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There is nothing that makes me get excited for the month of December like the taste of peppermint. I grew up drinking mint hot chocolate and decorating gingerbread houses with candy cane doorframes. Although the flavor of peppermint is found more in the junk foods of the holiday season, there are a few ways to use this refreshing winter flavor to satisfy your holiday cravings. Since you are going to have a few treats this month anyway, try using peppermint oil to work with your health.
Peppermint is actually a potent digestive aid for people who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It also functions as an appetite suppressant in low doses. By incorporating real peppermint into your diet this holiday season, you’ll feel more festive, and you’ll satisfy holiday cravings without overeating.
Tip: Make sure you use peppermint oil, not peppermint extract. Peppermint extract is simply a mixture of peppermint oil and a medium to transfer flavor. Typically, the medium used is alcohol. If you use peppermint extract, your foods will get the flavor of peppermint without the health benefits. That totally defeats the purpose of cooking with peppermint. Peppermint extract is found in the baking aisle of the grocery store, so you may have to go to the essential oil or natural health section of the grocery store to find peppermint oil. Remember, you’ll have to make these food ideas at home with real peppermint oil, since most commercial food products contain peppermint extract.
Here are some ideas to help you incorporate peppermint oil into your diet to satisfy holiday cravings:
- Peppermint Tea – Brew some peppermint tea in the evenings after dinner to curb your urge to snack. Plus, peppermint tea will get you in a festive mood while you are trimming the tree or wrapping gifts.
- Homemade Peppermint Patties – These homemade peppermint patties include just a few ingredients, and they taste amazing. Plus, you’ll get the added health benefits of coconut with this easy recipe.
- Chocolate Mint Brownies – Add a few drops of peppermint oil to this gluten-free dark chocolate brownie recipe for a decadent grain-free dessert.
- Peppermint Bark – Perhaps the easiest and tastiest way to get peppermint oil into your diet, peppermint bark also makes great holiday gifts. For a healthier version of this recipe, omit the crushed candy canes and instead include crushed nuts.
What is your favorite way to eat peppermint during the holiday season?
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