Growing up in Utah, my family being Dairy and Cattle Farmers, we ate a lot of steak! Unbelievably, I used to pray we’d have something else for dinner…anything else…but like the rest of the country, you eat what’s local and what available. (Boy! I’d like some of those wonderful steaks now!)
It wasn’t until my husband joined the military and we took off for parts unknown (that exotic land of Texas…:) that I got my first taste of Tex-Mex food. My taste buds were pretty uneducated, and it took time, but I came to love that spicy food!
Now, every year, when the August/September harvest rolls around, and I can feel fall starting to creep into the nights, I know it’s time to begin serious work on my winter spices. One of those is the lovely Jalapeno!
Jalapenos are rich in Vitamin C, and contain valuable antioxidants like vitamin A, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, zea xanthin (elimating some of the risk of eye disease and macular degeneration), and cryptoxanthin (reducing the risk of lung disease.)
All these assist in protecting your body from free-radicals, mutated cells that can be important in small numbers for identifying damaged cells, but in greater numbers, are precursors to cancer and health problems. They are generated by stress, disease, or illness.
The danger of too many free-radicals comes from their interactions with DNA and cell membranes. That starts a series of chain reactions within your body, creating havoc as they destroy the very fabric of your health. Anti-oxidants like those found in Jalapenos, interrupt that chain before molecules are disrupted and damaged.
So add it to your soups, and meats as a powdered spice, and your husband (like mine) and children (like mine) will never know! They’ll recognize the heat, but if you start small and increase over time, they will come to love and crave these little veggies as much as you do! Without further ado, here’s the process!
- Slice your Jalapenos (Yes, this is the complicated part), I like to keep the seeds (where the bulk of the heat is) with the pepper. For a milder powder and spice, remove the seeds.
- Arrange the slices, on your dehydrator tray, or a cookie sheet if your going to oven dry them.
- After they have dried completely (and I mean completely!), I cool them on my counter for a couple hours, just to make sure there is no residual moisture on them
- Then I pour them into my bullet, processor or blender, and powder them as fine as I like.
- Finally, I pour them into my jar or container, label it, and store the bulk of it in a cool dry place, and refill the container in my cupboard whenever it needs it.
- Most importantly, Wash. Your. Hands. After! (Yes, this is from experience…it’s miserable to rub your eyes or face later, and that residual oil, and all of that heat, is still there, waiting…waiting…) Washing off your cutting board and counters really well is key to avoiding that heat in your peanut butter sandwich as well. (My husband’s favorite complaint after this happened once, many years ago…:)
It doesn’t get easier than that. I love the spicy flavor, and because I did it, I know what went into it…and again, what didn’t. Eating healthy never tasted sooo good!
Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration, healthcare professional, or even the town gossip.
They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Herbs and Wildcrafting is for educational purposes only.