A very common ingredient in Mexican cooking, Chipotle is smoked, dried jalapenos. The origin of Chipotle dates back to several centuries in a region which is currently the New Mexican city. The people in those times used the smoking method as a means to preserve the chilies from rotting. This method allowed them to store the jalapenos for quite a long time. Nowadays Chipotle is normally used to impart flavor to salsas, soups, sauces, stews, and even desserts. When compared to other chilies, chipotle has medium heat. It is available in many forms including dried whole, canned, powdered, or pickled forms. In addition to having a wonderful flavor, chipotle also packs a nutritional punch.
Nutritional profile of Chipotle peppers
Adding chipotle peppers to any dish will not only give it a great taste but also adds to your nutritional intake. It is a low-calorie food that imparts tons of flavors to your food. These peppers are an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals dietary fiber and antioxidants. Capsaicin is a compound found in these peppers that are found to have several health and medicinal properties. It contains potent antioxidant carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin. Chipotle provides good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, niacin, folate, riboflavin and vitamin B6. Minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, iron, selenium and zinc are also present in this pepper. Eating chipotle more often will help you meet your daily requirements for many nutrients, at the same time maintaining a low intake of calorie and fat.
Health benefits of Chipotle
Eating chipotle can give you a wide variety of health benefits along with the ability to prevent many ailments. Adding a pinch of this spice to your dishes may be helpful in preventing many life-threatening diseases. Some of the health benefits of chipotle are listed below:
Eating chipotle can boost your metabolism
Chipotle may stimulate your taste buds and its heat may make your sweat, but it will add to more than just flavor. According to studies, chilies including chipotle contain capsaicin, an antioxidant that increases the metabolic rate of your body, which in turn helps in promoting weight loss. Studies also suggest that this antioxidant may help in stimulating your brain in such a way that you feel full after eating it. Therefore adding chipotle to your regular diet is a good way, not only to boost your metabolism but also to lose weight.
Chipotle may lower your risks of diabetes
Another healthy benefit of eating chipotle is that it may prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. It has been found to assist in increasing the production and release of insulin by the liver. Chipotle also promotes the oxidization of fat, which lead to weight loss. Since obesity is one of the main risk factors of type diabetes, the weight lowering properties of this chili goes a long way in preventing diabetes.
Chipotle enhances your heart health
Hot peppers such as chipotle help in improving the health of your heart in many ways. It is beneficial in reducing the levels of bad cholesterol and triglyceride. It prevents platelet aggregation and also increases the ability of your body to dissolve fibrin, a substance which is important in forming blood clots. The antioxidants in chipotle helps in lowering the oxidative stress and damage caused by the free radical damage, thereby lowering your risks of developing conditions like atherosclerosis. Chipotle also contains certain active chemical compounds that promote dilation of blood vessels, thus improving circulation, reducing high blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart attacks and heart diseases.
Chipotle fights against cancer
The capsaicin found in chipotle is believed to help in inducing cancer cell death, also known as apoptosis. A study conducted by scientists at the Nottingham University investigated the effects of capsaicin on both pancreatic and lung cancer cells. The results showed that the antioxidant had the ability to trigger cancer cell death. The high levels of capsaicin in chipotle peppers were also found to be helpful in inhibiting the growth and spreading of prostate cancer cells. It also helps in reducing the size of prostate cancer tumor.
Chipotle peppers protect your eyes
Chipotle pepper is rich in phytonutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which play a major role in protecting the health of your eyes. Eating foods rich in these nutrients is beneficial in lowering the risk of developing eye disorders including age-related macular degeneration and cataract. It also helps to prevent night blindness and allows your eyes to see better in the dark.
Chipotle as a natural pain reliever
Eating hot peppers such as chipotle is a great way to get relief from various types of pains such as pain associated with arthritis, migraines, headaches, back pain etc. The capsaicin contained in these peppers is known to have pain relieving and hyper sensitizing properties. Capsaicin offers relief from pain by inhibiting a neurotransmitter known as substance P, which is responsible for sending pain signals to your brain.
Chipotle for upper respiratory problems
Hot peppers have been used for many centuries as an effective remedy for combating common cold. The capsaicin in chipotle stimulates the brain, which in turn signals the glands to produce secretions that help in thinning down the mucous. This helps in clearing the mucous from the nose and in preventing nasal congestion. The antibacterial properties of this pepper are beneficial in preventing sinus infections.
Chipotle lowers high blood pressure
Chipotle contains high amounts of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C and antioxidant bioflavonoids that help to strengthen the blood vessels and increase their elasticity. This allows the blood to flow easily through the blood vessels, thus helping to control the changes in blood pressure. The heat of the peppers makes you sweat, which causes the loss of fluids, leading to the reduction in blood volume. As a result there is a lower chance of your blood pressure rising to very high levels.
Chipotle lowers inflammation
The high levels of capsaicin in chipotle help in blocking the release of substance P, a chemical which is associated with sending pain signals to your brain and also in triggering inflammatory processes. The consumption of this pepper could therefore be helpful in treating inflammatory diseases like arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Capsaicin is often used as an ingredient in making creams, which when applied topically can relief from pain in muscles and sore joints.
Chipotle aids in digestion
Studies reveal that the capsaicin in chipotle is helpful in improving digestion. This antioxidant stimulates the stomach to release more gastric mucous that helps with the process of digestion. Along with stimulating the digestive enzymes, capsaicin also helps in destroying the harmful bacteria that reside in your gut that are responsible for causing infections and digestive problems like diarrhea. Chipotle also contains high amounts of dietary fiber that is beneficial for the health of the digestive system. Dietary fiber stimulates peristaltic motion, increases the production of bile and digestive juices and also adds bulk to your stool, which allows the food to pass easily through the digestive tract. By making your bowel movements regular, chipotle lowers the possibility of constipation and other digestive disorders.
Chipotle can boost your immune system
Chipotle is a good source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that is known to support and improve the immune system. Being an antioxidant, it is capable of scavenging the free radicals that are responsible for causing a range of diseases.
Chipotle for healthy bones
Chipotle is great source of minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium that contribute a great deal to building as well as maintaining strong and healthy bones. By offering strength to your bones, it helps in preventing the deterioration of bones and bone loss, thereby preventing bone disorders like osteoporosis.
How to make chipotle
The first and foremost step in making chipotle is choosing the right jalapenos. Make sure to choose ripe peppers that are fresh, firm, and red without any blemishes and spots. The peppers need to thoroughly washed and dried before they are smoked. For every 10 pounds of jalapenos, you will get about 1 pound of chipotles. You can either smoke the peppers whole or you can choose to cut off the tops and slice them open, which will reduce the overall drying time. If you are not a big fan of the heat, you can remove the membrane and seeds of the peppers. After the jalapenos are completely dried, transfer them into a smoker, using mild woods such as oak, hickory and pecan. Make sure that the smoker is extremely clean because the flavor of the chipotles will be greatly affected by the grease and other dirt inside the smoker. You can finish off the drying process in a dehydrator or an oven. Store the smoked and dried chilies in a cool and dry place. Why not try out home made chipotle infused vodka.
Chipotle has a unique smoky and peppery taste that makes it ideal for several uses. They can be added to sauces, soups, beans, spice rubs or powdered and sprinkled over vegetables. Although these peppers were mostly used in Mexican cuisine, nowadays they have become popular in the United States and also other parts of the world. The love for Mexican cuisine has to a great extent made chipotle available in the local markets of various countries of the world. The great thing about chipotle is that it is wonderfully versatile. Add them to any dish and spice up both your life and health.