EVOO Flavored with Chili Pepper
First of all, eating Chili Pepper helps keep weight under control and is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin C.
The spicy ingredient in chili peppers, capsaicin, triggers fluid formation in the air passages of the lungs and upper respiratory system, thus mitigating the symptoms of asthma, chronic bronchitis, sinusitis and congestion, by washing away the irritants. Capsaicin also triggers the release of endorphins, which are endogenous painkillers produced by the brain, which help in lowering blood pressure and pain mitigation.
In addition, capsaicin reduces the stickiness of blood platelets, acting as an anticoagulant and helping cardiovascular health. According to a research study published in the September 15, 2009 issue of the Circulation Journals, there is new medical evidence that capsaicin can dramatically reduce damage from heart attacks. The researchers applied capsaicin on the abdominal skin of mice before cutting off blood supply to their coronary (heart) arteries for 45 minutes, essentially mimicking a heart attack. In 24 hours these mice lost only 15% heart cells compared to the amount lost by the control mice which had received a placebo gel application before the same procedure. The researchers conclude that capsaicin applied to the abdominal skin helps the heart recovery by stimulating the nerves connected to the spinal cord, which in turn energize the survival-oriented nerves in the heart muscle.
To prepare a sharp, hot EVOO, wash peppers well and dry then with a paper towel, then hang the branch upside down for two to four days, until the peppers begin to wither. Pick them from the branch and bottle the desired amount with extra virgin olive oil. Allow it rest in a cool, dark place while it spices up. You may use any type of dried chili pepper, either whole or crushed. It is not advised to use fresh peppers, as they would turn mushy in no time.
I always have two or three different bottles brewing with dried and/or fresh chili pepper. If the EVOO gets too spicy, I refill the bottle with fresh olive oil. When I use crushed dried peppers, I also refill the bottle completely after using it, then, after a couple of refills, I also use the crushed peppers to spice up vegetarian dishes and stews.
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