Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Keep the Peppermints

The Food Prude cleaned out her purse a few days ago, and among all the important, nameless things, I found these random indicators of my daily story:

A Christmas pencil, Biofreeze, 5 screws, a dozen coffee beans, 3 sea shells, 4 marbles, 15 pens, an over sized key that unlocks nothing, 7 pony tail holders, the stick to a candy formerly known as "Dum Dum," 2 crayons, a quarter, a penny, a peso, a Lowe's gift card, a children's consignment shop club card, a miniature Sharpie, bobby pins, red sequins, 2 Hannah Montana stickers, a paper clip, two peppermints, a game token, a melted Hershey kiss, expired Justice coupons, a pink hair bow, 2 silly bandz, movie ticket stubs, inedible gum, and a Mercedes Benz key chain....just in case.

Of course, I did not put these things back into my purse. However, I will likely replenish with a similar collection of insignificant items, as I do have 3 young daughters after all.

What is the point of all this? The peppermints. As a hypoglycemic mock celiac often caught in situations where low blood sugar is inevitable but food options are limited or completely unavailable, (like 2 hour parent orientations, rush hour traffic, back to back soccer games, etc.), I rely heavily on my stash of instant sugar, otherwise known as peppermints, to keep my sugar level steady until I can get a good source of protein.

Why peppermints specifically? Aside from the quick sugar fix when I can feel myself fading, I like the taste and while I don't believe that eating candy is really going to make a contribution to my health, there are several desirable characteristics of peppermint that, if the sugar content doesn't over power the oil, can be beneficial.

Foremost, peppermint soothes the human digestive tract which in turn limits indigestion. Peppermint also helps alleviate stomach conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and has been found useful in treating stomach cancer and gallbladder disease. Peppermint has also been shown to stunt the growth of many different types of bacteria and fungi. This in turn has been found to help relieve symptoms of allergies and asthma. Finally, while many of you are probably not going to go around rubbing candy all over yourselves, peppermint oil has been found to help relieve tension headaches. And the mere smell of peppermint has been known to relieve stress.

Because I don't like the corn syrup and artificial colors in store bought mints, I am going to make this recipe for my mint stash:

1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. water
a drop or two of peppermint oil (more concentrated than extract, but extract can be used)

Combine granulated sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Add flavoring, and powdered sugar. Drop on wax paper quickly. (The first mints will be round, but as the mixture cools, the mints become lumpier.)

What's in your purse?

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