A variety of chile pepper, jalapenos can pack a lot of heat in a little package. Much of the heat concentrates in the seeds and inner membranes of the pepper. Remove these to gain more flavor from the pepper without overwhelming heat. Along with spice and flavor, jalapeno peppers have a vitamin punch.
Serving Size, Calories and Fat
Jalapenos are nearly fat-free and low in calories. Every cup of sliced jalapenos contains 27 calories and 1 g of fat. The jalapeno contributes a large amount of flavor with a small impact to the overall calories of a dish. Despite the 1-cup serving size, it is common to use substantially less in a recipe to obtain flavor without overpowering the foods.
Sodium and Cholesterol
Jalapenos are nearly sodium-free with only 1 mg of sodium per cup. The peppers are free of cholesterol, making them a heart-healthy selection when added to recipes fresh or fire-roasted without added fats.
Carbohydrates and Protein
Every cup of sliced, fresh jalapenos contains 5 g of carbohydrates, mostly contributed by dietary fiber. The fiber content will slow the absorption of the remaining carbohydrates in the jalapenos and will contribute to your daily fiber intake, improving your overall heart health.
Jalapeno peppers are a rich source of vitamin C, contributing nearly 70 percent of your recommended daily intake in each cup. Each 1-cup serving also contains 15 percent of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin A and 4 percent of the recommended intake of iron.
About Jalapeno Peppers
The jalapeño pepper is perhaps one of the most famous peppers of them all. It boasts a dark green skin and is usually 2 to 3 and a half inches in length when ripe. A single jalapeño plant will traditionally produce 25 to 30 peppers. The peppers start off green, but become red if left for too long before being picked. Red peppers are usually discarded by growers or used to make chipotles.
Originating in Mexico, the jalapeño is named after the town it came from, Xalapa, Veracruz. Christopher Columbus is responsible for bringing the pepper to Europe. The "aji" as it was called at the time, meaning "child", was renamed the "Calcutta Pepper" a German botanist named Leonard Fuchs. The pepper began to be cultivated in Spain and became an instant success. It is unclear in history how the pepper reached North America.
160 kilometers in Mexico is set aside for the cultivation of jalapeños. In the United States about 6,000 acres are used, predominantly in Texas and New Mexico as the climate is more accommodating for growth. The jalapeño is used in a variety of recipes when ripe, but the red, un-ripened peppers are used to make chipotles. Also notable, the jalapeño pepper is the first pepper to be brought into space. It was brought along on one of the earlier space flights.
The jalapeño comes from a plant that stands only about 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall and produces 25 to 30 peppers per season. Maturation takes about 70 to 80 days and the peppers are picked at multiple times during the growing season. A jalapeño rates somewhere between 2,500 and 10,000 Scoville units, which is the scale used to measure the heat a pepper produces. This means that a jalapeño is relatively mild in comparison to a pure capsicum which tops the scale at 15,000,000 to 16,000,000.
alapeños serve as a great source of vitamins such as vitamins A, C and E as well as potassium and folic acid. They are a good source of dietary fiber as well. Jalapeños have also been helpful in fighting cancer through the antioxidants that they provide. This low calorie, no carb pepper is a great way to spice up foods and can also act as an appetite suppressant. It is even helpful in aiding a stuffy head.
Handling fresh jalapeños may aggravate the skin so it may be prudent to wear gloves. While jalapeños are not known to cause heartburn, they can worsen the condition if it is already pre-existing. In some rare cases if too many of these peppers are consumed daily, stomach cancer may arise. These peppers may be considered quite hot by some so keep milk or sugar handy. Water will only spread the heat around the mouth. Bread is another good option for helping to reduce the burn.