Are Chillies good for us ?

 

Picture of a healthy women looking at a healthy Chilli

Tasty and also healthy?

Are chillies just spicy in our food, or are they also good for us. Can they also be healthy? This interesting question asks if chillies are more than just adding flavour. It makes us wonder if they can also be good for our bodies. It’s like asking if chillies have a secret superpower. We all know they make our food taste fantastic with their spicy flavour. But could they also have some special benefits for our health? It’s worth finding out if there’s something extra special about chillies that goes beyond making our meals tasty.Image Red Chillies with tape measure

For a long time, people have thought that chillies might be good for us. They have a special compound called capsaicin that researchers have studied a lot. Capsaicin is the compound  found in the pith of Chillies that gives them their heat   They’ve found that capsaicin might help with things like speeding up metabolism, helping with weight loss, keeping our hearts healthy, reducing pain, and even making us feel happier. But what does all this mean for our health?

Join me as I embark on an enlightening exploration into the realm of chillies and their potential impact on our overall well-being. Within the confines of this journey, we shall dig deep into the intricate nuances of these fiery fruits, pondering upon their multifaceted effects on our physical and mental health alike. As we travel through the corridors of nutritional science, we shall unravel how  nutrients and special compounds that reside within these humble pods unlock vitality and vigour.

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Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapenos poppers recipes 

Jalapeno poppers (stuffed Jalapenos)  have a storied past that traces back to the culinary traditions of Mexico, where spicy peppers have long been celebrated for their bold flavours. Originally, jalapeno peppers were often stuffed with cheese, dipped in batter, and fried to create a savoury treat that quickly became a favourite among food enthusiasts.

As the popularity of jalapeno poppers spread, their influence reached beyondCooking with Chillies. Stuffed Chillies borders, including the vibrant culinary landscapes of Brazil. In Brazil, where the cuisine is known for its bold flavours and diverse influences, jalapeno poppers found a new home, inspiring chefs to create their own unique interpretations of this beloved snack.

Jalapeno poppers made their way to the USA through cultural exchange, immigration, and culinary innovation. Originating from Mexico, they became popularized in America through the influence of Tex-Mex cuisine and the growing Mexican immigrant population. Commercialization and adaptation led to their widespread availability as appetizers and snacks across the country.

Whether you’re hosting a gathering, in need of a tasty appetizer, or simply treating yourself to a flavourful snack, our Jalapeno Poppers Trio has something for every palate. So why wait? Embark on a culinary adventure today and discover the irresistible flavours of our Cheesy Jalapeno Poppers, Crispy Brazilian Poppers, and Jalapeno Poppers with Bacon and Cheese. Trust us, your taste buds will thank you!

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Sriracha sauce recipe

A bowl of homemade Sriracha sauce on a wooden table surrounded by green and red Chillies

Sriracha hot sauce

This post features a simple, economical, and delicious recipe for Sriracha sauce. Originating from the coastal city of Si Racha in Thailand’s Chonburi Province, it was crafted in the early 20th century by Thanom Chakkapak, incorporating chillies  vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt.

In Thai cuisine, Sriracha is a traditional seafood dip, enhancing dishes like grilled fish and shellfish with its spicy, tangy flavour. Its popularity expanded beyond Thailand in the 1980s when Vietnamese-American entrepreneur David Tran established Huy Fong Foods in Los Angeles, California. Tran’s rendition of Sriracha, inspired by the original Thai recipe, gained traction with its introduction as “Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce” in the early 1980s. Embraced by Asian communities in the United States, its distinct flavour and versatility propelled its popularity.

As Huy Fong Foods‘ Sriracha sauce gained momentum, it became a staple in American kitchens and beyond. Its iconic packaging, featuring a rooster emblem and vibrant green cap, became instantly recognizable. Over the years, Sriracha’s appeal has transcended cultural boundaries, finding its way into diverse cuisines and culinary creations worldwide. Whether used as a condiment, marinade, or ingredient in recipes, Sriracha continues to delight taste buds with its fiery kick and savoury undertones, cementing its status as a beloved and enduring culinary classic. So lets put on our aprons, get out the Chillies and lets start making  our recipe for Sriracha hot sauce

