Have you ever been curious about the uses and preferences of peppermint extract in cooking?
There are so many different things you can do with it.
From baking desserts like fudge to adding a refreshing splash of flavor to Italian dishes, peppermint extract is an incredibly versatile ingredient.
But what if you find yourself without it? Don’t worry – there are plenty of options that make excellent substitutes.
In this article, we will explore how to cook and use peppermint extract, as well as discuss the five best substitutes for when it’s not on hand.
What’s Peppermint Extract?
Peppermint extract is a popular ingredient used in many sweet foods and beverages.
It originates from the mint family, and its medicinal properties have been used for centuries.
It has a strong, cool yet sweet taste that can be added to just about anything – cookies, cakes, candies, hot cocoa, or even English muffins.
The extract also gives an additional burst of flavor to everyday recipes like sauces and salad dressings – it can turn up the “zing” factor quickly.
Nowadays, peppermint extract is widely available both online and at most grocery stores.
So get creative in the kitchen and make your favorite recipes come alive with this amazing extract.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Peppermint Extract
If you find yourself in a pinch and don’t have any peppermint extract handy, there are several suitable alternatives that can be used to achieve a similar flavor.
Here are the top five best substitutes for peppermint extract:
1 – Mint Leaves
Mint leaves have an aromatic, strong taste.
It is often used chopped in a variety of dishes to impart flavor, from salads and sauces to desserts.
One unique way to use mint leaves is by substituting them for peppermint extract in recipes such as frostings or smoothies.
You can do this by soaking the leaves in warm water for a longer time and getting a more intense flavor.
Using mint leaves instead of the extract has some advantages because it’s fresher, brighter, and has more nutrients, like vitamins and minerals, that provide numerous health benefits.
2 – Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is an important ingredient in modern kitchens, used to create delicious desserts, various dishes, and refreshing drinks.
It has a strong minty flavor that can be rather overpowering, but when added to specific dishes, it creates a unique taste.
Peppermint oil can be used instead of peppermint extract by diluting it with a carrier oil, such as grapeseed or almond oil, at a ratio of 1:4, respectively.
As an alternative, the trick is to make sure you use substantially less peppermint oil than extract in whatever recipe your using since the difference in potency can have a significant impact on the outcome.
3 – Peppermint Schnapps
Peppermint schnapps is a great way to add a sweet and minty flavor to desserts, drinks, and cocktails.
The taste of peppermint schnapps is not overpowering, but it adds a unique complexity when added to food or beverage.
It is usually used as an ingredient in fruity cocktails, and adding just a small amount can make your drink go from ordinary to extraordinary.
If you don’t have peppermint extract at home, you can use peppermint schnapps as a substitute for most recipes.
The schnapps may be slightly sweeter than the extract, so keep that in mind when making adjustments.
4 – Spearmint Extract
Spearmint extract has a distinct but light flavor that is both sweet and herbal at the same time.
Many find it to be a pleasant alternative to the stronger taste of peppermint extract, which can be overpowering in some desserts or beverages.
If you prefer spearmint’s more subtle flavor and are looking for a way to use it as a peppermint extract substitute, start by using half the amount of spearmint called for in a recipe and increasing as needed until you achieve your desired taste.
Experiment with adding additional spices, such as nutmeg or cinnamon, to create even more depth if desired.
5 – Wintergreen Extract
Wintergreen extract is a powerful flavor that lends itself to many applications in the kitchen.
It has an unmistakable taste and aroma, similar to peppermint but much stronger and with a subtle menthol quality.
When used properly, it can provide a complex spicy-sweet kick.
For the home chef, wintergreen extract offers an alternative to peppermint extract by providing unique and delicious notes to baking recipes like cookies or cakes.
For those who want to substitute it for peppermint extract in any recipe, wintergreen should be used in three-fourths of the amount called for, as it’s more concentrated than regular extracts.
This will ensure that your dessert retains its intended flavor without being too overpowering.
In conclusion, there are a variety of alternatives to peppermint extract that can be used in recipes.
Mint leaves, peppermint oil, peppermint schnapps, spearmint extract, and wintergreen extract are all viable options for when you don’t have any peppermint extract handy.
Each of these substitutes has its own unique flavor profile, which can be used to create delicious and unique dishes.
Experiment with different combinations to find what works best for your recipe, and you’ll never run out of ideas when it comes to cooking.