While I run from shop to shop doing errands or visit friends this time of year, I can’t help but notice the omnipresent peppermint candy either set out to be enjoyed or used for decoration.
Of course, I savor a candy cane or two around Christmas, but it’s peppermint in its natural state that I truly love. Plus, it has lots of health benefits!
Peppermint is available as a tea; you can buy peppermint oil and, of course, there’s the peppermint leaf itself. Used in these forms, peppermint has the ability to calm an upset stomach, neutralize free radicals (it’s a rich source of Vitamins C and A), and relieve nasal symptoms due to a cold or allergies.
To cook with peppermint, here are some ideas:
- Mix chopped peppermint leaves into a fresh fruit salad for extra flavor and color.
- Garnish a chilled fruit soup (i.e. strawberry) with peppermint leaves.
- Add chopped peppermint to a fruit smoothie for a refreshing finish.
- Infuse in cold water for a change of pace from plain water.
And, for my friends who are gardening enthusiasts, peppermint is easy to grow. Come springtime, you might consider adding it to your herb garden!