Hot peppers add a great boost of flavor to your favorite dishes without the need to add extra salt, sugar, or fat. The problem with hot peppers is – they can be really hot! If you want to turn up the spice in your family’s meals and introduce your kids to new flavors, but aren’t sure if your little ones can handle the heat, use these easy cooking tips from our friends in the Cooking Light Test Kitchen to tame the flames of hot peppers.
The Source of the Heat
Whether you’re using jalapeños, serranos, or habaneros, capsaicin is the compound that makes hot peppers hot. When capsaicin hits your tastebuds, pain receptors react causing the hot sensation. Capsaicin can also cause the pain receptors in your skin and eyes to react, so you might want to wear gloves and keep your hands away from your face while handling these chilies. Most of the capsaicin is in the seeds and white membranes of the peppers – removing these parts will tame the flames and make the heat in your dish more manageable.
For slicing and dicing:
To seed and de-membrane a pepper you are going to dice or slice, simply lay the pepper on the cutting board and cut away the sides around the stem. The seeds and the most of the membrane will remain attached to the stem – just toss this away. If any of the membrane remains on the pepper pieces, use a small paring knife and cut it away. Then continue to cut the pepper pieces as desired.
For whole halves:
If you’re making stuffed peppers, slice the pepper in half and cut away the seeds and membranes using a small paring knife. This will leave you with pepper halves for a pretty presentation that won’t burn your taste buds.
For the full tips on how to use these techniques, click here or view the video below!
The Creative Kitchen™, LLC, teaches children about food and how to cook in a fun, safe, and educational manner. Targeting families with children ages two to teen, the company focuses on teaching, writing creative content and curriculum, special events, recipe development, spokesperson work, webisode production and consulting to present educational and entertaining content through food-related activities. The founder, Cricket Azima, is an expert in cooking for and with children. She inspires kids to express themselves creatively through food and cooking, while complementing lessons with traditional educational material such as social studies, math, arts, science, and more. Visit www.thecreativekitchen.com for more information.