How to Stop from Chili Burning
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers. It’s a hugely nasty irritant of skin and especially mucous membranes. And this is, of course, the active ingredient in chili peppers, notably of the capsicum family. In its raw form, it’s WAY more “hot” than habaneros or Scotch bonnet peppers — which are arguably the hottest in the world.
The capsaicin bonds to the chemo receptors in your skin and mucous membranes that carry the pain signal to the brain (mostly the receptors that transfer “abrasion” more than “heat,” but who can tell when it really hurts?), and it turns that signal ON. After a few seconds, this bond is VERY strong. Alcohol and water won’t break it, nor will oils. You might do better with detergents, but at an industrial strength that would be dangerous to use, so that won’t do.
So what DO you do?
Drink milk. There’s a protein found in milk called casein that acts like a detergent against capsaicin. It’ll actually pull the capsaicin compounds away from the nerve receptor binding sites in your mouth. Drink at least a half cup, making sure you rinse your mouth well first. You can spit it out, but you won’t get as much relief in your throat that way.
Drink sugar water. Mix a tablespoon or more of sugar with a cup water and use it to rinse out your mouth. Cold sugar solution (10%) at 20°C/68°F is about as effective as whole milk at 5°C/41°F but the relief only lasts while the mixture is still in your mouth so you’ll need to keep rinsing and spitting until the pain subsides.
Drink alcohol. Capsaicin is soluble in alcohol, so drinking a beer or a shot can help wash it away. It’s not nearly as effective, however, as milk. Alcohol is a solvent to capsaicin, not a neutralizer, so it will break it loose, but it may just spread it around
Rinse your mouth with oil. Capsaicin is also soluble in vegetable oils so swishing some around in your mouth might help. Keep in mind that oil has been found to be only slightly more effective than water in relieving pepper burns, so use it only if nothing else is available.
In addition to the above, you may try any of the following folk remedies, but keep in mind that these methods have not been verified in a reliable third party source.
Eat some cucumber. This is, in fact, a common way to deal with too much heat in the food in Indonesia and Thailand.
Touch the affected area with a soft corn tortilla (lips, mouth, etc.)
Hot dishes are almost always accompanied by some amounts of rice in many Asian countries, because starchy foods combat the burning sensation. Potato will work as well, as will bread. Chew well, so that the tongue is “washed” by the rice, potato or bread.
Use salt. Salting the food or eating salty chips can soothe the burn.
Try honey. Honey is served with spicy foods in some restaurants.
Try eating a raw carrot. There’s no trick to swishing it around. Just take a bite and the burn will significantly diminish.
White toothpaste can significantly reduce the burning on the skin. It will likely work in the mouth.
Coconut milk works very well to cut the burn and modulate the heat level of a spicy recipe.
Ice Cream for the same reasons as cold milk, and it has sugar.
Eat a banana – the texture and sugar content may help soothe the burn.
Eat some chocolate. The capsaicin in peppers is more soluble in fat than aqueous based solutions (ie beer, water, even low-fat milk). The high fat content of most chocolate bars will help to remove some of the capsaicin from your mouth. Milk chocolate generally has a higher fat content and a higher casein content than dark chocolate and therefore should give better relief.
Eat an apple.
Eating a lemon wedge, juiced or whole (with all juice), and the acid will help break down the oils.
Source: wikiHow, wikiAnswers
Red Hot Chili Pepper
This post has nothing to do whatsoever with the music band named Red Hot Chili Pepper. This is really and literally about Red Hot Chili Pepper.
The chili pepper (also called chili) is the fruit of the plant capsicum of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family. Cultivated since prehistoric times in Peru and Mexico, it was discovered in the Caribbean by Christopher Columbus.
This is the plant that puts fire on your tongue and maybe even a tear in your eye when you eat spicy Mexican, simmering Szechuan, smoldering Indian, Thai food or Padang food. The heats is caused by the substance capsaicin (8-methyl-N-vanillyl-6-nonenamide). This chemical compound causes pain and inflammation if consumed too much, and can even burn the skin on contact in high concentrations.