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Pad Thai – Thailand

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Pad thai

Low carb Pad Thai
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 5
  • Serving size: 330g
  • Calories: 570
  • Fat: 25 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Unsaturated fat: 6 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13 g
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 581 mg
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 38 g
  • Cholesterol: 168 mg
Recipe type: Low carb
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This great stir-fried dish from Thailand contains chicken and prawns , but the chicken can easily substituted by a firm flesh fish like swordfish or monkfish. If want a real treat , make it with scallops. The use of Shirataki noodles and erythritol in this recipe means that this is a low carb recipe. in addition to being full of flavour.
Ingredients
  • Chicken breasts – two (about 500 grams, cut into 12 mm strips)
  • Prawns – 250 grams (deveined and peeled)
  • Shirataki noodles - 700 grams drained weight (for non-keto see note *)
  • Eggs – three (beaten)
  • Bean sprouts – one cup
  • Spring onions - five (roughly chopped, white bits only) - keep the green tops for sprinkling later.
  • Red Chillies – four ( Thai Birds eye or similar, finely sliced)
  • Chilli flakes - one teaspoon
  • Garlic – three cloves (finely chopped)
  • Thai Chilli oil – one tablespoon ( See note **)
  • Vegetable oil – three tablespoons
  • Thai fish sauce – two tablespoon's
  • Tamarind paste – 2 tablespoons (see note ***)
  • Lime juice – one tablespoon
  • Erythritol – 2 tablespoon ( for non-keto see note ****)
  • Roasted cashew nuts – ½ cup ( chopped) - ( for non-keto - see note *****)
Instructions
  1. Remove the shirataki noodles and drain in a colander to get rid of their fishy smell.
  2. Combine the fish sauce, lime juice, tamarind paste, and erythritol. Mix well
  3. Heat one teaspoon of vegetable oil to a pan. Bring to medium heat.
  4. Add the eggs without scrambling allow them to fry for a minute. Now scramble. Place to one side ( keep warm)
  5. In the same pan, add two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Bring to medium heat. Stir fry the bean sprouts until nearly done. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  6. Combine two tablespoons of vegetable oil with one tablespoon of chilli oil
  7. Add to a separate skillet and bring to medium heat.
  8. Add spring onions and sauté until translucent.
  9. Add the garlic and chillies. Fry for a minute
  10. Add the prawns and stir- fry until pink. Remove from heat and keep warm.
  11. Turn up the heat to frying temperature.
  12. Add the chicken pieces and stir fry until all pinkness has disappeared and the meat is starting to brown.
  13. Add the previously prepared tamarind/ lime/ fish sauce.
  14. Add the noodles and reintroduce the prawns, bean sprouts and scrambled eggs. Cook until thoroughly heated through.
  15. Serve with roasted cashew nuts ( see note), green tops of spring onions and chilli flakes sprinkled over.
Notes
* For a non Keto version Shiritake noodles can be substituted with cooked glass noodles
** For the best results Thai chilli oil is recommended, but other chilli oils work as well
*** Prepared tamarind pastes can be high in carbs. You may want to consider steeping tamarind pulp in hot water . See Steeping tamarind pulp
**** For a noun Keto version can ne substituted by 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
***** Roasted peanuts can be used instead of cashews in a non Keto version

Keywords: Low carb pad thai with chicken and prawns

Serves: 5 portions

 

Sai Ua sausage – Thailand

Sai ua sausage
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 6 to seven sausages
  • Serving size: 140 g
  • Calories: 186
  • Fat: 7 grams
  • Saturated fat: 3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 5 grams
  • Sugar: 1 gram
  • Sodium: 24 mg
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Cholesterol: 7mg
Recipe type: Sausages
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
In this recipe, typical Thai ingredients like Chillies, lemongrass, galangal, shrimp paste and fish sauce are combined to great effect in this fine tasting sausage. If you like Thai food, you will like it even more after tasting this. While it is not essential to use fresh Turmeric ( it is sometimes difficult to find), if you can definitely go this route. It certainly does add to the depth of flavour.
Ingredients
For the chilli paste
  • Dried chillies – 6 grams
  • Galangal – one teaspoon
  • Lemongrass – white part only (thinly sliced)
  • Turmeric root - 2 inches (or two teaspoons turmeric powder)
  • Shallots – ½ cup ( Finely chopped)
  • Garlic – 4 cloves (peeled and sliced)
  • Shrimp paste – one teaspoon
  • Kaffir lime leaves - 5 finely chopped ( centre stalk removed)
  • Sausage Casing - 1 metre ( 36/40mm)
  • Fish sauce – one tablespoon
For the meat
  • Pork – 500g pork shoulder ( or minced pork) - see note
  • Kaffir lime leaves (finely chopped) 5–6
  • Spring onion (scallion) - one finely chopped
Instructions
Mincing
  1. Cut the meat into 25mm x 25mm (1-inch x 1-inch) pieces. Keep cool in a big mixing basin (plastic, porcelain or enamel-coated)
  2. Before beginning mincing of meat, rinse the sausage casing in fresh, clean water and then soak in lukewarm water for 30 minutes
  3. Mince the meat into a coarse mince using a 4.5mm (0.177 inches) mincing plate.
Making the Chilli paste
  1. Grind Chillies to a powder in a grinder or pestle and mortar
  2. Peel turmeric (if using fresh). Slice into pieces
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the chilli paste in a blender and blend into a smooth paste
  4. Using your hands (or mixer), combine the Chilli paste with the other ingredients listed under "for the meat" for 2 to 3 minutes until mixed through
Making the sausage
  1. Place seasoned mince into a sausage stuffer and fill casings. Ensure that the mixture is not filled too tightly, as the sausage will burst when it is cooked.
  2. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours for flavours to develop.
  3. Great fried or on a barbecue
Notes
Use the fattiest pork you can find. If using already minced, buy pork with a fat content of at least 20 percent. Similarly, if mincing yourself, aim towards this. If necessary, mince belly of pork

