Guest post from Jeri Lynn Repp
I absolutely love a one time purchase that can be used extensively and can be multiplied to last for years. Yes! That is right. Purchase once…Use over and over and over in many different ways…and, it will last for YEARS!
Chocolate mint has been one of those treasured purchases for me. I have discovered many practical uses for this plant, so I use it abundantly. Not only is Chocolate Mint easy to grow, it is hard to kill. It is an herbal plant, but NO GREEN THUMB is required. I promise!
Five or six years ago I stumbled upon a Chocolate Mint plant while browsing the herb section at a local nursery. Intrigued by the name, I purchased a small 4 inch pot for about $2.00. My purchase was made in springtime, and by early summer I had more than an abundance of Chocolate Mint!
Chocolate Mint makes the best fresh herbal tea ever! Just clip enough leaves to half fill your cup. Pour in boiling water, and steep for at least five minutes. Spoon out the leaves and sip the most amazingly refreshing tea!
Want a little more creamy and chocolatey flavor? Just add a couple of tablespoons of chocolate soy milk. This is my all time favorite! I call it “hot chocolate mint tea.” Delicious! (And if you crave chocolate, this will give you a healthful and low-calorie fix.)
There is something so satisfying about clipping the tea right from my backyard, no grocery store or market required! And, I never run out! An easily accessed and inexhaustible supply of hot herbal tea is not nearly the only reason I love this gem of a plant.
Chocolate Mint can be used for so much more than hot herbal tea. Chocolate mint gives a boost of flavor when added to iced tea. Left protruding from the glass, it adds a bit of flair. It also looks great in dinner plates as an edible garnishment.
Added to an after dinner green salad, Chocolate Mint makes an interesting palate cleanse that will actually aid in food digestion. Dare I say? When eaten regularly, it can even eliminate or greatly diminish the foul smell of some naturally occurring gaseous body odors. Ladies, this can be extremely beneficial… if like me, you live with a house full of males. Yes, I will personally testify to the truth of this claim! I hide it in salads for this very reason. Shhhh, let this be our little secret.
Mint plants, including my cherished Chocolate Mint, have been said to repel flies, flees, mosquitoes, mice, rats, and ants. Because of this I keep a pot of mint by my swing growing right along with my lavender and purple petunias. I also grow some by my chicken coop. Since I have recently placed a couple of pots on my back patio, there has been a notable decrease in mosquitos there.
Because chocolate mint multiplies easily, it is a great plant for gifting. Have a tea loving friend? Pot one of the runners, and share the tea! Having a tea party? Once your plant is established, you can plant enough Chocolate Mint starters for all your guests! For added charm, plant them in a re-loved tea-pot or tea-cup. Your guests will be delighted.
Be sure to plant your Chocolate Mint in a container. Otherwise, this plant will send out runners, and you will have Chocolate Mint everywhere! Most of my supply is in a raised bed about 2 feet by 3 feet. Here in Louisiana, mine dies back (but not completely) in the winter, and grows amply again in spring. Colder climates may need to overwinter in containers indoors.
It is true. All of the benefits I listed above have come from that original $2.oo investment. I have been using that same plant extensively since my purchase! I have multiplied it for friends. It has even survived my family’s move to a new home. I think I have gotten my money’s worth.
I hope I have inspired you to invest in a Chocolate Mint plant. This has only been one of my treasured plants with the ability to multiply for years. Stop by again soon, because later this week I will share with you a couple other cherished gems that I multiply for decorating and for cooking. Until then, I would love to hear your thoughts!
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