Chili peppers contain a substance called capsaicin, which gives chilies their characteristic pungence, producing mild to intense spice when eaten. Capsaicin is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes.
Natural Pain Relief
Topical capsaicin is now a recognized treatment option for osteoarthritis pain. Several review studies of pain management for diabetic neuropathy have listed the benefits of topical capsaicin to alleviate disabling pain associated with this condition.
Cardio Vascular Benefits
Red chili peppers, have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and platelet aggregation, while increasing the body’s ability to dissolve fibrin, a substance integral to the formation of blood clots.
Capsaicin not only reduces pain, but its peppery heat also stimulates secretions that help clear mucus from your stuffed up nose or congested lungs.
Chili peppers’ bright red color signals its high content of beta-carotene or pro-vitamin A. Just two teaspoons of red chili peppers provide about 6% of the daily value for vitamin C coupled with more than 10% of the daily value for vitamin A. Often called the anti-infection vitamin, vitamin A is essential for healthy mucous membranes, which line the nasal passages, lungs, intestinal tract and urinary tract and serve as the body’s first line of defense against invading pathogens.
Help Stop the Spread of Prostate Cancer
Red chili peppers’ capsaicin, the compound responsible for their pungent heat, stops the spread of prostate cancer cells through a variety of mechanisms.
Prevent Stomach Ulcer
Chili peppers have a bad–and mistaken–reputation for contributing to stomach ulcers. Not only do they not cause ulcers, they can help prevent them by killing bacteria you may have ingested, while stimulating the cells lining the stomach to secrete protective buffering juices.
All that heat you feel after eating hot chili peppers takes energy–and calories to produce. Even sweet red peppers have been found to contain substances that significantly increase thermogenesis (heat production) and oxygen consumption for more than 20 minutes after they are eaten.
Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Making chili pepper a frequently enjoyed spice in your Healthiest Way of Eating could help reduce your risk of hyperinsulinemia (high blood levels of insulin)-a disorder associated with type 2 diabetes.
Wow, red hot chili pepper is so amazing isn’t it? Maybe we should change that old saying to “A bowl of chilies a day keeps the Doctor away”.
HOW TO SELECT AND STORE
Choose fresh chili peppers that have vivid, deep colors and glossy, firm and taut skins. Their stems should seem hardy and fresh. With the exception of jalapeños, peppers should not have any cracks near the stem end. Avoid those that are wrinkled or have soft areas or black spots.
When purchasing dried chili peppers look for ones that are still vivid in color. If they’ve lost their color, they’ve probably lost their flavor as well. Both fresh and dried chili peppers are available throughout the year in most areas.
Place unwashed fresh peppers in paper bags or wrap in paper towels and store in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator, where they should keep for at least one week. Avoid storing peppers in plastic bags as this may result in moisture accumulation, which will cause them to spoil more quickly.
Fresh peppers can also be hung in the sunlight to dry. Once dried, they can be used to make freshly ground chili powder. Dried peppers and chili powders should be kept in a tightly sealed jar, away from sunlight.
HOW TO ENJOY
Chili recipes come in all types of colors and flavors depending on what part of the country that you come from. In Indonesia, chili is a common ingredient in many different dishes from different areas of the archipelago.
We have sambal which is served as a condiment for variety of dishes. It is sometimes a substitute for fresh chilies. It can be extremely spicy for the uninitiated. It is common to find bowls of different sambals on the dining table in Indonesian homes (please see my post under the title It’s Getting Hot in Here).
TIPS FOR COOKING WITH CHILI PEPPERS
Be very careful when you are handling and cooking fresh chili peppers. One of the peppers’ most pungent compounds, capsaicin, can cause a severe burning sensation if it touches your skin or lips, or comes in contact with your eyes.
Because of this, some people prefer to wear thin rubber gloves when working with chili peppers. If you choose not to do this, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after handling them. Additionally, you should wash your knife and cutting board after cutting these peppers.
Fight Cancer with Diet
Diet is one of the major risk factors for cancer. But it is not just about what we eat too much of. It is also about the foods we should learn to add to our table every day.
