Nothing adds a zing to a dish quite like cayenne pepper. This popular spice is made from chili peppers that have been ground, baked and sifted into a powder. Originally used in a town in French Guiana, today it is one of the most imported spices in the world. Loaded with nutrients that have been associated with everything from weight loss to migraine cures, cayenne pepper is a healthy addition to your spice rack.
What is Cayenne Made From?
The original plant used to make cayenne pepper is of course the red chili pepper. Red chili peppers are harvest, dried and ground. After the grinding process, they are molded into cake-like clusters and baked. The peppers are then ground even further to form a fine, red powder sold in food stores worldwide. Although the commercial process of making cayenne pepper is complex, making it at home is very easy.
Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a host for plenty of vitamins, particularly vitamins A, B, C and E. These set of vitamins are in charge of maintaining healthy energy levels, metabolism and immune system. Cayenne pepper is also known to have bone and muscle-building minerals like potassium and manganese.
Out of all the nutrients found in this spice, there is one in particular that has caught the attention of experts. This nutrient is called capsaicin. Capsaicin has been vigorously researched for its effect on the metabolism and appetite. Experts believe that it has the potential to rev up your body’s metabolic processing and to curb appetite for weight loss. It is also been looked into as a cure for migraines.
What is Cayenne Used For?
Cayenne pepper is a secret ingredient to a lot of cuisines. Indian and Mexican cuisine chefs use it regularly to add a hot twist to their dishes. It is sometimes used as a substitute for paprika and black pepper. Some cultures use it as the active ingredients in drinks, while others prefer to add it to sauces and dips like salsa verde, tapenade and homemade mayonnaise.
How to Make Cayenne Pepper at Home
Making cayenne pepper at home is very simple. It can also save you money in the long term. You will need:
- 25 grams of chili peppers
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Mortar and pestle
Preheat oven to 150 C or 300 F.
Rinse and cut the stems off the red chili peppers.
Place on a baking tray and dry the peppers until they are crispy. Make sure oven is closed.
Remove from heat and add them to a mortar and pestle. Add salt. Crush the dry peppers until they become a fine powder.
Store cayenne pepper in a sealed container in a cool place for later use. Remember not to touch your eyes or mouth while preparing.
Cayenne pepper is a valuable spice to have in your kitchen. It can use it to spice up bland dishes, while benefiting from its many nutrients. Be careful when making cayenne pepper at home and avoid eating if you have stomach ulcers.