I’ve always kept a tin of breath mints in my purse but recently, when a friend gave me a tin of green tea mints, I began to wonder…can I combine the ubiquitous breath mint with my beloved green tea? I had to give it a try and now I have to share with fellow tea lovers the wonderful news that yes, you can combine the two very easily!
Gum paste is the key ingredient to this recipe and is found in the cake decorating section of a grocery stores or hobby store. Gum paste is used for making elaborate flowers on festive cakes. Once it is shaped and left to dry, the paste turns very hard which is just what you want for the mints. When considering the tea component I wanted to use matcha because it is so good for us and studies have shown it has oral health benefits. According to a 2011 Harvard health study, green tea fights tooth decay, reduces gum disease, minimizes bad breath, supports detoxification, may reverse thrush and may reduce risk of oral cancer. *1 Additionally, for a bit of sweetness, in place of powdered sugar I thought of birch xylitol because of its oral health benefits. For many years xylitol has been known to reduce harmful mouth bacteria which in turn reduces plaque buildup and tooth decay. This can help prevent cavities and gum diseases.*2 Of course for the flavor, a nice organic pure peppermint extract was needed. You could use a lemon or vanilla extract in place of, or in addition to, the mint. A few drops of any will only add to the the yummy flavor.
1. The recipe is basic and forgiving and a small amount of gum paste will make a great deal of tiny mints so start off with a small ball about the size of a radish. Work it in your hands until it is warm and pliable.
2. Create a small depression in the center and add about 3-4 tsp of good quality matcha and continue to kneed until matcha is well-incorporated.
3. Flatten and place on a cutting board. Add a few drops of your choice of pure extract flavorings and fold in half. With a rolling pin, flatten and fold the paste several times to continue mixing ingredients together.
4. When you feel all is thoroughly mixed, roll out paste 1/4 “ thick and cut into mints. You can use mini cutters, which often come in darling little shapes or we found a bubble tea straw was just the right size!
5. Drop the shaped matcha mints into a small bowl of xylitol, toss to coat, and let them sit there until dry, several hours or better yet, overnight.
6. Store in a small tin in your purse and indulge often. After all these mints are good for you!
*1. Narotzki, B., Reznick, A. Z., Aizenbud, D., & Levy, Y. (2012). Green tea: a promising natural product in oral health. Archives of oral biology, 57(5), 429-435. Kushiyama, M., Shimazaki, Y., Murakami, M., & Yamashita, Y. (2009). Relationship between intake of green tea and periodontal disease. Journal of periodontology, 80(3), 372-377.
*2 . American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Policy on the use of xylitol in caries prevention. Pediatr Dent. 2010;32(Special issue):36–38.
As seen in T CHING