Long used in Aryuvedic medicine in India, the common spice turmeric (one of the main spices in curry) has been found to contain the most potent natural anti-inflammatory ever described – the molecule ‘curcumin’. Researchers have shown that it inhibits cancer growth by not only reducing inflammation (necessary for invasion of neighboring tissues) but also by inducing cancer cell death, slowing down the growth of new blood vessels necessary for tumor expansion and increasing the efficacy of chemotherapy.
40% of cancer could be avoided with a more adequate diet and a bit more physical activity. And that these same lifestyle choices should be an integral part of any treatment of cancer.
The single most important feature in an anticancer diet is to reverse the proportion of a typical meal: make the core of your plate vegetables (and fruit), and use meat only to enhance flavor.
Legumes (peas, beans, lentils etc) and soy (tofu, tempeh, miso, edamame etc) offer the same protein as meat but combined with cancer-fighting phytochemicals.
It is also important to replace desserts (refined sugar) with fruits as often as possible. Berries for example, contain anthocyanidins that directly help kill cancer cells and reduce the growth of abnormal blood vessels.
All brightly colored fruits contain flavonoids that contribute to slowing down cancer growth. Tangerines and their special flavonoids also act against cancer cells.
All Omega-6 oils (soybean, corn, sun flower) should be reduced or eliminated and replaced with olive oil, canola oil or flaxseed oil. Omega-3 butter or margarine is also acceptable. Animal products (dairy, meat, eggs) should be grass-fed or labeled ‘omega-3 rich’ and preferably organic so as to avoid growth hormone (that can stimulate cancer growth too). organic fruits and vegetables are prefarable to non organic.
Source: Jakarta Post dated 6 July 2010
Asparagus, the Highly Prized Vegetable
The fleshy green spears of asparagus are both succulent and tender and have been considered a delicacy since ancient times. This highly prized vegetable arrives with the coming of spring. In California the first crops are picked as early as February, however, their season generally is considered to run from April through May. The growing season in the Midwest and East extends through July.
Asparagus is a perennial, an almost leafless member of the lily family. The spears we buy in the store are actually the shoots from an underground crown. It takes up to 3 years for crowns to develop enough to begin producing shoots, but once they do, they can produce for up to 20 years.
Health Benefits of Asparagus
Folate is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system. It is involved in the methylation cycle, a biochemical event in which a methyl group–one atom of carbon and three atoms of hydrogen–is transferred from one molecule to another. Methylation reactions are the body’s biochemical “spark plugs” in a wide variety of very important reactions. For example, methylation is crucial for the proper transcription of DNA, and transforms norepinephrine into adrenaline, and serotonin into melatonin. When the methylation cycle flows smoothly, the amino acid methionine is transformed into homocysteine, which is quickly converted into cysteine, and then back into methionine. Folate (along with vitamins B6 and B12) is necessary for the conversion of homocysteine into cysteine. When folate levels are low, blood levels of homocysteine rise, a situation that significantly increases the risk for heart disease. Homocysteine promotes atherosclerosis by reducing the integrity of blood vessel walls and by interfering with the formation of collagen (the main protein in connective tissue). Elevations in homocysteine are found in approximately 20-40% of patients with heart disease, and it is estimated that consumption of 400 mcg of folate daily would reduce the number of heart attacks by 10%. Just one serving of asparagus supplies almost 66% of the daily recommended intake of folate.
A Natural Diuretic
Asparagus is a very good source of potassium (288 mg per cup) and quite low in sodium (19.8 mg per cup. Its mineral profile, combined with an active amino acid in asparagus, asparagine, gives asparagus a diuretic effect. Historically, asparagus has been used to treat problems involving swelling, such as arthritis and rheumatism, and may also be useful for PMS-related water retention.
Food for Healthy Gut Flora
Asparagus contains a special kind of carbohydrate called inulin that we don’t digest, but the health-promoting friendly bacteria in our large intestine, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, do. When our diet contains good amounts of inulin, the growth and activity of these friendly bacteria increase. And when populations of health-promoting bacteria are large, it is much more difficult for unfriendly bacteria to gain a foothold in our intestinal tract.
