What to do with having too much fresh mint leaves? Dehydrating them is one of the ways to prolong their shell life. I have 2 pots of Borage mint plants that had grown pretty big. So I trimmed them down and used the dehydrator to dry up the moisture for storage.
I first learned about the possibilities of dehydrating vegetables during my vegan organic cooking lessons 8 years ago. It became useful only after I started planting and having excess food.
But the dehydrating process can also be useful for conventional nuts bought from stores. Some cooking teachers indicated the need to remove phytic acid through soaking the seeds. And the dehydrator is useful after the soaking process for storage and crunchy nuts. It’s like a reversal process especially in humid countries like singapore. Either we buy smaller portions and used them up in a single meal or we can store them in fridge for a short period. The dehydration process allowed for longer storage time.
If you are using the nuts for cooking, soaking also removes the phytic acid and starts the sprouting process.
Back to dehydrating the borage mint. The temperature was not easy to control. The excalibur dehydrator indicated that herbs was 40+ degrees. However, I had to increase the temperature to 50+ to 60 eventually to shorten the time and remove excess moisture so that the leaves are crisp and completely dried. Perhaps the leaves were quite big in sizes. It still took around 6 hours and more due to my first attempt to dry them at Excalibur indicated temperature which didn’t work for this herb.
The aesthetic of the borage mint is particular. Picking the leaves, a lingering minty aroma lingers on the edges of the fingers. The fresh leaves has a natural gradation of cadmium green within a white border. There is also an abstract tree shape form by the cadium green. The textures are waxy, shiny and furry.
The dehydrated mint are of a rich and beautiful muted sap green colour. The texture curly, crisp and twisted like fallen dried leaves under the tree. It’s a treat to try dehydrating this plant by myself. It has given me much joy in the preparation process and end results.
Dehydrating Borage Mint
- Trim the fresh leaves from stalk. Remove all the leaves that are brown. Use only good leaves.
- Wash them clean and make sure your hands are clean with soap and the working environment is clean to avoid contaminating the leaves.
- Place individual leaves on the dehydrator trays and do quality check again the second time to further remove brown leaves.
- Air dry for a while.
- Place in the dehydrator. Temperature 50+ to 60. About 4 to 6 hours depending on your dehydrator. Its trial and error, so need to try.
- The dried leaves should be crisp and their size will shrink significantly.
- Store in a air tight sterilised container and put it in the fridge.