Written by: Omar Guerrero, Dietetic Intern and Masters Student at Florida State University
Precepted by: Afaf Qasem, MS, RDN, LDN, Community Wellness Dietitian at TMH
Now that pumpkin-spice season is behind us, ‘tis the season for peppermint! Peppermint bark and peppermint hot chocolate are all the rage, but did you know that there is more to peppermint than just its tasty flavor? There are various health benefits to peppermint and a number of ways to add it in your daily diet without adding crazy amounts of sugar or calories.
Benefits Of Peppermint
Winter is upon us, which means that it is the season where we find ourselves fighting against the common cold. Peppermint contains menthol which has a cooling sensation, making it feel as if breathing is easier. Peppermint has also been used in patients with indigestion to:
- Aid in digestion
- Aid in upset stomachs
- Relieve any discomfort from bloating
Peppermint In Your Diet
There are many simple ways to add peppermint into our diet to start getting all those great benefits. Peppermint can be added to -
- Just a few drops of peppermint extract or 1-2 drops of edible peppermint oil make a great tasty addition to strawberry and banana, chocolate and banana, or any green smoothie
- Actual peppermint leaves can be added
- Greek Yogurt
- Peppermint Greek yogurt with berries is a nice tasty treat without all the additional sugars that come with some yogurts. It is a healthy substitute to peppermint ice cream
- Peppermint Chocolate Energy Bites
- A delicious combination of oats, peanut butter, dark chocolate chips, peppermint extract, and natural honey, create a powerful energy dense snack. Combine ingredients and roll into snack size balls for easy, on the go bites.
- Cold Foam Peppermint Mocha
- With colder weather upon us, enjoy this easy holiday and healthy treat at home today -
- Prep Time: 3 – 5 minutes | Cook Time: 2 – 5 minutes
- Chocolate Peppermint Syrup:
- 3 Tablespoons cacao powder
- 3 Tablespoons warm water
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 to 3 drops peppermint extract
- Whisk cacao powder, warm water, maple syrup and peppermint extract until well blended. Set aside for use.
- Cold Foam:
- 7/8 cup fat free milk, divided
- 2 shots hot espresso or 1/4 cup strongly brewed hot coffee
- Place 2 Tablespoons skim milk in a blender. Turn on and process for 15 to 30 seconds or until foamy.
- NOTE: If not using a blender, place fat free milk in a tall, narrow container. Place hand blender or mixer with whisk attachment or milk frother. Process until foamy.
- To Make Cold Foam Peppermint Mocha:
- Warm 3/4 cup fat free milk.
- Place 1/4 cup chocolate peppermint syrup in bottom of latte or coffee cup.
- Add 2 shots of espresso. Stir to combine.
- Add warm milk. Stir well.
- Top with cold foam. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 190, Carbs: 32g, Protein: 11g Fat: 2.5g, Sat. fat: 1.5g, Cholesterol: less than 5 mg, Sodium: 115mg, Fiber: 5g