For those of us who like it hot, there are loads of choices available for you in chili pepper varieties. If you’re craving over-the-top heat I recommend the Carolina Reaper. It sounds grim on purpose, and it lives up to its name.
If you’ve got iced water on standby for the afterburn, think again. Water is an accelerator for capsaicin, the heat factor in chilis. Instead of water, try something fatty instead, like iced milk. Fats help break the capsaicin down, rendering it less lethal.
Past the seasoning reasons for growing it, an aspect to love about the pepper fruit is that it’s eye candy. Chilis produce truly beautiful foliage and the pepper fruits on many varieties exhibit vivid color change while they develop. Birds love them. Most insects hate them, making them effective deterrents for things like aphids, ants, slugs and termites when tossed into your yard or garden, providing you with inexpensive, organic pest control.
Chili peppers don’t have to be hot to enjoy them. Split the fruit, get rid of the membranous “placenta” the seeds sit next to. It’s the membranous part, not the seeds, that’s the source of the most intense heat in the pepper, although the seed can be very hot, too.
Once their insides are cleaned out and the peppers are rinsed well, tah-dah! You’ve taken your pepper from from hot to chilly. (Again, pun intended.) A word of caution, you might wanna wear some gloves while working with the hot ones. The capsaicin can easily burn your skin.
Be advised, when a hot variety of chili peppers are stored whole in an oil base or alcohol environment to produce an infusion, it’ll be hot to taste and to the touch. The heat won’t diminish. The more mild the pepper, the less heat in the infusion. Also, it’s good to remember that when using it for medicinal purposes, it’s the oil in the pepper seeds that contains the spectacular health benefits. So, if you remove them all, you’ve tossed out your medicine too.
Fresh or dried, the chili pepper can provide relief of symptoms as well as healing for a wide array of illnesses including high cholesterol, intestinal discomfort, arthritis and diabetic neuropathy. They’re also an organic option to boost your metabolism, giving you more energy and helping your body burn away fat. Too, they’re loaded with vitamins C and A.
You don’t need lots of space to grow these plants. They’re happy to dig in and thrive in a garden, or in a pot. They can be bonsaied to keep them small if you need to grow them in tight quarters.
Keep their soil a bit moist and well mulched, especially if you live in an area that has frigid temps during the winter months. Your plants will continue to produce quality pepper fruit for you year after year, providing you with some great tasting spice and medicine that you won’t need a prescription for.
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Good for what ails ya!
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