A Birth Defect Fighter
Especially if you’re thinking about becoming pregnant or are in the early stages of pregnancy, make asparagus a frequent addition to your meals. A cup of asparagus supplies approximately 263 mcg of folate, a B-vitamin essential for proper cellular division because it is necessary in DNA synthesis. Without folate, the fetus’ nervous system cells do not divide properly. Inadequate folate during pregnancy has been linked to several birth defects, including neural tube defects like spina bifida. Despite folate’s wide availability in food (it’s name comes from the Latin word folium, meaning “foliage,” because it’s found in green leafy vegetables), folate deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in the world.
How to select and store Asparagus
Asparagus stalks should be rounded, and neither fat nor twisted. Look for firm, thin stems with deep green or purplish closed tips. The cut ends should not be too woody, although a little woodiness at the base prevents the stalk from drying out. Once trimmed and cooked, asparagus loses about half its total weight.
Use asparagus within a day or two after purchasing for best flavor. Store in the refrigerator with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel, and be sure to place the asparagus in the back of the refrigerator away from any light, since folate is destroyed by exposure to air, heat or light.
Tips for Preparing Asparagus
Asparagus can be served hot or cold. While it is not necessary to peel asparagus, you should cut off the fibrous base before cooking. Wash it under cold water to remove any sand or soil residues.
You can tie asparagus stalks in a bundle to steam them, as this will make it easier to remove the stalks once cooked. If you find you enjoy this unusual vegetable so much that you become a true aficiando, you might consider purchasing one of the special tall, narrow steamers available that allow asparagus to be cooked to perfection-the tips are steamed while the thick stalks are cooked thoroughly in the boiling water. Avoid cooking asparagus in iron pots as the tannins in the asparagus can react with the iron and cause the stalks to become discolored. If your recipe calls for cold asparagus, plunge the stalks into cold water immediately after cooking, then remove them quickly; letting them soak too long can cause them to become soggy.
A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
For a delectable hors d’oeuvre, roast asparagus along with other vegetables such as pattypan squash, Portobello mushrooms, and beets.
Steamed asparagus served with light lemon vinaigrette makes a delightfully refreshing salad.
Toss freshly cooked pasta with asparagus, olive oil and your favorite pasta spices. We especially enjoy thyme, tarragon and rosemary.
Chopped asparagus make a flavorful and colorful addition to omelets.
Healthy sauté asparagus with garlic, shiitake mushrooms and tofu or chicken.
Why Eat Asparagus?
High in vitamins B6 and C, plus fiber, folate and glutathione, an anti-carcinogen and antioxidant, asparagus is an excellent nutritional choice. It comes in three colors: white, green or purple, although the green variety is the most common. Long considered a luxury vegetable, often with a luxury price tag, fresh asparagus appears in stores in late February. But asparagus is at its best—and is usually cheapest—in April and May. And sure, while there’s frozen and canned asparagus, which can be enjoyed year round, nothing beats the delicate flavor of fresh asparagus.
What to Do With Asparagus
To prepare asparagus, you will need to rinse the spears and break off the tough ends. After that, how you cook asparagus is up to you.
Purists enjoy their asparagus with nothing more than a drizzle of good-quality olive oil, but you can enjoy asparagus in many different dishes: in soups, salads, stir-fries, risottos, scrambled eggs, pasta, and many more dishes besides. You can find some great low fat recipe ideas on the next page.
So How Do You Cook Asparagus?
In short, quickly!
Steaming: First, you need to tie a bundle of asparagus spears together with kitchen string, just under the tips and also near the bottom, making sure the bottom ends are level. Place the bundle in a tall pot of 2 inches of boiling water, unless you have your very own asparagus steamer. Cover and steam for 5-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears. While the ends of the asparagus are being boiled, the tips are actually being steamed. The end result should be bright green, crisp yet tender spears.
Boiling: Lay the asparagus spears in a large skillet with about an inch of water. Boil for up to 5 minutes, depending on thickness of the spears.
Blanching: If you are using the asparagus in salads or for other cold dishes, plunging the boiled or steamed asparagus in cold or iced water as soon as they are done immediately stops the cooking process and helps preserve the color and crispness of the asparagus.
