A delicious and fragrant mint, which is a favourite amongst desert enthusiasts!
Store in a refrigerated humidity-controlled environment, or else dry and store in an airtight jar for future use.
In the Kitchen
The below is taken from www.delishably.com.
Note: Everyone's taste varies. I based this off the unstable amounts I usually choose, depending on how much I feel like eating more or less of. You can add or subtract ingredients, and it's amounts, to your taste buds desires. Or, if you have allergies, you could always change the ingredients for a substitute. Experiments in foods are always an interesting adventure!
There are various ideas I have tried with the leaves of the Chocolate Mint Plant. I find it perfect for a summer time salad. The ideas are endless! Below, I have provided a few.
My personal favourite is a salad consisting of plain ol' lettuce, romaine lettuce, strawberries, cheese crumbles (I tend to mix this up, from feta to bleu cheese, to pieces of muenster to brie. I love variety!), chopped almonds, Chocolate Mint leaves, and a raspberry walnut vinaigrette. Some love my salad, some don't. Again, that is my personal choice and favourite.
Another idea which I love contains tomatoes, the chocolate mint leaves, cucumbers, and a little mozzarella and red wine vinaigrette. I just cut up the tomatoes, as well as cut and skin the cucumbers, add little bits of mozzarella and chopped chocolate mint leaves, then mix it into a small amount of red wine vinaigrette.
My third favourite is really just a fruit salad. You could use strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, mandarin oranges, pears, and other berries of your choice for this one. I will first wash them off, and then cut them into bite size pieces. I also like to cut/rip the chocolate mint leaves into smaller pieces, so the chocolate mint leaves aren't too overwhelming. However you create your fruit salad is up to you.
Chocolate, and Other Sweet Ideas:
To note: If you add chocolate mint leaves into any recipe, be it cookies, fudge, or other baked goods, you may want to chop them into small sprinkle sized pieces so it doesn't seem so awkward biting into something and getting a huge chunk of leaf to gnaw on. Subtle is sometimes better. There is a variety of ideas you can do. Such as:
And so on!
There are endless ideas out there, when it comes to baked goods and the like. My personal favourite is making chocolate cake (From a box and following it's directions. It's easier for me.) and adding those chopped up sprinkles of chocolate mint leaves into the mixture. As the cake bakes in the oven, the chocolate mint leaves work like an extract to give that mint flavor. I add green food colouring to the container of vanilla frosting and just frost the cake, proceeding with more sprinkles of chopped mint. To add on extra, I take fresh leaves and arrange them in a fan in each of the four corners. If you're doing a round cake, you could arrange the leaves as a simple border.
Other Food Ideas:
Using chocolate mint leaves are quite endless with possibilities. If you are looking for that mint taste to anything, be it small or large, you could use it. I have heard of it used in beef, fish, poultry, and other meats. Although, the recipes do vary. It may be easy to use the leaves, or it may be difficult. If you are trying a recipe for the first time, I recommend, like any recipe, to try it before you make it for a crowd. Practice is helpful and can save you from serving a bad dish for a large group of people
Chocolate Mint Plant Ice Cubes
This is a fairly easy one. Just harvest about two or three chocolate mint leaves per ice cube tray square. Put it in the freezer. When frozen, it can be added to a drink of your choice for that little hint of mint.
I've taken a few chocolate mint leaves and dried them. Upon doing so, I just took about five of them, crumbled them and mixed it into the coffee grounds, right before the coffee started to brew. It tastes delicious and smells amazing.
There are various styles of iced tea. Using a teapot that has an infuser, I tend to usually use dried leaves. If I'm using other fresh ingredients, depending how many, I use fresh leaves like a decoration, floating around freely.
Chocolate Mint Sweet Iced Tea
I tend to use my infuser, for this. I really just keep it simple. My infuser teapot serves about six cups (of 8 oz. serving size). I add 3/4 of sugar, and then the hot water, stirring it until it dissolves. My infuser is attached to the lid, so I usually just take two factory made tea bags of black tea and empty it into the infuser. (Call me a cheater, but as I said, I love working with what's in an average kitchen or easily found from a store.) I added the dried chocolate mint leaves into the infuser as well, for that mint flavor. I usually use about half of a tea cup of chocolate mint leaves. When it is all put together, I leave it to sit for about an hour, or until cold, mixing it every so often. I remove the infuser and it's contents, and serve. Sometimes I use ice, other times I don't. To me, it's that refreshing.
Lemon Chocolate Mint Iced Tea
It's the same process as above, with the Mint Sweet Iced Tea. Just add the step of three fresh lemon slices (more or less to taste) in the infuser with the black tea and chocolate mint leaves mixture. Except, when you remove the contents of the infuser, make sure to squeeze out the juice from lemon slices back into the tea, before discarding. Any bits of tea and chocolate mint leaves that make their way in the tea, usually sink to the bottom and rarely are served.
Strawberry Mint Lemonade
Another pretty basic one. I buy frozen lemonade in a can, follow the directions on the container, and just add about a half a cup (sometimes I do use more) of fresh strawberries, cut in half. After I add the two, I use about a small handful of fresh chocolate mint leaves, and a tablespoon of sugar, mixing it all together. I leave it to sit in the fridge for an hour, stirring it every so often, and then serve. The nice part about this is that you can eat the strawberries and the chocolate mint leaves. (If you feel like switching this up for an icy drink, you can either use the mint ice cubes, or if you're using a plastic pitcher, you can freezer the mixture until it begins to turn a slushy texture.)
This one was a bit complicated for me. I really felt like I didn't get much chocolate mint flavor from just adding fresh chocolate mint leaves to cold water. I really love the mint flavor. I decided to boil some water, add about a fluffy half of a cup of fresh mint leaves to a pot, and let it seep with teaspoon of sugar stirred in. I recommend more or less sugar to taste, or none at all. With my 6 cup serving of a teapot, this was perfect for me, and amazing to taste on a recent hot summer day. Refreshing on a walk, too!
(Bonus: If you do not add sugar, put a dab of the water on your skin on a hot summer day. It feels amazing and refreshing! But, this may not be for everyone. And remember, keep it out of your eyes, ears, nose, and other places where your Mother told you to not stick anything; "Don't stick things where they don't belong!")
I used a mix of fresh leaves and dried for this one. I first took dried leaves, and crumbled them into the bottom of my cup. I poured the packet of hot cocoa into my cup (with marshmallows! Yum!) and followed with hot milk. You could use water, but I prefer milk for a creamy taste. I added about a half of a cup of the hot milk, stirred what I could (Those pesky hot cocoa chunks!) and just continued to pour a little at a time, until the hot cocoa mix dissolved. Next, I grabbed the whipped cream I had and added it into my cup, leaving it partially floating yet melting. I had cut up two of the fresh leaves I had and made it into small sprinkle size, adding it on top of my whipped cream. If you want to get fancy, you can add whole leaves on top for a pretty presentation. Or, for the winter season, you could buy red paper straws (or green) and also add it for a festive look!