I love summer! Think of ALL the fresh produce that is so easily accessible. If you have your own garden or access to a farmer's market, chances are you may have a lot of these lovely peppers. Jalapenos are low in fat, and contain no saturated fat or cholesterol. They are also high in:
Vitamin C - is an antioxidant which helps with free radicals, environmental toxins and aging, helps with metabolism, bones, teeth and gums and brain function.
Vitamin A - helps boost your immune system, helpful for vision, especially night vision and helps with new cell growth.
Capsaicin - the heat you feel when you bite into one of these peppers. It has been linked to pain relief, reduction of sinus infections, arthritis, weight loss because it can make you feel fuller faster, skin conditions like psoriasis, headaches, and even some possible cancer fighting properties.
Dietary Fiber - roughage is needed to keep the digestive system moving and help prevent constipation. It can also help our cholesterol, blood sugar levels and maintain healthy weight.
Vitamin K - helps the blood clot and prevent excessive bleeding.
Potassium - the heart, kidneys and other organs need it to work normally.
Jalapenos may be beneficial for weight loss, cancer, nasal congestion, arthritis, headaches, heart attack, ulcer, and considered an antioxidant. (source)
The National Pesticide Information Center shares that capsaicin is an animal repellent used against insects and mites. For them, it appears to cause damage in cell membranes and disrupt the nervous system. For humans, consuming too many jalapenos or other chili peppers can be very irritating to the mucous membranes such as in mouth, stomach and intestines. For some people it can trigger vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, or reflux. Please be careful and don't eat them in excess if you have any of these issues.
I am very bad at choosing jalapenos. Ours seem to be VERY hot. lol According to Doggone Sauces, "Jalapenos progressively get hotter the older they get, starting light green and turning darker until it eventually turns a bright red. As they age on the vine, they develop white lines and flecks, like stretch marks or stress marks running in the direction of the length of the pepper. These are called striations or what many pepper growers call “corking”. The smoother the pepper is, the younger and milder it is. The more white lines and the darker the color, the older and hotter it is. There is still plenty of variation among individual pepper subspecies but it is pretty safe to say that a red jalapeno can be pretty hot if it has a lot of striations. It should also be noted that it will also be sweeter." I hope this helps. I now will be looking for peppers that are lighter green with little to no stress marks for myself and red ones with a lot of striations for my husband who loves spicy things.
One of the things I like to do with ours is make Jalapeno Jelly. I'd love to give credit to the person who made up this recipe but it's been handed down for so long I don't know who that is. All I know for sure is I didn't figure it out. If you have ever made jelly or jam before, you know that the ingredients need to be precise. Any substitutions can lead to failure where it doesn't set. Please measure accordingly, eyeballing can lead to failure.
1/4 cup jalapenos, chopped
6 cups sugar - organic or raw sugar works well (honey may lead to failure)
1 pkg powder pectin (sure-gel)
1 1/2 cup white vinegar (I've never used apple cider vinegar)
Jelly jars with lids and rings
Combine peppers, sugar and vinegar in a heavy sauce pan, bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat. Add pectin and stir. Put back on heat and boil again for 1 minute, skim off foam. Add mixture to jars. Add lids and rings. Place hot jars into water bath, boil and process for 5 minutes. Remove and cool. Date. Enjoy. It is great served on toast, bagels or as an appetizer over a block of cream cheese with crackers.
If you made the jelly, please let me know how you like it. It seems to turn out pretty mild for us no matter the heat in the peppers. If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at email@example.com. Have a wonderful day!
Love and light,
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