Chipotle is no longer simply a favored ingredient in Mexican and Tex Mex cuisine; it’s also popular in a variety of other savory and sweet recipes.
Chipotle is ideal for imparting smokey heat to marinades and barbeque sauces, but it also adds flavor to stews, soups, pickled vegetables, eggs, and may even be used to brownies and other sweet baked products.
While entire chipotle peppers are available, chipotle powder is typically much simpler to get and can be stored for far longer than chipotle peppers.
In this post, we will discuss what chipotle powder is and what function capsaicin, a fundamental component of chipotles and other chili peppers, may have in our health and welfare.
In case you run out of chipotle powder, we also present several replacements that you may use in most recipes in lieu of chipotle powder.
All You Need to Know About Chipotle Powder
Chipotle powder is manufactured from smoke dried jalapeño chili peppers, which come in a variety of flavors. Jalapeno peppers, or Capsicum annum, are green initially growing and may be plucked and sold that way, but as the growing season progresses, jalapenos become blazing red.
When they reach this color, they may be harvested and sold as ripe jalapenos, or they can be left on the bush to dry out and darken more. Once blackened, these jalapenos are selected for use in the production of chipotle peppers. A pound of chipotle peppers requires around ten pounds of jalapenos, and approximately one-fifth of the yearly Mexican jalapeño pepper production is smoke dried for chipotles.
After being harvested, the jalapeño peppers are smoked for about a week, normally in an open smoker using pecan wood, although they may also be smoked using more contemporary smoking methods, such as those that use artificial smoke flavoring. When the peppers are dried to a moisture level of around 6%, they become black and resemble prunes.
These are now chipotle peppers, having a unique smoky and earthy taste from the mix of jalapeño heat and smokiness.
The heat from chipotle is comparable to that of a mature jalapeño (between 2,500 and 8,000 on the Scoville Scale), or to that of Tabasco sauce. As a result, chipotle has a medium heat level. The Scoville Scale is a tool used to determine how much capsaicin a chili pepper has, or how spicy it is.
Chipotle was just introduced to American cuisines around 25 years ago, when a Chipotle Restaurant debuted in 1993, however chipotles have been around for much longer. It is believed that smoking jalapenos to preserve them goes back to the Aztecs, and the term chipotle stems from the Nahuatl word chilpoctli, which means smoked chili pepper.
Chipotles were most likely found by Christopher Columbus in the 1500s, and since they were dried, they could be conveyed to Spain, where their usage spread throughout Europe and into India.
Chipotle comes in two varieties: morita and meco. Morita chipotle is often from Chihuahua State, and it is the most common variety accessible in the United States. Morita chipotles are smoked less than meco chipotles, which are gray-tan in color with a dusty appearance. Meco chipotles are mostly eaten in Mexico, however you may be able to purchase them in a specialist shop or market.
Additional varieties of chipotle include grande, which is made using Huachinago chilis and tamarind. Chipotle capones are de-seeded red jalapenos, whereas jalapeno chicos are smoked green jalapenos. They are much milder in taste than regular chipotle chilis.
Chipotle, Capsaicin, Common Cold Cure, and More
Chipotles, like other chili peppers, contain capsaicin. Capsaicin has been linked to a variety of advantages, including the relief of typical cold symptoms. According to a 2016 review of studies, capsaicin may reduce cold symptoms such as stuffiness, runny nose, congestion, and sneezing.
A further research found that a capsaicin nasal spray might relieve cold symptoms that were not caused by allergies. In several instances, symptoms were relieved within 10 minutes of using the nasal spray.
Capsaicin is a pain reliever because it seems to diminish the quantity of a specific molecule (substance P) that transports pain impulses to our brains. Topical creams containing pure capsaicin may help reduce some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and other illnesses such as nerve pain or fibromyalgia, while some users may suffer an unpleasant burning sensation after applying the cream.
Capsaicin may potentially have the ability to increase metabolism. Since it might somewhat increase the quantity of heat produced by the body via thermogenesis, it causes the metabolism to rise. Participants in a research who had capsaicin plus triglyceride oil for breakfast burned 51% more calories throughout the meal than those who did not ingest either.
Nevertheless, for those of us who drink cayenne or other spicy peppers on a daily basis, our bodies will actually adapt to the effects of the capsaicin, which means that any favorable impact on metabolism will diminish with time.
While spicy foods are often assumed to be a cause of stomach ulcers, capsaicin may help lower the incidence of stomach ulcers.
