The Healing Benefits of Green Chile
For people that live in the Southwest part of the United States they have learned that Green Chile is a must in the diet. Why? Because of many benefits that come from eating green chile. It is an amazing food on many levels, plus there are some great recipes that you can make that will help you when you are sick with a cold or even dealing with pain.
Where does Green Chile come from?
Green Chile is actually a native vegetable of the Americas. The latin name for the chile pepper is Capsicum genous. This green chile pepper was first introduced in the 1900s in Anaheim, California. Many stores actually label the green chile "Anaheim Chile."
In the city of Hatch, New Mexico the green chile is said to be the "Worlds Best Green Chile Ever." That's because the climate is perfect for growing these spicy little vegetables. In the late summer, a festival is held in the city of Hatch. Many vendors bring out their best and roast chile peppers for passersby.
It is said that part of the reason that green chile grows so well in Hatch, New Mexico is because of how dry the climate is. The dryer the climate, the hotter the green chile can be.
What are the levels of heat for a green chile?
To begin with a special measurement scale is used to determine the heat of a chile pepper. This scale is used for all chile peppers and not just the green chile. It is called the Scoville scale. The scale was developed by Wilbur Scoville in 1912. The scale determines the level of capsaisin that is present in a chile pepper. Capsaisin is what gives the chile pepper its heat. The hottest chile peppers on record are the Habanero and Naga.
There are a few different levels of heat for the green chile pepper.
Mild- Many people like the mild level of heat. It gives great flavor to food with out all the heat. This pepper is best loved by those who aren't ready to spice up their food to much.
Medium- This level is a great way to start and introduce a little spice into your cuisine with the green chile. However, if you aren't ready for it, be sure to start in moderation.
Hot- If you want your tongue to tingle and your nose to burn a little bit, then bring on the heat with a hot level of green chile. It is great in green chile stew if you are making a large quantity. Less that a quarter of a hot green chile will certainly add enough spice for everyone.
Extra Hot- If you love hot and spicy, then grab on to your hat and get ready for your eyes to water, your nose to drip and your lips to go numb. You can still feel the spice from these chiles for at least 20 minutes after you have eaten some.
Extra, Extra Hot- If you live dangerously and love extreme heat. Then this green chile is for you. Some consumers have said that they have felt the heat from this pepper for more than an hour. They also state that it was well worth the heat because of all the great healing benefits.
What healing properties does the green chile have?
To begin with, green chiles offer a very high level of antioxidants. The green chile has a high level of vitamin C. In fact it is said that it has double to triple the level of vitamin C that an orange does. As the green chile matures and increases in heat, it also increases in other benefits. Vitamin A can also be found in green chile, this vitamin also helps your immune system with its balance and such.
Another great benefit is that green chile works as an anti-inflammatory. If you have problems with inflammation in your joints, muscles, etc. Adding green chile to your diet can help greatly to reduce the inflammation issues.
Green Chile is great when you have a bad cold or sore throat. By adding the chile to meals like chicken soup the healing properties are amazing. Many people have stated that it puts a halt to the cold and gets rid of it in a matter of 2-3 days.
If you are looking to heat healthy, be sure to add in green chile to your diet, it is low in fat and cholesterol and has a great taste.
Where can you find green chile?
Well, if you live in the state of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado or Texas, its easy enough, simply wonder to your grocery store to see what they have available. Many stores in New Mexico and Texas actually have one time of the year where they will roast the green chile for you. That is late summer. Large grills that are built to rotate the chiles for even cooking are used. Many people buy the chiles in 5 pound bags or larger.
If you are unsure if your store carries green chile or would like to find out, give them a call, if they don't they might be able to tell you were you can find it.
If you are specifically interested in purchasing Hatch Green Chile, there are actually a number of websites that you can go to and purchase from. The site is http://www.newmexicocatalog.com. They sell the green chile in 5, 10, 20 and even 50 pound bags. Another great website to purchage green chile from is http://www.nmchili.com. On this site, you can purchase seeds to grow your own, fresh, frozen or even dried. It all depends on what you like.
If you aren't sure about the quantities that you might use with the green chile, that's okay, start off with a small amount. The green chile freezes very well and thaws in minutes for use. If this doesn't work for you, then purchase the chiles dried. They actually come in a traditional style of hanging vines called ristras. They are very pretty and are typically made with red chile which is the hottest level of the green chile peper.
What are some recipes that can be made with green chile?
There are a lot of great recipes that can be made with green chiles. The most popular is the green chile stew. This stew is loaded with flavor and is made in a number of ways depending on where the recipe originated.
Green Chile Stew- Quick and Easy-
1 pound of pork loin, cut into cubes 1/2 pound of potatoe, chopped into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped 1 or 2 green chiles depending on the heat level, peeled and chopped
8-10 cups of chicken broth 2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper for taste
What to do:
In a large soup pan or even a crock pot begin by cooking the pork and onions. You may want to use bacon grease or olive oil for this step. Cook the meat and onions over medium heat. Once ready, put all ingredients into the crock pot or pan. If cooking in a crock pot, cook on high for several hours. Stir once in a while. Taste and add in salt and pepper when needed. On the stove in a pot, cook at about medium heat to start, stirring every few minutes, then drop the temp. down to low and watch. When ready, serve with warm tortillas and butter. Perfect for a cold winter day.
Lazy Ladies Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
1 pound of cooked chicken chopped up 1 medium onion, chopped
1 or 2 green chiles, peeled and chopped 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 package of flour tortillas, small are fine 2 cups of shredded co-jack cheese
1 cup milk garlic powder, salt and pepper for taste
What to do:
In a casserole dish, spray cooking spray, set aside. In a mixing cup, mix together cream soup and milk, place in the microwave and cook for about 1.5 minutes. Mix well. In the casserole dish create a thin layer of the soup. Layer tortillas on the bottom the soup, then layer chicken, cheese, onion and green chile, and spices, then add another layer of tortillas and some more soup. Continue to build until you have used up your ingredients. On the very top be sure to put a layer of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-45 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve with a simple dinner salad.
Grandma's Green Chile Chicken Noodle Soup
1 pound of chicken, cubed 1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 green chiles, peeled and chopped 8-10 cups chicken broth
2-3 cups small egg noodles 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
Garlic, salt and pepper for taste
Cook up the chicken. In a large soup pan or crock pot, toss in all your ingredients except the noodles. If in the crock pot cook on high for about 3 hours then add in noodles. On the stove, bring to a high heat, then drop it down to warm, let cook for about 30 minutes then add in your noodles. Serve when the noodles are done. This is great with saltines or fresh biscuits.
There are a lot of great recipes that can be found all over the internet for preparing green chiles, find your favorites and enjoy the benefits this cold and flu season.