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Healthy Holidays: Peppermint, Peppermint, Peppermint!

December 17, 2013

The Huffington Post recently posted an article relating 5 Health Benefits of Peppermint. In essence:

peppermint 5 take 2

Knowing that peppermint has health benefits is great, since this is the season for candy canes, peppermint candles, and we now have an excuse to use peppermint in our holiday baked goods.

Of course, this means we’re going to talk about a few recipes!

One of the easiest ways to incorporate peppermint into your baking is to add peppermint to Snickerdoodles. Add 3 crushed candy canes to the cinnamon-sugar mixture you roll your cookies into before baking, and voila! Christmas in a cookie.

The simplest way to crush your candy canes is probably to break the candy canes into manageable pieces with your fingers, and place those manageable pieces into a large piece of waxed paper, then fold the waxed paper in half. Roll over the candy cane pieces with a rolling pin until the candy canes are crushed as finely as you desire for your cookies.

A slightly more complicated recipe that involves making a cookie and an icing is Dark Chocolate Espresso Shortbread Bites with Peppermint Buttercream. Click on the link to try a recipe with coffee, chocolate, and peppermint elements (an impressive combination for party fare).

If you are baking holiday goods this season, try making smaller cookies to encourage smaller portion sizes and ingestion. In addition, check out this former blog post for some suggestions on how to make holiday cookies a bit healthier.

Abstaining from sugar this holiday season, or just not a fan of sweets? Try lighting a candle infused with peppermint oil. Many stores offer such candles during December, and the scent could help you eat less, focus more, and could even unclog a stuffy nose!

holidays

Do you know of any additional benefits of peppermint? Or have a different favorite scent/flavor during the holiday season? Share in the comments below!

Images:

By Mikereichold (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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