Many recipes tell you to use 1 "bunch of mint", 1/2 cup of chopped mint leaves, or even 2 ounces of mint but how much mint is in a bunch, a cup or an ounce? It can be problematic to know what that really means. Different stores carry different sizes of mint bunches and many people grow their own mint as well so their "bunch" will be whatever they decide on. This makes it even more challenging to know how much to actually use.
In order to figure out how much is a bunch of mint we went to the market and to see what they thought a "bunch of mint" was. We determined that an average grocery store bunch weighed 3.2 ounces and contained about 80 sprigs of mint.
So we chose an average bunch of mint for our test sample to determine how many "bunches" you need for a specific amount of chopped leaves. We discovered that there is about 2/3 cup or 10 to 11 tablespoons of chopped mint leaves in a bunch. There are almost 2 cups of loosely packed mint leaves in a bunch. In addition, we found 1 cup of chopped mint weighed about 1.6 ounces, and 1 ounce of mint contained 23-25 sprigs.
Did you know that mint plants originate in the Mediterranean region and have been found in Egyptian tombs from as far back as 1000 BC! Mint gets its name from Menthe a Greek mythical character. The United States produces 70% of the World's peppermint and spearmint. And finally, the common garden variety of mint is really spearmint.
So we now know that "How much is a bunch of mint" is about 3.2 ounces of mint. If you are buying from the grocery store you can check the weight on the scale there and if you are growing your own mint you can just use a kitchen scale to measure it. We recommend this one which we use at home and enjoy: Oxo Good Grips Food Scale. To determine how many bunches of mint you need to get the necessary amount of chopped mint leaves you can use the converter below.
Mint's strong flavor mixes well with very few other flavorings, but there are certain foods, particularly sweets and desserts, that it does complement nicely.
You can either store them with the jar method or the paper towel method.
Jar method: partially fill a jar or a water glass with water; place the stem ends of the unwashed mint into the water in the container. Store the jar of mint in the refrigerator, cover loosely with a plastic bag. Change the water after several days if the water starts to discolor. Fresh mint will last up to 2 weeks or longer when stored this way.
Paper towel method: wrap fresh mint in a slightly damp paper towel and place in a plastic bag large enough not to crush the leaves. Place the bagged mint in the refrigerator; it will keep fresh for about 2 weeks.
To freeze: remove the leaves and discard the mint stems. Fill every ice cube cavity of an ice cube tray with the mint leafs, then completely top off with water. Place in the freezer for 2 days; remove the mint cubes and transfer them into a freezer Ziploc bag. Store the Ziploc bag in the freezer for 2 months and use as needed.
Mint is by no means a universal culinary flavoring: the French despise the herb, the English adore it, the Spanish and the Italians use it a little, and the cultures of the Middle East and of India use it heavily.
One of the biggest hassles when cooking and working in the kitchen is when a recipe calls for "the juice of 1 lime" or a similar measurement. Often times when cooking people use bottled juices, pre-sliced vegetables and other convenient cooking time savers. Produce Converter will help you convert the "juice of 1 lime" and other similar recipe instructions into tablespoons, cups and other concrete measurements.
Produce Converter can also be used to figure out how many vegetables to buy when you need, for instance, "A cup of diced onion." You can use our easy conversion tool to figure out exactly how many onions you need to buy at the store in order to end up with the amount you need for your cooking.
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