The Ingredient I Am Loving Right Now: Cayenne Pepper

My latest obsession: cayenne pepper.

If you are unfamiliar with this fiery pepper, let me fill you in. The cayenne pepper is a type of hot chili pepper. You’ll mainly find it in a lot of hot sauces and salsas on store shelves. You might have a hard time finding it in the produce section, unless you live in certain areas around the world, but you can usually find it in the dry spices section at any grocery store. This little red pepper packs a lot of power and heat… and it also packs a lot of benefits too.

Here are some benefits of adding cayenne in your dishes:

  • Metabolic Booster– Cayenne has capsaicin (the thing that causes the burning sensation) which helps you to burn more calories. It won’t replace your workouts, but it will definitely help to burn more throughout the day.
  • Pain reliever– there is a lot of research that suggests that capsaicin helps to relieve pain. It is found in many topical pain reliever creams that are on the market today.
  • It is filled with antioxidants– if you are unfamiliar with the term antioxidants, they can prevent and slow damage to your cells (damage to cells can lead to disease) that are caused by free radicals (aka the bad guys).
  • May aid in blood circulation– there have been many studies showing that cayenne peppers properties have helped to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Cayenne can help reduce hunger– while it is not a scientific fact, the properties in cayenne have been shown to reduce the hunger hormone, ghrelin.

So is the raw pepper and the ground pepper the same thing?

Raw food typically has more vitamins and minerals when it is in its raw and natural form than when it is dried and ground. However, the ground cayenne pepper still holds a lot of nutritional value. The capsaicin is still present in the dried and ground from. Keep in mind that the flavor will be different than the fresh form.

My favorite ways to use cayenne pepper:

  • Juices– I love adding it to fresh grapefruit juice, apple juice, and my lemon elixirs.
  • Sauces– I always add a dash of cayenne to all my sauces. It adds just the right amount of spice to marinara sauces.
  • Appetizers– Cayenne pepper is perfect for adding a little kick to savory dips (guacamole, spinach and artichoke dip, cream cheese, cheese dips, cashew dips, etc.)
  • Soups and chilis– I honestly add cayenne to every soup and chili recipe
  • Eggs and avocado toast– I love using it in scrambled eggs for en extra kick, and I LOVE it on avocado toast!
  • Most savory dishes– I probably wouldn’t add it to dessert recipes, but it usually works great to add a little kick to many dishes. I love adding it to veggie sautés!

A little dash goes a long way so keep in mind who you are serving (everyone has their own spice preference)

Because it is such a great metabolism booster, I am going to share my favorite “Pink Fire Elixir”

This drink is packed with detoxing lemon and nutrient rich grapefruit and of course fiery cayenne.

Yields 1 serving:

Ingredients:
6 oz. water
1 grapefruit juiced
1 lemon juiced
dash of cayenne

Directions: Mix all ingredients together and drink up!

i would love to know how you incorporate cayenne in your dishes!! Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo,
Kimmy

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