WHAT ARE RED PEPPER FLAKES?
While they’re famously used on pizzas all over America, they’re actually ground mostly from cayenne and ancho peppers. This is different the chili flakes, which are usually from one specific type of pepper like Chipotle. The lighter colored seeds in the mix usually account for the hotter portion of the flavor. However these spices are dried and crushed, not ground (which produces a fine powder).
WHY ARE RED PEPPER FLAKES GOOD FOR YOU?
In addition to anti-inflammatory agents, they’re low in cholesterol and sodium. They’re also a good source of vitamin A,C and magnesium and potassium. However since they’re often used to enhance the flavor of another recipe, much of the health benefits relate to the rest of what you’re eating.
WHEN ARE RED PEPPER FLAKES IN SEASON?
Like most chilis this is a hot weather crop usually harvested at the end of summer. However being industrially crushed and dried, it’s available throughout the year. While Macedonia is often credited to being the home of this ingredient, red chili flakes can be found in Asian as well as Western cuisine.
HOW SHOULD RED PEPPER FLAKES BE STORED?
Like other dried chilis keep away from moisture, preferably in an airtight container in your pantry. Or if stored in a ziplock bag you can freeze this mix for up to 6 months. The color of the flakes will gradually shift to yellow as they lose their potency.
ARE RED PEPPER FLAKES GOOD FOR LOSING WEIGHT?
The heat that comes from this ingredient is due to the presence of capsaicin. Studies have shown that in addition to other health benefits, it also acts as an appetite suppressant! There is a debate among scientists as to whether the health benefits are due to eating less or speeding up the rate at which the body burns calories.