Microwaving: Lay asparagus in a microwave-safe baking dish, with tips towards the center. Add about a 1/4 cup of water; cover and microwave for 4-5 minutes. Roasting: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lay asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Roast for 8-10 minutes.
Stir Frying: Cut spears diagonally into 1 1/2 inch to 2-inch pieces, and stir fry with a teaspoon of sesame or olive oil for 3 minutes.
Roasting: Place asparagus on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray and roast in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes, depending on thickness of the spears. Or, instead of using cooking spray, drizzle a little olive oil over the asparagus before roasting.
Grilling: Place asparagus spears on a preheated (medium-high heat) grill sprayed with olive oil spray and cook for about 5-8 minutes until tender, turning occasionally.
Mung Bean, the Nutrition Power House
Mung bean is also famously known as green bean. Its husk is green in colour, with yellow flesh when dehusked. It is low in fat, and high in its nutritional value. Whole green bean is solid, when it is raw. It takes hours in boiling to turn soft and fluffy.
Mung bean is claimed to be a perfect slimming food. Some eat it as dieting food or food replacement in their sliming program. Not only it is low in fat, green bean is also a rich source of protein, and fiber which enables one to lower the high cholesterol level in body system. The high fiber in mung bean yields complex carbohydrate which improves digestion. Complex carb helps to stabilize blood sugar in our body by preventing rapid rise after meal. It keeps our energy at an even level. Frequent consumption of mung bean is beneficial to diabetes and one who suffers from high cholesterol level
Mung beans are part of the legume family and are a good source of protein. If they are combined with other cereals, a complete protein can be made. When sprouted, mung beans contain vitamin C that is not found in the bean itself. In Asia, bean sprouts are used in cooking too.
Health Benefits of Mung Beans
Mung beans are rich in the following nutrients: protein, vitamin C, folic acid or folate, iron, potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, thiamine, zinc and magnesium. Mung beans are also high in fibre, low in saturated fat, low in sodium, and contain no cholesterol. Because of the wide range of nutrients contained in mung beans, they offer a whole host of health benefits for the immune system, the metabolism, the heart and other organs, cell growth, protection against free radicals, and diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
The folic acid, or folate as it is also known, that is contained in mung beans helps to lower the risk of heart disease, fights birth defects, contributes to normal cell growth, helps in the metabolism of proteins, and is essential for the formation of red blood cells and for healing processes in the body. Another B vitamin, thiamine, is needed to ensure that the nervous system functions properly. It is also important for releasing energy from carbohydrates. Manganese is a trace mineral that is key for energy production and antioxidant defenses. It is also necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and can be helpful for the brain and nerves.
Magnesium helps the veins and arteries to relax, lessening resistance and improving the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. Research has shown that a deficiency of magnesium is not only associated with a heart attack but that immediately following a heart attack, a lack of magnesium promotes free radical damage to the heart. The body requires copper in order to absorb iron and copper is also involved in the metabolism of protein. Iron helps to build resistance to stress and disease and it is essential for the formation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to every cell in the body. It is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. Potassium is necessary for maintaining the acid-alkaline balance in the blood and for muscle contraction and a normal heart beat. Zinc is a well known immune system booster and can be helpful in fighting male infertility. Zinc aids healing processes in the body, growth, and tissue repair.
Like all legumes, mung beans are very high in fibre – more so than fruits and vegetables and even better than wholegrains. The soluble fibre in mung beans captures cholesterol in the intestines, keeps it out of the blood stream, and carries it out of the body.
Using Mung Beans
Mung beans can be used in a variety of ways. They can be sprouted, cooked, or ground to make flour. Mung beans are known for their sweet flavor and mung bean paste is used in some Asian countries to make sweet desserts.
In Indonesia, the mung bean’s sweet flavor is enhanced by adding palm sugar, ginger and coconut milk and enjoyed as snack or breakfast meal known as ‘bubur kacang hijau’ or ‘mung bean sweet soup’
Seeing so much of its value, I feel like boiling a pot of mung-bean sweet soup now! A bowl of nice hot sweet mung bean soup may reward my taste bud as well as my stomach.
