I love Thin Mints, and by “love” I mean I could easily plow through an entire sleeve of them in one sitting. Like many other cookie-craving Americans, I’d “help” out our local Girl Scouts by handing over enough dough for several boxes (so I could freeze them and enjoy them at will, naturally, or *cough* share them with friends and family. Yeah, sure.).
This cookie love affair came to an abrupt ending many moons ago when a.) my food allergies from hell ordered me into Thin Mint (and every other wheat-based and chocolate-coated dessert) exile and b.) when my bathroom scale groaned when I stepped on it, reminding me that Thin Mints were making me anything but thin (such product name trickery!).
Turns out, giving up my Thin Mints (and Tagalongs – those chocolate and peanut butter fat bombs) did far more for my health than just easing my allergy symptoms and loosening up my waistband. After really examining the ingredient list on the emerald green box, my once-favorite treats became a whole lot less appetizing. In case you haven’t braved the “nutritional” info on the side of the box, here’s what is in those seemingly harmless minty discs: Enriched flour (a giant no-no for anyone with MTHFR mutations due to the added folic acid – and no real friend to anyone’s health, by the way); sugar (lots of it); vegetable oil shortening (palm kernel and palm oils) – some of the worst oils, both for the body and the environment; cocoa (processed with alkali); caramel color (an increasingly researched carcinogen); high fructose corn syrup (some studies show our bodies handle this sweetener differently than table sugar, and its use is linked to obesity, type II diabetes, higher triglyceride levels, and heart disease); salt; baking soda; soy lecithin (government data suggest it’s possible for residual chemicals and pesticides to remain in soy lecithin after it’s manufactured); peppermint oil; natural and artificial flavor (whatever that means).
Now, ready for the GOOD NEWS?
You can still enjoy your delicious mint cookies, but without much of the guilt. I made these knockoffs for my mom’s birthday (she’s another former Thin Mint enthusiast) and they were a huge hit! This incarnation was surprisingly simple and fun to make. And the taste? D-I-V-I-N-E! I call these homemade versions Hint o’ Mints. They won’t make you thin and they’re certainly no health food, but they are far more natural, fresh and flavorful than the ones being stacked inside those plastic wrappers and cardboard boxes. Sign me up!