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Cayenne Pepper 

Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum annuum)

Cayenne Pepper is a long slender chilli with a fiery spicy flavour. It is also known as red hot chilli pepper and also the cow horn pepper. This chilli is  part of the capsicum family which lends to its flavour. It also contains loads of minerals from vitamin A, B-6, E, riboflavin, potassium and manganese.

Cayenne pepper can be used in a variety of ways. As a fresh chilli it is great to use for cooking or simply use it uncooked. Dried chilli can be used whole, or as chilli flakes. It can also be used in the form of ground chilli or as a powder. Many Mexican, American and Mediterranean dishes use it in its powdered form.

Medicinal & Nutritional Benefits

Antioxidants- Cayenne has good antioxidant properties due to its high content of vitamin C and carotenoids. According to studies capsaicin which is an active component in chilli peppers has the ability to reduce cholesterol.

Cold and flu relief-This pepper can provide relief from congestion which is a common symptom of the common cold and flu, it stimulates nasal secretion and helps clear the air passage ways of mucas.

Metabolism boost- Because this pepper packs a spicy punch it can increase your body heat, which in turn increases the amount of calories you can burn, according to studies.

Vitamins- A, E, C, B6, K, Folates, Riboflavin, Niacin.

Minerals- Calcium, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Copper, Iron, Zinc.

You can buy cayenne pepper as chilli flakes, ground chilli and powdered chilli.You can also buy cayenne pepper fresh in the supermarkets but it is not always available.

Cayenne Pepper Cooking Tips

This pepper is normally used for making your cooking spicy. It can be found in many south Asian dishes. It is great to use with stir fries and vegetable dishes. It is also a great ingredient to use when making pepper sauces.

Using cayenne pepper dried, flaked, powdered and ground is also fantastic and has many uses. Dried chilli, flaked and ground chilli are also used in many south east Asian countries’ cuisines giving its spicy flavour to these dishes.

Also, when ground or powdered this chilli can be used to make spice blends. Cajun spice and taco seasonings would not taste the same without it!

For me, I like to make a simple pasta with fresh cayenne peppers, fresh cilantro with the juice of a fresh lime. Giving it a Asian twist with these fresh zingy flavours. Its also really easy to make and takes no time to do.

Cayenne Pepper Spicy Tuna Pasta

Recipe 

Serves 4 people

Ingredients 

4 x cups pasta swirls

1 x 185g tin tuna steak in brine

3 x fresh cayenne peppers, sliced fine

1 x red onion diced

1 x large clove of garlic finely chopped

1 x bunch of fresh cilantro rough chopped

1 x lime

1 x chicken stock cube

5 x tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Method

Take a large saucepan or pan, half fill with water and boil. Once boiled add the stock cube to the water and then the pasta. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Once cooked drain and leave to steam dry in the pan.

Whilst the pasta is cooking, take the diced onion and place into a large bowl with the chopped cayenne peppers, chopped garlic and mix together. 

Drain the tuna in the tin and add to the bowl, using a fork to break it up as you do so.

Now add the pasta to the bowl and give it a good mix together, once this is done add the olive oil and season to taste using the sea salt and ground black pepper. It’s time to add the cilantro and cut the lime in half. Squeeze the juice into the mix to taste. Again give it a good stir to blend the flavours.

You are now ready to serve!