This recipe yields 5 sausages

Use these sausages to make Thai Stir-fried Noodles.

Keywords: Spicy Thai Sai Ua sausages

 

Thai stir fried noodles with Sai ua

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Thai stir -fried glass noodles with Sai au sausage

Thai stir-fried noodles with Sai ua sausage
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: 300g
  • Calories: 310
  • Fat: 12 grams
  • Saturated fat: 2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 41 grams
  • Sugar: 3 grams
  • Sodium: 69 mg
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Protein: 12 grams
  • Cholesterol: 95 mg
Recipe type: Spicy pasta with chillies
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Okay, this is going to be a labour of love. Sai au, a Thai sausage is not freely available outside Thailand, so to make this dish you will also need to make the sausage. To do this, follow the instructions here. If you have made the sausage or are lucky enough to have bought it elsewhere, follow the recipe below for a fine treat.
Ingredients
  • Thai rice noodles (Glass noodles) - 150 grams
  • Vegetable oil - I tablespoon
  • Onion- 1 medium – diced
  • Fresh red chilli – 1 finely chopped
  • Thai Sai ua sausage – 200 grams (see note)
  • Fresh carrot – ½ cup
  • Chilli oil – one tablespoon
  • Two eggs
  • Spring onions – 4 (sliced)
Instructions
  1. Chop sausage into bite-size pieces
  2. Bring a medium pot of water to the boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Add glass noodles and cover pot. Allow to rehydrate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Drain and set aside
  5. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or skillet to a medium heat
  6. Add the onion and. Stir until the onions become translucent
  7. Add the sausage and carrot. Cook until the sausage is almost done
  8. Add the chilli oil and garlic
  9. Allow the sausage to cook through
  10. Add the eggs and scramble through
  11. Finally, add the rehydrated glass noodles
  12. Turn up the heat and stir fry until noodles are heated through
  13. Serve immediately topped with spring onions and fresh chilli
Notes
Recipe to make Sai ua sausages here

This recipe yields 3 to 4 servings of approx 300 grams

Keywords: Thai sti fried noodles with Sai ua sausages

 

Som Tam – Thailand

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Som Tam recipe

Som Tam (green papaya salad)
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: 100g
  • Calories: 71 kcal
  • Fat: 1.9 grams
  • Saturated fat: 0.2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 11 grams
  • Sugar: 6.5 grams
  • Sodium: 0.57 grams
  • Fiber: 1.7 grams
  • Protein: 3.2 grams
Recipe type: Salads
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A salad that has to be tried to be believed. Green papaya, which in itself has a fairly non- descriptive flavour, is combined with classical Thai sweet, sour, savoury and pungent notes to provide a taste experience that is simply fantastic. Great for a light summers lunch or as a side for a BBQ.
Ingredients
  • Green papaya – 2 cups ( shredded)
  • Cherry tomatoes– 6 (cut in half)
  • Green beans – 6 (diced)
  • Soy sauce – one teaspoon
  • Garlic paste - one teaspoon
  • Dried shrimp – 1 tablespoon ( see note *)
  • Fish sauce – 1 tablespoon
  • Red Chillies – 2 finely chopped ( Thai Birds-eye or similar)
  • Lime – 1 medium
  • Sugar - 1 to 2 tablespoons ( see note **)
  • Roasted peanuts – one tablespoon ( coarsely ground)
Instructions
  1. Squeeze the juice from the juice into a glass jug
  2. Add the garlic, chillies, sugar, soy and, fish sauces. Stir well
  3. In a salad serving bowl, add the papaya, tomatoes, green beans and dried shrimp. Mix well
  4. Pour the lime juice dressing previously prepared over the salad ingredients
  5. Sprinkle peanuts over the top
  6. Serve
Notes
* Dried shrimps need to be heated through before using. Soak in hot water for 15 minutes prior to using
** Start with one tablespoon, Taste and add more if required

