Little Known Facts About Chiles
You can never know too much about chiles! They are an amazing fruit that promises to make you healthier when you eat them regularly. All chiles have the unique ability to produce the healthful, cancer curing capsaicin. By just knowing that eating chiles 24 out of 30 days according to a Singapore study reported by Jin Y. Kang, MD of the National University of Singapore, you will be healthier and freer of disease. He was reporting on a study on ulcer cures from eating chiles. He speculated that the reason they work as a cure is that probably they stimulate blood flow and nourish the gastric mucosal membrane. He went on to report that "ulcer-free patients ate 2.6 times more chile than those with ulcers. The ulcer-free patients also ate chile more often—24 times per month, compared with 8 times per month for those with ulcers." Chiles reduce pain in sore joints caused by arthritis. Also,the destruction of cartilage that comes as a result of arthritis and aging is stopped as well as the fluid in the joints is retained. Physiologically, capsaicin creams and ointments penetrate to the arthritic joints and stop the destruction of synovial fluid. The capsaicin in chiles when applied topically also controls the pain associated with herpes, shingles and the neuralgia and pain from amputation trauma. Chiles effect on the blood has long been known. For example in Thailand, they have a much lower incidence of blood clotting disease. Research definitely indicates that upon searching the medical records of countries where spicy foods are regularly consumed, there is much less incidence. In sum, chiles reduce hypertension, increase the pulse and help stem off strokes and the health reducing effects of high blood pressure. Chiles were discovered in the new world. They are a product that evolved in the Americas as did all night shades—the botanical family to which chiles belong. So it becomes quite fascinating to learn how chiles have become such a staple in Asia, India and Africa and not so much in Europe, thus supporting the Bering strait theory—that they were taken back into Asia by early settlers in the Americas. The challenge becomes—how to eat chiles regularly? By placing them on the table in small cellars or shaker bottles makes them easily available for adding to any food. Other thoughts are chile tea, chile vinegar or oil—all made by heating a substance and soaking chiles in it. Chiles, red or green can be added to salads, soups, stews, on meats and vegetables and even added to desserts. Chocolate and chile are a marvelous marriage.
Following is a favorite chocolate chile dessert—
SPICY HOT CHOCOLATE MOUSSE
Yield: 4 servings
½ cup sugar, divided
4 ounces high-quality bittersweet baking chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small bits
1 tablespoon red-hot schnapps, or to taste
3 egg whites
1. In a liquid measuring cup, combine ¼ cup water and ¼ cup of the sugar. Microwave for 1 minute on full power to dissolve the sugar, or, on a conventional range, bring to a boil in a small saucepan and cook until dissolved. Set aside.
2. In a heavy saucepan, or a double boiler over medium-low heat, combine chocolate and butter, whisking continuously until melted and of a creamy texture. Whisk or mix in the schnapps and 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture. Taste and add the remaining sugar mixture, if desired. Set aside for later use.
3. Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl. Using clean beaters for the electric mixer, beat until foamy. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup sugar evenly over the top. Beat on high speed to create a soft meringue. Fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture. Serve warm or chilled in footed compotes or wineglasses.
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