A jalapeño pepper is a fruit of the Capsicum pod type. The name “jalapeño” is Spanish for “Jalapa” (or Xalapa), the capital of Veracruz, Mexico. Jalapeños were originally grown there, hence the name. Jalapeños are medium sized hot peppers and when compared to other chili peppers, measure on average 2-3.5 inches in length but grow up to 6+ inches long. While originating in Mexico, they are now grown worldwide for their popular flavor and mild heat level. You’ll find jalapeños served when green, but if you leave the jalapeño pepper on the plant long enough, it will turn red. The red variety is just as delicious as the green jalapeño pepper, though a touch sweeter. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chili peppers hot, is thermogenic. Thermogenics stimulate the body’s burning of fat by increasing the metabolism of the body’s adipose tissue, generating heat.
A typical jalapeño pepper packs more vitamin C than an orange. How much vitamin C, you ask? A single 14 gram jalapeño pepper contains 10% of your daily needs. According to Nutrition Data, a single 73 gram chili pepper contains 83%.
- Vitamin C important for the immune system, healthy skin, and wound healing
How to Shop
Buy the ones that are green and taut. If they are wrinkled or mushy they are a bit past their prime. Wrinkly peppers are typically spicier and the younger, smoother skinned jalapeños are typically a little more tame.
How to Grow
Growing jalapeño peppers is fairly easy because the plants are pretty forgiving. Jalapeños start off a bit slow, so it is helpful to start to grow your plants indoors a few weeks (anywhere from 8-12 weeks) before transferring them outside. Keep the early soil and budding plants constantly moist, but do not over water.
How to Store
Sliced jalapeños are best stored in the fridge, while whole jalapeños can be kept in the fridge or at room temperature. Store whole peppers at room temperature if using them within two to three days. Stored properly, whole jalapeños will keep for up to one week in the fridge.