Capsaicin may help lessen hunger pains in addition to improving metabolism. While the specific mechanism by which capsaicin suppresses appetite is unknown, it is probable that it reduces the quantity of ghrelin generated in the body. Ghrelin, often known as the hunger hormone, stimulates our appetite, increases our food intake, and promotes fat accumulation in the body.
Capsaicin may possibly have antibacterial properties. It may assist to protect the body against stomach infections as well as Streptococcus bacteria, which may cause soft tissue and skin diseases such as impetigo.
Capsaicin seems to be effective in alleviating the irritation caused by psoriasis. While this auto-immune illness cannot be treated, studies have shown that creams containing capsaicin may alleviate itching and enhance the overall look of psoriasis patches when compared to a placebo cream. Since substance P seems to be implicated in psoriasis, the function of capsaicin in psoriasis may be comparable to that of its involvement in pain relief.
While most study in this area has been done in the laboratory, it is possible that capsaicin might assist to slow down or perhaps kill cancer cells depending on the kind of cancer. Capsaicin has been studied most extensively in the treatment of skin, prostate, and pancreatic malignancies.
Capsaicin has also been proven in previous laboratory experiments to help decrease blood pressure, but since these studies have only been done on animals so far, additional study is required before any human studies can be conducted.
Chipotle Powder Substitutes
The ideal replacement for chipotle powder is always entire chipotle peppers, but as most of us use chipotle powder rather than whole peppers, the section below considers a variety of possible alternatives.
Most of these alternatives are likely to be in your kitchen cupboard, with one or two being a bit more odd.
1. Smoked Paprika
Smoked paprika adds the smokiness and earthiness of chipotle to a meal, but not the heat. Use the same quantity of chipotle powder as smoked paprika.
Smoked paprika has a milder taste than chipotle since it is often prepared from pimento peppers. If you can get Spanish smoked paprika, also known as Pimenton de la Vera, this is a spicier smoked paprika that may be as fiery as crushed cayenne pepper in certain situations.
To add extra heat, combine smoked paprika with black chili powder or cayenne pepper.
2. Ground Cayenne Pepper
While cayenne peppers are hotter than chipotle powder, they lack the smokiness of chipotle powder since they are not smoke dried. Cayenne pepper is made by drying the pods and seeds of different chili peppers, often known as Bird Chiles. Ground cayenne pepper is a spicy and pungent powder that, like chipotle, contains solely pure powdered chiles.
Cayenne pepper should be used sparingly and kept in a dark place since it deteriorates fast, particularly under sunshine. Cayenne pepper, ground, is great for adding spice to seafood, eggs, curries, poultry, and meats, as well as baked products like cheese biscuits.
3. Smoked Paprika and Ground Cayenne Pepper
To replace the chipotle powder, use smoked paprika and ground cayenne pepper in a 1:1 ratio for a smokey taste with the heat of the cayenne pepper. Since cayenne peppers are inherently spicier than chipotle peppers, use somewhat less of this powder blend than you would of chipotle powder.
4. Ancho chili powder
Ancho chili powder, made from dried Poblano peppers, adds spice and a smoky flavor to a meal. Ancho chilis have a fruity undertone as well. Since Poblano peppers are milder than jalapenos, start with the same quantity of ancho chili powder as chipotle powder and gradually increase the amount. You may also add a little ground cayenne pepper, like with other replacements, to amp up the heat.
5. Adobo Sauce
Adobo was a cooking technique that the Spanish colonists called after the Filipino adobo dishes because the two ways of cooking were so similar. It used chipotle chiles in a marinade combination. This eventually developed into the adobo sauce found in most supermarket shops.
If you have a can of adobo sauce on hand, depending on the recipe, this might serve as a replacement in certain recipes. Adobo sauce includes vinegar and spices, which may change the taste character of a food. Adobo sauce will most likely work well as a substitution for chipotle powder in chicken, beef, and hog meals.
6. Chili powder
Chili powder, unlike chipotle powder, includes spices such as oregano and cumin, as well as garlic. It also lacks chipotle powder’s smokiness. Depending on the recipe, you may be able to use chili powder for chipotle powder, but if so, modify the amount of other spices in the recipe to avoid over-seasoning.
In the recipe, use half the quantity of chili powder as chipotle powder, and you can also use half and half chili powder and powdered cayenne pepper to intensify the intensity.
Final Thoughts on Using Chipotle Powder
If you don’t have chipotle powder or whole chipotle peppers on hand, the simplest and most frequent substitutions are smoked paprika, cayenne powder, or a combination of the two to offer both the heat and the smokey flavor that chipotle powder adds to a meal.