Mint oil makes an aromatic and flavorful base for dressings and marinades. The oil can also be added to candy and baked good recipes as a substitute for regular oil when it's called for. Making your own mint oil from fresh mint leaves harvested from the herb garden is an inexpensive way to add mint oil to your pantry. The oil is either hot- or cold-infused with the essence from the mint leaves. Use hot infusion when you need the oil quickly, and cold infusion for when you have time to wait. Cold-infused oils have a lighter taste compared with the hot-infused ones.
Measure 1 cup of fresh mint leaves. Rinse them in cool water to remove any soil or dust, then pat them completely dry with a paper towel.
Pour 2 cups of canola oil into a saucepan. Place the mint in the saucepan with the oil and heat it over medium heat, stirring continuously.
Heat and stir the oil until small bubbles begin rising to the surface. Remove from the heat and pour the oil into a bowl. Allow the oil to cool to room temperature.
Mix in another 2 cups of oil with the infused oil. Pour the oil into a glass container for storage.
Rinse four or five fresh mint leaves in cool water, then pat dry. Press on the leaves with the back of a spoon to bruise them so they release their oils.
Place the leaves in the bottom of a clean glass or jar. Use a container that has a tight-fitting lid, such as a pint canning jar or a cleaned-out olive oil bottle.
Screw the lid onto the jar and set it in a warm room for two weeks. Your kitchen counter works well. Place it out of direct sunlight, as the light may make the oil taste rancid.
Taste the oil after two weeks of steeping. If it needs more flavor, bruise two or three more mint leaves and add them to the oil. Allow it to infuse for an additional week, then refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
About this Author
Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.