You probably see jalapenos, those plump little peppers at the supermarket. Maybe you pass them by because you wouldn’t know how to use them in the kitchen. Or, perhaps you don’t realize that they are a healthy addition to a well-balanced diet. Regardless of your reason, next time you hit the produce section, slow your cart and toss a couple of them into it. Experiment with them and before you know it, you’ll have a lot of new dishes or twists on your old favorites. What a great way to shake up your usual mealtime rotation.
How to use
Salsa is tasty and easy to make, and adding jalapeno to your salsa can add great flavor and a little spice. Next time you serve corn for dinner, mix in a bit of cream and a chopped jalapeno. This creamy side dish pairs well with chicken, fish, and steak and is so easy to make that you might find yourself eating it as your main course. If you’re throwing a dinner party, slice the peppers lengthwise, remove the seed,s and stuff them with cream cheese. Wrap each pepper with a slice of bacon and grill until each is soft and the bacon is crisp. Slice the spicy peppers and pile them on burgers or stuff them down next to a hot dog in a bun. Chop jalapenos and add them to guacamole, potato soup, posole, or meatloaf. Diced peppers make a great topping for baked potatoes, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or turkey sandwiches.
Getting jalapeno juice in your eye is a painful experience and one you won’t want to repeat. The juice and seeds hold much of the heat of the little peppers. When you cut them, wear plastic gloves and discard them when you’re done. This protects your skin and keeps your from accidentally transferring the juice to your eyes, nose, or ears. To cut a jalapeno, slice off the stem and cut in half. Pull out the seeds. Then, slice, dice, or chop as desired for your favorite recipes.
Don’t just grab a handful of jalapenos. Inspect each carefully to make sure you’re getting the best tasting pepper you can. Look for firm, plump peppers without any blemishes or puckered skin. Opt for ones with tight, shiny skin, which means the peppers are fresh and will taste better. Jalapenos are most often green, but tend to turn red as they ripen. This means the pepper will be slightly sweeter.
You can’t expect to cover all your nutrient needs by adding jalapenos to your diet. However, they do contain some vitamins and minerals that support good health. You’ll get a small bit of protein for healthy muscles and fiber for healthy digestive function. You’ll also get calcium for healthy bones, potassium for a healthy heart, and vitamins A and C for healthy immunity. So, toss some jalapenos into your grocery cart. Your body and taste buds will thank you.