I got chocolate mint this week in my CSA basket. They were truly generous with their portion and gave me an entire bunch!
When I have so much to experiment with, I get creative and end up trying combinations I never would have thought of. And also brainstorming healthy, whole-foods-based versions of old standby favorites I haven’t had in years! Like my raw mint chocolate shake
– but I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to talk about my beautious mint.
For lunch yesterday, I added some chocolate mint leaves to a fruit salad of papaya, blueberries, and strawberries. It was very interesting, to say the least. That mint is quite powerful and a little goes a long way!
As I write this, I am sipping some chocolate mint tea, and I have more saved in the fridge for some refreshing iced tea later on in the heat of the day – maybe I’ll pack it on a hike with me. I made it by simply steeping three springs of chocolate mint in hot water for 10 minutes.
Mint is a cooling herb, and you’re going to want it around this summer. Much like we add cinnamon and ginger to winter dishes to warm us up from the inside out, adding mint has a cooling effect on the body. This makes it perfect for the coming summer heat! The other day, I blended it in a fruit smoothie after returning home from being out-and-about in the 100 degree heat. And it did a pretty good job at dropping my body temp, I’d say.
But, it’s also great in more traditional desserts. I’m addicted to these mint chocolate shakes, raw style! Mint chocolate used to by my favorite flavor of ice cream, and I still love the combination.
When you use real fresh mint leaves, the flavor is so much more robust and nuanced than whatever they use in processed junk food desserts. And with the dominant flavors of the mint plus the cacao, you can’t even tell there’s banana in there. Or at least I can’t, but maybe I’ve become oblivious to the banana flavor after eating so many. Taste it for yourself, and let me know in the comments if I’ve become banana-desensitized!
2 ripe bananas
1 frozen banana
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
2 springs chocolate mint leaves (about a dozen leaves)
1/4 cup almond milk
Blend. You can add more milk depending on how thick you like your shakes.
Homemade keeps it raw. If you don’t care that it’s completely raw, you can use store-bought almond milk or sub with another non-dairy type. Coconut milk makes it extra creamy.
For raw cacao
Regular chocolate powder is easier to find, and carob powder is a delicious caffeine-free alternative.
For chocolate mint
Any type of mint will do – spearmint, peppermint, etc. If you don’t have fresh, you can also use a couple drops of mint extract.
Other Resources: Here’s a little extra chocolate mint love.
Now your turn. Did you make this shake? What did you think? What’s your favorite type of mint and how do you use it? Leave it in the comments below.
I shared this post on Healthy Vegan Fridays and Whole Food Fridays.