Have we discussed peppermint patties?
Chances are, you’ve eaten one before. Maybe even half a bag. But who’s counting?
Peppermint Patties always remind me of fall and wintertime. This might be due to the fact that for many years it became a bit of an unspoken tradition for our grandparents to bring a large, deliciously gigantic jar of York peppermint patties with them when they arrived at our home on Christmas Eve. The silver-dollar sized pats of creamy mint and chocolate would rarely last twenty-four hours in our little farmhouse full of kids and adults alike. In fact, you could see the evidence of the enjoyment scattered throughout the house in the form of tiny foil wrappers- red, green or silver- strewn everywhere but in the trashcan where they rightfully belonged. Most peppermint patties have a lot of refined sugar and not much to mention in the way of Nourishment.
What if you could make your own patties- at home, without a lot of fancy ingredients- that are not only extremely delicious, but boast a cast of characters that can actually be deemed nourishing, and, dare I say, healthful?
Some of you may wish to throw tomatoes at me for suggesting that the words “healthy” and “peppermint pattie” can exist in the same sentence. When I came up with a recipe for healthy Reeses’ cups a few years ago and posted it on a public site, I had a woman attack me rather viciously for even posing the idea of a good-for-you version of the famed candy.
It was almost as though, in my suggesting that one could indeed create a healthy version of this treat, I had committed High Treason against Candy, that the very thought itself was a heretical suggestion- one that deserved outrage.
It was like I had suggested that the Pope should start wearing a baseball cap for his formal events instead of his traditional Mitre.
Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, you have the Purist-Health-Nut group, a category of individuals that looks upon any imitation of regular candies or mainstream snacks as Out of the Question. (I shall not deride this group, as my membership was once in a group similar to the one described above, but my current allegiance lies elsewhere.) They might be just as offended, saying we should stay away from anything at all resembling or recreated to look like refined food- even if the ingredients themselves are quite nourishing.
And to the haters of both classes, I say: more for me.
And, more for you, if you happen to be reading this and have the five ingredients necessary in order to whip yourself up a batch of patties.
Cast of Characters:
This tropical oil has been given a lot of attention over the last few years, and rightly so. This oil, once shunned due to the saturated fat content, has been shown in recent years to promote health in a variety of ways.
For one, it contains Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs.) They are digested very easily by our body and are then sent straight to our liver to use for energy production.
Since MCFAs are sent right to the liver for digestion, there is no bile or pancreatic enzymes needed for digestion, which makes coconut oil a healthy food even for those with diabetes or those with gallbladder problems. MCFAs can help increase metabolism since they are sent straight to the liver and give the body an instant boost of energy. Most of the MCFAs in coconut oil are the highly beneficial Lauric Acid.
Lauric Acid, a veritable rockstar in the Pantheon of Fat, can help your body lower cholesterol and blood pressure, naturally. It doesn’t increase LDL and helps keep our arteries flexible and can help prevent atherosclerosis. Lauric acid converts to a substance called monolaurin in the body. This monolaurin has been shown to be useful in increasing immunity and fighting viruses and disease. Combined with coconut oil and oregano oil, Lauric Acid has been discovered to be more effective at combating staph bacteria than conventional methods. Coconut oil contains over 40% Lauric Acid, which makes it the richest source available in our food supply.
Yes, of course I have to plug the raw honey that is sourced from my families’ farm. I’m admit that I am just a little biased. Honey has a myriad of health benefits, particularly the raw, unfiltered and uncooked honey used in these patties. It boasts vitamins, enzymes, phytonutrients, and benefits for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. It's also a good source of natural carbohydrate, and raw honey is a source of energy that is praised particularly by athletes. There is some evidence that honey was used by athletes in the original Olympic games all the way back in Ancient Greece. (coming soon-Margaret's Top Secret "Gatorade" Recipe for athletes) In short, raw honey fuels your body with the glucose necessary to operate the myriad of functions that keep your body running properly.
“In recent years, scientists have discovered that honey possesses some legitimately intriguing properties. Proteins secreted by honeybees, for instance, are intermingled with the flower nectar bees use to produce honey, and science has recently discovered that one of these proteins, called “bee defensin-1” has significant antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.”
(read the rest of the latest findings here)
(chocolate containing 70% Cacao content and up) is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Made from the seeds of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Flavanoids and flavonals, potent plant antioxidants, are very abundant in the cacao bean and studies show that when we consume these foods, their antioxidant power benefits our bodies.
Did you know your body NEEDS the right kind of salt in order to function optimally? The right kind of salt, rich in trace minerals that you can actually see- not that highly refined stuff you see in the store that can contribute to hypertension- is what your body really craves.
Peppermint Extract/Peppermint Oil
This much-beloved herb has benefits that go well-beyond the pleasant cooling flavor and scent that reminds one of the holiday season. It has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for headaches,muscle pain, dental care- and in more recent centuries, as a yummy flavoring for everything from chewing gum to ice cream to….well, candy.
Speaking of which, now to the recipe:
Five Ingredient Peppermint Patties
1/4 cup coconut oil (solid at room temp)
1 tablespoon raw honey (more or less, to taste)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract or several drops (1/16th t.) peppermint oil
Small pinch sea salt
Optional: splash of vanilla extract
Whip the above ingredients together. Using a piping bag, pipe into rounds on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Smooth the top with a damp finger. Stick in the freezer for a few minutes until firm.
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Dip the discs into the chocolate and place in fridge or freezer to harden up. Store in the fridge. (If they last long enough to store)
Note: you can also pipe the mixture into small dots and then you have junior mints. Magical, aye?