In Indonesia, tofu is called TAHU.
It is one of the most common soy products and is soft in texture. Tofu is made by adding a coagulant to soy milk, the nutritious liquid extracted from boiled and crushed soy beans. This liquid is left to separate into curds and whey, then the curds are drained and allowed to set. When compressed to reduce the water content, they become hard or ‘pressed’ bean curd.
Appearance and flavor
Tofu has a creamy white color, and is generally made into blocks 5 – 7 cm thick. The flavor is fairly neutral. Pasteurized tofu in plastic packs does not have quite the same flavor as fresh tofu, but it is still highly acceptable.
Choosing and storing
In Indonesia and most Asian countries fresh tofu cut into squares are common. To buy fresh tofu, make sure it has pleasant smell. Tofu should be refrigerated after purchase. If it does not hav printed expiry date, use within 1 week of purchase. Fresh tofu can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Cover with water and change daily.
Fresh tofu can be cut but should be handled carefully as it is more fragile than pressed tofu. It is beast drained on several sheets of paper towels for 10 minutes before slicing then diced or cut into large squares.
The protein content is around 11% and the fat content is 5%. Like all forms of bean curds, tofu is an excellent substitute for meat in vegetarian diet.
Tofu is cubed and added to soups; sliced and layered with a filling of mince meat or fish, then steamed with fish, ginger, spring onions and preserved sour plums. Tofu is also braised, fried or scramble with chili and minced meat.
Tahu Sumedang: A very special Tofu
In Indonesia, the most wellknown TOFU is Tahu Sumedang. Many Indonesian treasure this simple yet irresistible tofu dish originally from the city of Sumedang, in West Java . The tofu is fried and ideally you take a bite of the tofu and then a bite of the green pepper. It all blends so well. So yummy…..
You can find tahu sumedang being sold just about anywhere in Sumedang and other cities in West Java. It is commonly sold and served with lontong (Javanese rice cake wrapped in banana leaves)
Other famous tofu dish in Indonesia is Tahu Gejrot, a special dish from Cirebon, West Java (please read my post ‘Much a Do About Tofu’).
- A Cook’s Guide to Asian Vegetables by Wendy Hutton
Pandan leaves come from a variety of pandanus plant and are sometimes called fragrant screwpine or pandan. Fragrant pandanus leaves grow easily in tropical climates and are used widely in both savory and sweet dishes. Pandan essence sold in small bottles, is sometimes used as s substitute in cakes and desserts.
Appearance and flavor
The blade-like leaves grow up to about 50 cm in length but are often sold trimmed. They have a strong but very pleasant, almost woody perfume.
Choosing and storing
Whereas the leaves are widely available in Asian countries both in the markets and in the garden. Pandanus leaves are sold either in powdered form or frozen in other parts of the world. The fersh pandanus leaves are often cut into more manageable length, then sealed in plastic packs, which can be kept refrigerated for several days; any left over can be deep-frozen.
Rake the leaves with a fork to help release the juice, and tie into a knot if using long leaves. If making pandanus juice for cakes, slice finely and process. Add 2-3 tablespoons water while processing, the strain.
Nutritional and Medicinal Properties
Pandanus leaves are thought by Asians to have a ‘cooling’ effect on the body and believed to be good for treating bleeding gums, internal inflammation, colds and coughs. The leaves have another interesting application – they are commonly used as insect repellents in Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia. Pandanus leaves seem to release some chemicals that keep cockroaches at bay.
To the Asian Chef, the pandan leaf perhaps what vanilla essence is to his/her Western counterpart. Cooks often add pandan leaves to the pot when cooking rice for their subtle, sweet fragrant – rice cooked this way tastes like it has been newly harvested.
Pandan leaves are also used in some curries. The leaves are often chopped and processed for the bright green fragrant liquid used to make pancakes or desserts. Thai cooks also use the leaves as a wrapper for various sweetmeats, desserts and jellies and for pieces of marinated chicken which are deep fried in the leaves.
Source: A Cook’s Guide to Asian Vegetables by Wendy Hutton page 106