When we think vitamin C, we all instantly think of oranges. Here’s a fun fact most of us wouldn’t know – Chilli contains up to seven times the vitamin C of an orange, as well as having a number of other health benefits. So let’s touch on why a little chilli goodness should be part of your daily diet, even if it’s only a little kick to spice up your life.
Looking back on the origins of chilli
Chilli dates back to 7500BC. Makes you wonder what they may have had to help counteract the spicy heat sensation, like we do today such as yoghurt and milk. Originating in the Americas, it was Christopher Columbus, back in the 15th Century, who introduced chilli into Europe and it didn’t take long for the chilli sensation quickly spread across all continents.
Getting to know your chilli varieties – looks can be deceiving
With over 200 chilli types, ranging in colours from yellows, greens, reds and blacks, varying in size and levels of heat sensation, let’s be frank, there is a chilli type for everyone. You will be amazed at how quickly you become tolerant to the heat sensation, especially with different cuisines highlighting the chilli flavours in meals and more of us willing to experiment with spices.
If you are a newbie to chilli, it may be best to stay away from the smaller cute looking chilli’s, only because they can be the most lethal. I would look into the variety before biting into a chilli. For the thrill seekers, the hottest chilli in the world is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, just saying. I personally would be up for the challenge – I was raised on chilli and spice from a young age, so my tolerance is quite high.
Let’s look at the health benefits of chilli
Looking beyond its high level of vitamin C, it’s also a good source of vitamin A and E, folic acid and potassium. It has been linked to relieve migraines, sinus issues and muscle and joint pain. Chilli also helps boost the metabolism, assists with digestion, and even suppresses cravings (I wonder if it suppresses craving chilli chocolate?!). Why start the day with vitamins in a bottle when you can get what you need, naturally from the foods we eat.
A chilli indulgence to add a little spice to these wintery months
We are doing everything we can to keep warm over these wintery months, here is something to warm you up, along will a little chilly kick.
Chilli Chocolate Pot
- 1 chilli (a variety you are comfortable to consume).
- 300ml pure (thin) cream.
- 200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped.
- 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten.
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar.
- 25g unsalted butter, softened.
- Dried chilli flakes (garnish only).
- Place the chilli and cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from heat and discard the chilli. Add chocolate, stirring through until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly, then whisk in egg yolks, sugar and butter until all combined.
- Pour into six 100ml serving cups. Transfer to the fridge and chill for an hour, then sprinkle chilli flakes on top. Chill for a further 2-3 hours until set.
What you can do with chilli is endless, eat them raw, dry them out, or cook them in a meal – served savoury or sweet.