Selection and storage
Fresh spearmint leaves available all around the year. The herb is grown in much similar fashion like peppermint, basil,oregano, etc. It can be grown in pots, as garden herb or cultivated at a larger scale as a field crop for the production of essential oils. In general, its leaves are harvested just before flowering stage for culinary purposes. However, the whole plant may be gathered in full flower for distillation of essential oils.
In the herb store, its leaves and stems, fresh or dried are available. Choose spearmint leaves that are fresh, tender shoots featuring bright green color with spearmint scent. Avoid wilted, yellow and floral leaves.
Once at home, wash the leaves in clean running water, pat dry with absorbent paper and store in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for use in a near future.
|Dried leaves of spearmint herb.|
Dried spearmint is also preferred in dishes, especially in the preparation of teas/drinks. To dry mint leaves are spread on the plastic sheet and dried under shade. Thus dried herb parts should be stored in the airtight containers, stored in cool place away from sunlight.