Tips for Tuesday
Superfood: Hot Peppers!

In the middle of summer in Central Texas, just about the only thing that's growing happily, and abundantly in our gardens are hot peppers.  They are, like the natives here, full of vim and vigor.  

They can help you stay full of vim and vigor, too!

Health Benefits of Peppers

All peppers are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, but the spiciest, especially red peppers, are simply bursting with them. Antioxidant vitamins A and C help to prevent cell damage, cancer, and diseases related to aging, and they support immune function. They also reduce inflammation like that found in arthritis and asthma. Vitamin K promotes proper blood clotting, strengthens bones, and helps protect cells from oxidative damage.

Red peppers are a good source of the carotenoid called lycopene, which is earning a reputation for helping to prevent prostate cancer as well as cancer of the bladder, cervix, and pancreas. Beta-cryptoxanthin, another carotenoid in red peppers, is holding promise for helping to prevent lung cancer related to smoking and secondhand smoke.

Besides being rich in phytochemicals, peppers provide a decent amount of fiber.

Hot peppers' fire comes from capsaicin, which acts on pain receptors, not taste buds, in our mouths. Capsaicin predominates in the white membranes of peppers, imparting its "heat" to seeds as well. The capsaicin in hot peppers has been shown to decrease blood cholesterol and triglycerides, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of stomach ulcers. It used to be thought that hot peppers aggravated ulcers. Instead, they may help kill bacteria in the stomach that can lead to ulcers.

These quick and easy Pickled Hot Pepper Rings are one of the top recipes on Notes From Maggie's Farm.

Both hot and sweet peppers contain substances that have been shown to increase the body's heat production and oxygen consumption for about 20 minutes after eating. This is great news; it means your body is burning extra calories, which helps weight loss. (source: How Stuff Works)

Also read:
The World's Hottest Pepper Brings Pleasure and Pain Relief-- ABC News
Peppers and Your Health-- Web MD
Dr. Perricone's #7 Superfood: Hot Peppers--
The Nutrition of Hot Peppers-- FitDay

Try your hand at roasting Hatch Chiles, or any chiles for that matter.  Consider using gloves if  your skin is sensitive to capsaicin.
And, below, a recipe round-up of all things delightfully peppery from some of our favorite peeps--fellow members of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance.  Perhaps you'll find a favorite way to use those hot peppers among the list of tasty options, below.

Jalapeno-Cornbread Poppers--Slow Down and Savor and Touchdown Jalapenos-- Gouramanda

Main Meals
Local Savour Texas Meatloaf Sandwich
Smoky Southwestern Steak & Sweet Potato Chili--A Time to Kale
Spicy Pork and Pear Stew-- Full and Content
Chile Lime Chicken in Coconut Sauce-- The Voluptuous Table
Hatch Chile Meatballs-- Three Diets One Dinner

Vegetable Mains or Sides
Roasted Acorn Squash with Hatch Green Chile Glaze-- Full and Content
Summer Squash and Pepper Fritters-- Full and Content
Jalapeno Vinegar Slaw-- Full and Content

Sauces, Salsas, and Dressings
"For the Birds" Salsa-- And Then Make Soup
Zesty Citrus Marinade-- Prep Dish
Jalapeno Cilantro Cream Sauce-- What Jew Wanna Eat?
Green Chile Honey Mustard Dressing-- Full and Content
Aji (Hot Pepper Sauce)-- Coseppi Kitchen

Sweet and Spicy!
Hatch Chile Brownies with Grand Marnier Whipped Cream-- Foodie is the New Forty

And more...
Melissa from Red, White and Blueberries prepares Caliente Mexican Martini, from Metropochris, Salsa Crema from Kristin Schell, and Jalapeno Cheese Beer Bread from Curious Cuisiniere.

Stop by later in the week for our take on one of the hottest, and hottest peppers around right now, Blistered Shishito Peppers with Red Onion, Santa Rosa Tomatoes, and Herbed Chevre.  It's an appetizer, or full meal, of the moment, and done in scant minutes!  You're going to love this one, friends.

Stay hot, and stay cool, y'all!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for your contribution, Katie. That is going to come in so handy when football season arrives!

  2. Maggie: You were the one to influence this New Yorker to get the Hatch peppers from Melissa's and roast them. It was such a great experience and soooo delicious. I used some of them to make green chili cheeseburgers. As for hot peppers, I adore them too. I love hot sauces and pickled peppers. I have not tried to make my own though. I will have to look into that! Awesome! The best dried red pepper flakes I have found are Penzeys extra hot. Just perfect!

    1. I am so happy to hear that I influenced you to enjoy those Hatches! What I wouldn't give for a green chili cheeseburger! That's a great tip about the dried red pepper flakes. Sometimes they are just 'meh' as far as heat goes and I'm glad to hear that I should try Penzeys. Thanks! And it's great to see you!


  3. Yum! So many tasty recipes I want to try now!

    1. Thank you for your contribution, sistah! I can't wait to try them all out, too!


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