There’s no post-dinner treat, tastier than an after dinner mint. Peppermint tea has been used for centuries to aid digestion and studies have shown that it helps relieve gas and bloating, and can reduce heartburn and indigestion as well, so why not have a go and grow your own.
You must use peppermint or Mentha x piperita, which is a hybrid between watermint and spearmint. This plant has small purple flowers in terminal cylindrical spikes and mid green leaves with distinct veins, which are pointed oval, toothed and peppermint scented and flavoured
Mint grows best in a sunny, moist spot but to prevent it running wild, you might prefer to grow it in pots
Mint leaves be used in puddings, cakes and are tasty in salads and soups as well as in vegetable and meat dishes. The fresh leaves can be used to make refreshing tea, which is invaluable for reducing fever and helps headaches and digestive problems. Peppermint scent especially, has an insect-repellent effect and may even deter rats!
Dinner mints made easy
- 2 tbsp of egg replacement or aquafaba
- 2 tsp peppermint extract
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 400g icing sugar
- 100g good quality dark chocolate
Lightly beat one egg white in a clean, dry bowl until it starts to foam (vegans can replace with chickpea water or aquafaba) – this may take between 5-10 minutes.
Add homemade peppermint extract* and juice from 1/2 a lemon and mix.
Next sift in the icing sugar and knead until a plasticine-like paste forms.
Transfer to a chopping board lightly coated with some icing sugar and place some cling film on top of the ball. Then using a rolling pin, roll until it is about 2cm thick.
Use a small pastry cutter to make circular shapes or roll out individual balls and using a fork flatten each ball to make discs. Repeat until all the mixture is used – it will make about 15-18 peppermint creams.
Place on a lined tray and place in the fridge for an hour.
Melt the dark chocolate over a bain-marie – pan of simmering water and dip each peppermint cream into the melted chocolate.
Place the discs back onto a tray lined with non-stick paper and put into the fridge for about 30 minutes or until set, then dust them with icing sugar and place into an airtight container.
You can make your own *peppermint extract by pouring a cup of vodka over washed and crushed peppermint leaves, making sure that the mint is fully submerged. Store the mixtures in a screw top jar in a cool, dark place for at least two months. When your peppermint extract is ready, strain out the mint leaves, and pour the finished extract into brown glass bottles.