Homemade peppermint gumdrops could be the answer to those urges to buy industrial mints or gums after a great Keto meal. As you know, on those times when you season your meat just perfectly that the flavour of garlic and black pepper stays much longer in your mouth, you just want a gumdrop or two. Naturally, you can wash your teeth, but the relaxing sensation of chewing something flavoured with peppermint is incomparable.
Of course, today’s food industry is trying to catch up with the trend of avoiding sugar, but they rarely offer a clean and healthy product. If it’s not aspartame, it’s one of the other unwanted sweeteners. Not to mention the whole army of E-additives, stabilisers, emulsifiers and thickeners. Industrial candies and gums simply are not friendly to your Keto life! Especially if you chose a Keto Mediterranean approach.
Homemade peppermint gumdrops adventure
Actually, making homemade gumdrops is quite easy and entertaining! We already published two recipes for two different kinds of gummy candies and most of Ketonians loved them! In fact, With the homemade peppermint gumdrops, we will dive a bit deeper into the waters of phytotherapy. Let me give you a short introduction to medicinal and digestive magic hidden in this wonderful herb.
Peppermint medicinal properties
Mint was traditionally used to treat gastrointestinal issues, body odour, bad breath, and insomnia in Ancient Greece. Today, it is additionally used for treating bronchitis, headaches, fever, cold, and muscle pain. In Ancient Athens, it was customary to fragrance separate parts of the body with different herbs. Mint was the fragrance usually applied on the arms. Since the Romans were the ones to spread Greek culture all around Europe, they introduced it to England! Peppermint was mentioned by John Gardiner around 1440 as ‘myntys’. William Turner, who was acknowledged as the Father of British Botany, believed it was good for ‘ye stomach’.
It’s a hybrid, but a great one!
Interestingly, peppermint is a cultivated plant that was obtained by crossing Mentha aquatic (water mint) and Mentha spicate, (spearmint). Since ancient times, it has been used to alleviate health problems, using green parts of plants to make tea or essential oil. The herb is characterized by a pleasant smell of menthol! Now menthol, when used orally, creates a fresh feeling by opening flavour receptors and creates a cooling effect. This is why it’s often used as a breath freshener.
Can I grow it at home?
Well, yes of course. That would be the ideal way to follow your Keto Mediterranean lifestyle that goes beyond just dieting. Peppermint can be grown in your garden as the plant spreads rapidly in deep, humid soil. It does not need shelter for the sun and needs to be watered regularly. It would be ideal to pick the leaves before the herb starts blossoming and dry them in the shade! Then use them as tea or spice.
Some serious phytotherapeutic powers
This herb is rich in ingredients that have many beneficial effects on human health. Menthol, one of the most prominent ingredients, acts on the spread of blood vessels. This improves circulation by bringing more oxygen to the heart and brain. This way, peppermint acts on alertness, concentration and it can relieve headaches and migraines. Furthermore, tannin helps digestion and removes problems related to irritable bowel syndrome. Researchers in Australia presented the results of a study which showed how peppermint helps to relieve irritable bowel syndrome. Unfortunately, this syndrome affects up to 20% of the global population and it’s really great to know it can be treated with a natural remedy.
To top it all, flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that release the body from the effects of harmful substances, enhance immunity and accelerate the recovery of damaged cellular organisms.
A short list of peppermint health benefits
- It acts antibacterial and antiviral
- Elevates blood pressure and improves circulation
- Stimulates the nervous system by increasing vigilance and concentration
- Works as an analgesic; relieves headaches, muscle pain, menstrual pain and abdominal pain
- Helps with slow digestion, flatulence and heartburn
- Alleviates the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
- Improves liver function and accelerates liver regeneration
- Alleviates the symptoms of respiratory tract infections, allergies and asthma
- Alleviates stress and insomnia
- The external application helps with rheumatic problems, itches and allergic skin reactions
Let’s go back to homemade peppermint gumdrops
I started with boiling 2 tablespoons of dried peppermint leaves in 1 litre of filtered water. Now, you know how they sell peppermint in the department of spices. That’s where you’ll go for it. For some reason, peppermint in teabags doesn’t give the full potential and flavour. Of course, if you have your own peppermint, that would be the ideal ingredient! Then I used grass-fed beef gelatine because nothing gives better results in “gumifying” the texture for homemade jelly candies. Now, about the colour. since I added citric acid, the natural green-brown hue of peppermint tea faded, so I added just a dash of turmeric. This wonderful spice is ideal for colouring because only a pinch of it will turn anything into a golden hue. You can find it even in industrial products under the name E100
What does it mean natural food colouring?
In the end, I really wanted the real green that is a symbol of peppermint! So, I opted for natural green colouring in natural peppermint flavouring. I checked the ingredients, and it turned out that the green food colouring, under the code name E140 is extracted from nettles, spinach, grass and alfalfa. Now, if you want to add a dash of green to your gumdrops, make sure that the product you are using has E140 natural food colouring. Artificial green colour comes under the names of E141 which is a copper complex of chlorophyll. Furthermore, it comes under the number E142 or Green S. Please try not to use these two! If you have been cooking some spinach… Just let the remaining water boil a bit longer and reduce… This way you can use some of this water for natural food colouring.
Let’s get to the recipe
Homemade Peppermint Gumdrops
- 1 liter filtered water
- 2 tbsp dried peppermint
- 1/4 tsp citric acid
- 1 tbsp lemon zest finely grated
- 6 micro scoops 100% stevia extract alternatively use 3 tbsp dried stevia leaves
- 1 pinch turmeric
- 6 tbsp beef gelatine preferably grass-fed
- 100 ml (1/2 cup) water for gelatine
For green gumdrops
- 4 drops natural peppermint flavouring With E140 natural green food colouring
For sweet-sour coating
- 4 tbsp stevia-erythritol blend crystalline form
- 1/2 tsp citric acid crystalline form
- Place the dried peppermint in a deep pot, cover with 1 litre of water and let it boil. Boil for 5 minutes and then cover the pot. Set aside to cool down and infuse.
- Using a metallic strainer strain the peppermint tea and pour it into another pot. Return to the stove and heat again.
- Mix 6 tbsp of gelatine with 100 ml (1/2 cup) water and add it to the tea. Stir well. Let it boil so that all gelatine dissolves, and remove from heat.
- Now add stevia extract, citric acid, lemon zest and turmeric. Mix well. You will get a nice golden hue.
- Divide the mixture into two and add some natural peppermint flavour (with natural green colouring E140) to the one part.
- Pour the gelatine mixture into silicone moulds or ice trays and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Pop the frozen gumdrops out of the moulds and place them on a wide plate.
- For the version with a sour-sweet coating, mix stevia-erythritol (or even monk-fruit-erythritol) sweetener in crystalline form with citric acid. Roll some of your gumdrops in this mixture and place on another plate.
- Keep them in the refrigerator and consume within 7 days.