Mint should be collected only in dry weather, otherwise it may turn brown after drying.
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How to dry mint at home?
Just as when collecting, when drying mint, you need to follow a few rules. This plant can be easily harvested at home.
- Once you have cut the stems of the plant, remove them from the sunlight. The sun has an adverse effect on mint. As a rule, this leads to the fact that the healing herb loses its essential oils, and, accordingly, loses its benefits.
- To dry the stalks of the collected mint should be combined into rare bunches. Each of the formed beams need to be tied up and placed in a suspended state in a covered room, which will be properly ventilated. For this well suited balcony, attic or veranda. This method of drying will prevent the debate of the plant and will contribute to good drying.
- If you want to prepare mint leaves separately from the stems, dry them in a darkened place. Leaves should be placed on paper or cloth. Of course, it should be noted that the paper or fabric, on which the raw material is dried, must be clean. During harvesting, mint leaves must occasionally be turned over.
- In addition to the sun, mint during drying must be protected from moisture. Otherwise, your future perfumed seasoning and natural medicine will rot.
Readiness of products can be checked as follows: take dried mint in your hands. If the leaves or stems crumble with a slight rubbing them in the fingers - the spice is ready.
How to dry mint for the winter?
To withprotect dried mint during the winter, it is recommended to grind it. The resulting product is placed in a jar for storage. The vessel must have a tight lid. However, the plant can be stored in its entirety. To do this, prepare bags of fine flax and place the dried mint there.
Many try to dry the mint at home with an electric drier or oven. In principle, this method can be considered as acceptable. Of course, this way you will quickly achieve a result. But you should always remember that such drying practically does not preserve the aroma of mint. Therefore, it is still better to use the natural ways of harvesting a medicinal plant for the winter.
Drinking mint helps with heartburn and flatulence. To do this, from the plant you need to make a healing tea. If in such an infusion add a little honey, you get an excellent tool that helps with angina. You can also take a bath with the addition of mint decoction. Such a procedure may be useful in case of skin inflammation. Needless to say that mint-based drinks have a terrific taste, and the means for external use delights with a fresh and delicate aroma.
It is rather simple to prepare mint for the winter. You must follow some rules of collecting and drying plants. Store spicy grass is recommended in tightly closed containers or bags of natural fabric. In addition to the wonderful taste, mint has healing properties that make it indispensable in many recipes of traditional medicine and herbal medicine.