Keywords: Thai green papaya salad

Serves: 2 as a main meal or 4 as a side

 

Sweet Chilli sauce

Sweet Chilli sauce
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: 100 ml
  • Calories: 156g
  • Fat: < 0.5g
  • Saturated fat: < 0.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 39g
  • Sugar: 38
  • Sodium: 0,2g
  • Fiber: < 0.5g
  • Protein: 0.9g
Recipe type: Chilli sauces
Cuisine: Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Sweet Chilli sauces are great with southern fried chicken, fried battered fish, and spring rolls. Can also be used for marinating fish for grilling, as a dip or as a sauce for homemade Chinese sweet and sour pork. A great all-rounder for the kitchen and as a condiment on the table
Ingredients
  • Red Jalapenos - 1 cup – roughly chopped (see note *)
  • Red Birdseye chillies – 3 to 5 roughly chopped (see note **)
  • Garlic cloves - 3 roughly chopped
  • Fresh ginger – 2 teaspoons
  • Water - ½ cup
  • White vinegar – ¾ cup (Use white wine or rice vinegar)
  • Sugar – One cup
  • Corn starch – two teaspoons
  • A little cold water in a glass
  • Fish sauce (optional) – 1 teaspoon
Instructions
  1. Top and chop Chillies
  2. Blend jalapenos, birds’ eye, garlic and ginger with a little vinegar in a blender until a rough paste. You don’t want it too smooth, so rather pulse it until just combined
  3. Combine above with water, vinegar, and sugar in a pot and bring to a steady simmer. Allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Mix corn starch with water in a glass. Mix well and then add to pot with other ingredients. Stir until well combined and sauce thickens
  5. Add fish sauce if using
  6. Turn off heat. Allow to cool and seal in sterilized bottles or jars
  7. Can be eaten immediately if not bottled
Notes
* Use any mild red chilli if Jalapenos can't be found

** Use any hot chilli if birds eye can't be found

This recipe yields approx 2 bottles

Keywords: Sweet chili sauce recipe

 

Tom Yum Goong – Thailand

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Tom yum goong soup recipes

Tom Yum Goong ต้มยำกุ้ง
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: 100g
  • Fat: 0.9g
  • Unsaturated fat: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.3g
  • Sugar: 2.1g
  • Sodium: 131mg
  • Fiber: 0.2g
  • Protein: 3.5g
  • Cholesterol: 12 mg
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Thai
Thailand is a country that produces some excellent cuisine. They have a masterful knowledge of how to combine sweet, sour and saltiness with piquancy of the Chilli, to provide an explosion of flavour. This dish is a great starter for a Thai theme meal evening or simply as a comforting pick me up on a cold winters night. To make the dish more substantial, simply add pieces of cooked chicken, which will readily absorb the wonderfully flavoured broth.
Ingredients
  • Chicken stock - 4 cups
  • Prawns - 8 to12 medium-sized shrimp, deveined, head and shell on.
  • Kaffir lime leaves- 4 to 6, roughly chopped
  • Fresh Lemongrass - 1stalk , cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • Galangal – 1 piece - 2 inches, thinly sliced. * see note
  • Thai chillies 2 to 3, roughly chopped
  • Thai chilli paste - 3 to 4 tablespoons (optional) ** see note
  • Lime juice - ½ cup
  • Thai fish sauce - 3 tablespoons *** see note
  • Sugar - 1 to 2 teaspoons
  • Oyster mushrooms - 3 cups chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • Coriander /Cilantro - for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine chicken stock, galangal, lemongrass, chillies and kaffir lime leaves in a pot. Bring to the boil. Add the mushrooms and allow to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and galangal
  2. Add the prawns and now turn off the heat. The residual heat from the boiled stock will cook the prawns. Allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes
  3. Now add the lime juice, sugar, Chilli paste and fish sauce. Stir well
  4. Garnish with coriander/ cilantro and serve immediately
Notes
* Whilst not exactly the same, galangal can be substituted by I teaspoon of fresh ginger This recipe yields 4 portions
** Thai name: Nam Pla
*** Thai name: Nam Prik Pao

Shitake noodles can also be added . Follow package instructions

This recipe yields 4 portions

Keywords: Tom yum goong with chillies

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Link to Thai cooking recipe page

The use of Chillies in Thai cooking