Know your Chillies!
From the tongue tinglers to the flavour enhancers, there is a chilli out there for everyone, and the versatility that they can bring to your recipes is incredible; and that’s not the only advantage that the capsicum family behold. Packed with vitamin A, a potent antioxidant, and vitamin C, the chilli has many healing powers as well as being highly alkaline. From stimulating metabolism and encouraging good digestion, they support thyroid function, help curb cravings and have also been used as pain relief. As if chillies couldn’t get any better, the chemical within them, known as capsaicin, stimulates the adrenal glands to release hormones, giving you an energy rush – brilliant for a mid-week perk up! - There are two different types of chillies - The spice type chilli
– A relatively small, thin-fleshed type of chilli, often used for their heat. In terms of flavour, it provides a punchy kick, and these chillies are more commonly used in spicy Thai and Indian dishes. Try the Thai Yellow Curry with Jasmine Rice in our first cook book, Honestly Healthy
. The vegetable type chilli
– Larger fruit (yep chilli is a fruit didn't you know!) with thicker flesh. These chillies create heat, substance and an extra flavour element to any dish. Milder varieties are great for garnishing, and adding colour to your dish. Here are just a few that you could add to your dishes: Anaheim Chilli - Mild
- Due to its size, it's great for stuffing and roasting. A chilli for those wary of heat, and also a gentle way of introducing the kids to chillies. Jalapeno Pepper - Medium/hot
- A really versatile chilli, that is just above average on the heat scale and can be used in anything from salsas to soups and salads. Chipotle - Medium
- Used in its dried form, this mild chilli brings a smoky flavour to any slow cooked dish. Cayenne Pepper - Sweet/hot
- Flavour wise, these chillies are sweet in taste, but also rather hot. Used in its fresh form, it's a brilliant addition to marinades and sauces, and in its dried form the health benefits of cayenne pepper are fantastic. Check out our other article on the uses of cayenne in its dried form here. Serrano Chilli - medium/hot
- A popular thin-skinned chilli, with its crisp citrus flavour, its great in Thai dishes, but also guacamole and dips. And that's only a few examples of the hundreds of chillies out there that you can use in your dishes. Get your chilli on, and see the amazing benefits to your health and energy levels! Note - No cheating, sweet chilli sauce does not count as getting your chilli on!