If you’re tired of bland, tasteless meals, it’s time to spice up your meal with a little heat. As the weather gets warmer, we no longer have to think of comfort foods to satisfy our appetites. In fact, you can really turn up the heat on your meal at the same time Mother Nature turns up the heat outside!
While it’s fun to do some experimenting to find the flavor you like best, certain spicy sauces are already big winners across the world. Take the harissa chili paste, for example. A blend of spicy peppers, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and some toasted spices, the North African paste works well in soup or with roasted carrots. Made of fermented chilies, rice and soybeans, gochujang paste can be added to a bloody Mary, mixed into other sauces or added to dressing. A mix of red chiles, sugar, vinegar and some salt, sambal oelek offers up a true dose of pepper flavor, and you certainly don’t need much! It’s good with other sauces, noodles and stir-fry. Finally, spicy sriracha is becoming more and more popular, a favorite to pair with Vietnamese and Thai food. Of course, you could add your own favorite hot sauce too, depending on how much heat you can handle!
Not only will adding some spice to your meal give it more flavor, but also possibly provide some real health benefits. The active component of chili peppers, Capsaicin, is packed with things good for your health. Not only do some studies reveal it may help combat stress and pain, but it’s full of things like Vitamin C, Vitamin A and potassium. Some also suggest eating chili peppers may curb your appetite too, allowing you to fill up with hot peppers and the good stuff, and possibly bypass the bad stuff.