Hairy Mountain Mint. Photo: Mervin Wallace

Mountain Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Nadia in a field with yellow flowers blooming

By Nadia Navarrete-Tindall

Dr. Nadia Navarrete-Tindall, the Specialty Crops Director at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO, is an advisor to the Grow Native! program, and owns Native Plants and More, a consultation business. She lives in Columbia, MO and is originally from El Salvador.


Hairy mountain mint (Pycnanthemum verticillatum var. pilosum) grows well under full sun to moderate shade. It’s a pollinator magnet! The leaves and flowers make a great tea, and the plant can be used to flavor ice cream and cheesecakes. 


For more hairy mountain mint growing information, visit the Grow Native! Native Plant Database.

A basket of American plum by Nadia
Filling Ingredients
¾ cup heavy cream
8 hairy mountain mint cuttings (8 to 12 inches)
3 cream cheese packages (8 oz.) room temperature
3 eggs
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Crust Ingredients
1 cup crushed chocolate wafers
¾ cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
Plums and juice in a glass by Nadia

Photo by Nadia Navarrete-Tindall. 

1. In a medium sauce pan, place mint cuttings and cover with a cup of heavy cream. Bring slowly to a simmer, remove from heat and let steep for 1 to 3 hours at room temperature
2. Prepare crust by mixing crushes cookies and add the melted butter. Press firmly into a spring form pan (9-10 inch).
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Set the spring form pan on a baking sheet. Some grease will leak from the pan.
4. Beat the cream cheese and ½ cup sugar in a mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat in the cream until well-mixed.
5. Fold half of the chocolate chips into the batter.
6. Pour batter over crust and sprinkle remaining chips over the top of the cheesecake. Chips can be replaced with dry cranberries.
7. Serve cold with wild plum sauce (optional)
Makes one pie. Serves 10-12.
Nadia and MPF’s Grow Native! program recommend purchasing native edible plants from Grow Native! professional members and planting and gathering native edibles from your own personal property. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider if you have concerns about consuming any native edibles. Native edible recipes provided by MPF or MPF’s Grow Native! program are for informational purposes only.
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