The culinary herb known as “dried mint” is actually dried leafy greens from the Mentha species.
It’s often confused with peppermint, but they’re not the same thing at all!
Dried mint is grown for its pungent flavor, which can add depth to any dish.
What is dried mint?
Mint, also known as spearmint, is one of the most widely-used culinary herbs.
The plants are low growing and produce small leaves that grow in clusters.
When you buy dried mint, you should know that there are two types of mint: spearmint (or peppermint) and watermint.
Spearmint is the more common variety, and it has a stronger minty aroma than watermint.
Both varieties are popular in cooking and baking.
They both have an earthy flavor that complements other ingredients.
You can find dried mint in stores, online, and even in some grocery stores.
If you see it, you probably won’t miss it when you don’t have fresh mint around!
How is dried mint made?
To make dried mint, the mint leaves are picked and then placed in a dehydrator to dry out.
Once dried, the mint leaves are ground up into a powder.
Some people prefer to grind their own dried mint leaves instead of buying them pre-ground, so this method is ideal for those who want to do it themselves.
What are the benefits of dried mint?
Like many culinary herbs, dried mint has some health benefits.
When we consume dried mint, our body absorbs the essential oils in the plant.
These essential oils provide anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, antioxidant, and digestive properties.
When mixed with other herbs like parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, or thyme, these essential oils help to boost the immune system and fight off colds and infections.
Because of this, dried mint is recommended for children, pregnant women, and adults who suffer from respiratory illnesses.
What are the uses of dried mint?
Dried mint is versatile, and you can use it in many ways.
Here are some of the most common ways to enjoy dried mint:
- Add dried mint leaves to salads, soups, smoothies, and stews.
- Make sauces by adding dried mint to your favorite pasta sauce or pizza mix.
- Use dried mint in place of salt when seasoning meat, seafood, and vegetables.
- Add dried mint to ice cream, cakes, cookies, breads, and more.
- Sprinkle dried mint over roasted veggies before serving.
- Make tea by boiling dried mint leaves in hot water.
- Combine dried mint with honey and cinnamon for homemade cough drops.
What are the side effects of dried mint?
While dried mint is generally safe to eat, there may be some negative side effects.
People allergic to mint should avoid using it because it contains chemicals called menthol and menthone, which are in fact very similar to chemicals found in peppermint.
As such, you might experience symptoms like:
- A runny nose and sneezing.
- Sore throat and coughing.
- Stomach upset.
- Allergic reactions.
If you notice any of these symptoms after eating dried mint, stop consuming it immediately and consult a doctor.
If you decide to continue using dried mint anyway, you may need to take allergy medication to reduce your symptoms.
What is the dosage of dried mint?
As mentioned above, the average person will only get about 30 mg of dried mint per day.
However, this amount varies depending on how you take it and what you eat it with.
A teaspoon of dried mint leaves provides about 7-10% of your daily vitamin C requirement.
How long does dried mint last?
This depends on how you store it. In general, dried mint lasts well in a cool, dark location.
This includes refrigeration and freezing.
In order to preserve the scent and flavor of dried mint, you should only use it within 3 months of purchase.
After that time, it begins to lose its potency and its ability to deliver nutrients to your body.
What is the best way to store dried mint?
Since dried mint loses its strength quickly, you should keep it away from heat and light.
Store it in a cool, dark location to prevent moisture loss and mold growth.
To preserve its freshness, you should also wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Don’t put it in glass containers, since they can break easily.
How can I tell if dried mint is bad?
You don’t necessarily have to worry about dried mint if you have allergies.
However, if you are concerned about potential side effects, you can always double check with your doctor.
What are some recipes that use dried mint?
There are numerous ways to incorporate dried mint into your diet, and here are just a few examples:
Dip pretzels in butter, then sprinkle with dried mint and sea salt.
Mix dried mint with yogurt and top with chopped apples and walnuts
for a delicious snack.
Add dried mint to your favorite pasta sauce and toss with cooked
noodles to create a flavorful meal.
Mint chocolate chip ice cream is a flavor of ice cream made with mint and chocolate chips.Add dried mint on the top of the glass to create beautiful dishes.
Top your favorite breakfast sandwich with dried mint and avocado
Pour milk over cooked rice and stir in half a tablespoon of dried mint.
Bake a loaf of bread with dried mint leaves and garlic.
Add dried mint to a pot of chili and simmer until tender.
Try fresh mint in your favorite drinks, like lemonade and iced teas.
Add dried mint to coffee and drink it straight.
Mint chocolate chip ice cream
- 1 can sweeten condensed milk
- 2 tbsp mint extract
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chip
- 6 drops green food drops green food
- 1 dried mint
- The first step is to make the ice cream base.
- To do this, mix the sweetened condensed milk, mint, and heavy whipping cream in a large bowl.
- Once the mixture is smooth, add the sugar and whisk until it is completely dissolved.
- Next, add 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips (save the other 1/2 cup for later) and the green food coloring if used.
- Stir until the chocolate chips are evenly distributed.
- You will need to put the mixture in the freezer for at least 2 hours to firm up. I like to put it in overnight, so it is cold and creamy.
- Once the mixture has chilled, it is time to make the ice cream.
- To do this, pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Once the ice cream is finished, transfer it to a freezer-safe container and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
- Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Decorate by one dried mint leave.