Instant Enlighten-Mint Chocolate Latte

Instant Enlighten-Mint Chocolate Latte, both hot (right) and iced (left)

I can’t believe how much effort it takes to find peppermint extract in this city. I’m sure this is not the norm, but I feel like everything I went to get today was twice as hard as normal to find. The peppermint extract was the hardest to find by far. First I went to Whole Foods looking for nutritional yeast. I had to drive there as it’s a bit far from my apartment in this scorching weather. Sadly they were all out of the lovely bulk stuff and since I didn’t want to have to drive the car to that end of town again to look, I just ended up buying a small canister of it that was probably marked up more than a freshman student’s first paper. In my search for peppermint extract I tried Trader Joe’s (didn’t carry it at the store), a Fry’s (totally out of it), and finally the Albertson’s near my house (where it was over $4 for a small bottle…yikes!) before finding it. Such a crazy day for errands. However, this recipe from “PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook” sounded so tasty and so simple that I couldn’t resist trying it out. I did make a couple of changes to the original recipe however. I did not feel like going out and buying chocolate milk simply for this one recipe so I used vanilla soy milk instead and used Hershey’s chocolate syrup to give it the chocolate flavor.

I ended up making an iced and hot version of this to see how they would compare. After trying them I’m really glad that I spent all that time searching for peppermint extract. Both hot and iced versions were delicious but the iced one cooled me down immediately, and in 100+ F weather that is worth its weight in gold! Definitely try this recipe iced in the summer and hot in the winter time.

Instant Enlighten-Mint Chocolate Latte
1 cup chocolate milk (regular or soy, depending on your vegan or non-vegan persuasion)
2-3 teaspoons instant coffee grounds
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
sugar, to taste
springs of fresh mint or dried crushed mint, to garnish

1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Microwave until hot, about 2 minutes.

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