Whole Story

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Pick a Peck of Peppers

By Alana Sugar, July 27, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
PeppersSummer is prime season for all kinds of peppers. Hot, mild or sweet, you can find all the colors of the rainbow! Peppers are usually separated into those that have capsaicin - the heat component - and those that do not. Hot, Hot, Hot Fresh hot peppers are often called chiles. Red chile peppers are full of vitamin C and carotene, more so than green or yellow chiles. They contain Vitamin B6 and other B vitamins. Peppers high in capsaicin may help keep cholesterol levels healthy. Blackened JalapenoHot peppers add flavor, depth, heat and complexity to a dish, and their heat levels vary greatly. For example, Anaheim and poblano peppers are fairly mild, whereas jalapeños, serranos and Thai peppers have quite a bit more heat. Then there are the Scotch bonnets and habaneros, both of which are killer-hot! Here are a few things to remember when buying hot peppers:
  • The smaller the pepper, the greater the heat. In this case, don't start small!
  • To add some heat to your food, but not too much, remove the seeds and the inner membranes of the chile pepper before cooking. Be sure to wear gloves for this, and proceed carefully!
  • A little bit goes a long way. Start with a little bit of a hot pepper and add more as desired.
  • If you get too much chile pepper and your mouth is burning, don't drink water! The capsaicin is fat soluble, not water soluble, so drinking water can make the heat spread. Better to soothe a burning mouth with rice, bread, cheese, yogurt, milk or sour cream.
  • Chile peppers are great for cooling you down and, for this reason, are popular in hot climates. When you eat hot peppers, you sweat; when your sweat evaporates, your skin cools off.
For more information, tune in to our podcast about the different types of chile peppers and how to pickle your own peppers. Sweet & Mild Potabello and PeppersBell peppers have a recessive gene that eliminates capsaicin, the naturally occurring compound that makes chile peppers so spicy-hot. You'll mostly find bells in their familiar deep colors of green, yellow, orange and red. Red peppers are actually green peppers that have ripened longer, giving them a sweeter flavor. Red, orange and yellow bell peppers are all sweeter than green bell peppers, which are a bit more pungent and bitter. Nutritionally, you can't go wrong with any color of bell peppers: Add them to your list of powerful antioxidants. They're full of vitamin C and vitamin A from carotenoids, so that's good news for your cells! Among a number of other winners in the bell pepper family, you'll find fiber and vitamin B6. Enjoying Peppers Need some ideas for adding peppers to your meals? Here are some of our favorite ways: Are you a pepper person? Got a favorite recipe or tip? I would love to hear.

 

7 Comments

Comments

Rita Katanjian says ...
I dont eat peppers every day, but my dad eats them every day for dinner and this would be awsome that he is eating very nutritional stuff for him. never mind the taste, or the heat, I thing you should add 1/3 cup peppers in your every day meals! For example,omletes. personally thought, I think that Whole Foods has THE BEST peppers in the world!
08/01/2009 7:17:50 PM CDT
habanero says ...
Great aroma, great taste and GREAT for you!!! Thanks for this fantastic pepper buying guide (I am partial to the habanero). Love the recipe ideas too! Those poblanos look AMAZING!
03/02/2011 3:33:50 PM CST
Diane says ...
Do you carry carmine red peppers? Thank you.
11/24/2012 8:37:09 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@DIANE - Our products vary between store locations and regions. I would encourage you to reach out to your local store to see what their Produce department has in stock. You can find their contact info at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/list.
11/26/2012 10:47:39 AM CST
rawtherspices says ...
Hi, Very good information, its helpful to others. Thank you. <a href="http://www.rawther.co.in" /a>Red chilly exporter
02/14/2013 5:20:24 AM CST
Felicia says ...
Does whole foods carry Scotch Bonnet peppers? I'm in Orange County, CA Thank you
06/26/2013 9:13:16 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@FELICIA - Our products vary between store locations so I would encourage you to call the store directly that you plan to shop with to find out!
06/27/2013 1:00:07 PM CDT