Wednesday, February 19, 2014

DIY {Natural Mint} Grasshopper Hot Chocolate

Living here in China has introduced us to a lot of new foods, and also given us a new appreciation for some common ones that we didn't use before. In the past here we have come to love natural mint leaves.

You can't buy mint or peppermint extract here, so we use it sparingly, but we all love the taste of mint. You can buy big bunches of mint in the markets very inexpensively though, so we have found all kinds of new ways to use pure mint leaves.

We love chocolate and mint together. This natural mint hot cocoa is a decedent, yet refreshing treat.

Homemade Natural Mint Hot Cocoa By the Cup

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1-2 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar
  • Dash of vanilla and/or salt if desired
  • Whipping cream for topping if desired (and additional mint leaves for making the cream mint flavored if you wish)

  1. Wash and dry the mint leaves well. Tear and bruise leaves slightly to bring out the most flavor. Place in colander inside of a bowl.
  2. Steep the mint leaves in the milk for several hours up to overnight. (Alternatively, because this is a hot recipe you can heat the milk with the mint leaves in it to bring out the mint flavor faster, and then strain after heating, but the best flavor is achieved with slow, cold steeping.) Also steep mint leaves in cold whipping cream for several hours to overnight if you want mint flavored cream.
  3. Strain the leaves out of the milk, pressing to get the full flavor.
  4. Heat milk in microwave or small saucepan, until just bubbling around the edges (not a rolling boil).
  5. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients, adjusting to personal taste.

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