Mint or pudina is a summer essential that Indian kitchens stock up on as soon as it's in season. The bright green leaves of pudina are fashioned into a number of dishes like pudina parathas, pudina chutney and are used abundantly in desi cooling drinks like aam panna, jaljeera, nimbu paani etc. The refreshing flavour of mint is what makes it distinguishable among other desi greens. Adding mint to your daily diet is recommended, not just because it instantly refreshes you and rescues you from the intense heat, but also because it comes with a number of health benefits. From aiding digestion to alleviating headaches and improving oral health, mint leaves have a number of incredible health benefits, making this a prized summer ingredient in Indian cuisine.
Mint Nutrition and Health Benefits
Indian mint or Indian borage is a plant that is not just consumed and used in ancient home remedies in India, but is also used as a decorative plant in homes. The leaves are also added to drinking water during summers, to making it more refreshing and to keep the body cool. Mint is rich in essential vitamins, particularly Vitamins A and C and contains no fat and cholesterol. It is also rich in fibre and is extremely low in calories. Not just this, mint also has some amazing health benefits, including beating sluggishness during summers and improving alertness as well as keeping your skin clear and acne-free. This is because mint has anti-bacterial properties and is also rich in antioxidants, making it a formidable force against inflammation in the body.
However, it's difficult to keep mint leaves fresh for longer. Mint leaves tend to dry out very fast, even when stored in a refrigerator, and once that happens, the taste turns rancid and unpleasant. However, there are some ways of increasing the shelf-life of mint leaves that you can easily follow this summer.
How To Increase Shelf-Life Of Mint (Pudina) Leaves
1. Keeping Them Soaked In Water
Take your bunch of fresh mint sprigs and separate them. Put them in a strainer bowl and run them under cold water, while gently stirring them with your hand. Take an individual mint sprig and then, with a pair of scissors, chop the ends of the stem. Pour some fresh water in a tiny tabletop flower pot and put the mint sprigs in this pot, making sure the sprigs are soaking in water, allowing proper uptake. Cover the exposed leaves loosely with a clean plastic bag. Make sure you change the water in the pot every few days to keep the leaves fresh.
2. Keeping Them Covered In Soaked Paper Towel
Take a bunch of sturdy and thick paper towels and soak them in a bowl of water, until they are soaked all the way through. Carefully lift the paper towels out of the water and spread them out on clean kitchen tops or any clean flat surface. Place the mint sprigs on the soaked paper towels length-wise. Roll paper towels along with the mint sprigs and fold the towel all the way through. Place this soaked paper towel with mint in it, in an empty plastic box or an airtight bag and place it in the refrigerator.
As long as there is moisture in the immediate vicinity of the mint leaves, they are likely to stay fresh. Exposed mint leaves will wilt and turn brown, so make sure you keep them covered when you store them.