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Eating spicy foods without the burn

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While there are many health – and flavour – benefits to eating chili, the experience can be painful for those with low tolerance for capsaicin. The latter is the compound in chilies and peppers that creates the burning sensation on tongues and in your tummy.  But there are ways to enjoy your chili-based dishes without fear of being overwhelmed by excess capsaicin.

 

While cooking

If the dish calls for a copious amount of chilies, try stirring in yogurt, cream or coconut milk. This will disrupt the heat by diluting the spice and coating the mouth, giving the receptors on your tongue a different sensation to focus on. Yogurt and coconut milk can be used in curries while cream or sour cream can be used in pasta sauces or tacos.

Photo credit: spo0nman
Using pineapples and coconut milk in spicy foods as well as eating them with starchy sides can help reduce the burn. 

Other ingredients that neutralize spice include lemon, lime, pineapple and sugar. You can use one entire lime or lemon in the dish.  Crush the pineapple first in a blender like the Electrolux Powermix Silent to create a smooth texture.  This helps the crushed pineapple to become barely noticeable in the final dish, serving mainly to reduce the effects of the spice.

 

While eating 

Serve side dishes or add-ons with the chili dish to help neutralise the burn while eating.  A side of shredded cheese or chopped cilantro can help cool the palate and even out the spicy dish.

For hot foods like curry, pair them with rough, starchy sides like bread, rice or crackers.  The difference in texture reduces some of the burn, while the starch in these dishes helps to absorb some of the heat.  With breadmakers like the Electrolux EBM1331, it’s easy to bake bread that’s customised for your dish. From thick, crusty white loaves to soft corn bread, the breadmaker can produce a suitable accompaniment to any spicy dish.

 

Electrolux’s latest Flexfresh fridges have a fast chill mode designed to cool drinks quickly.

Resist the urge to reach for a glass of water. Plain water only spreads the capsaicin around the mouth and makes the burning sensation worse.  Try drinking cold milk instead, or ice-cold flat soda. Sugary and dairy drinks can help reduce the spiciness of the food, while the cold numbs the mouth. You can create cold drinks even quicker with the Electrolux FlexFresh range of refrigerators. Simply use its quick chill mode to cool drinks faster.

For an even sweeter method of reducing spiciness, end the meal with ice cream or chocolate.  Ice cream contains dairy and sugar, on top of being cold, making it ideal for removing any remaining effects of the capsaicin.

 

Non-diary alternatives

While diary is a great counter for capsaicin, it may not work for everyone. If milk and cheese aren’t options for you, try honey or granulated sugar instead. The hotter the pepper, the more you should use.

Other acidic juices such as lime juice, tomato juice and lemon juice can counter spiciness too, so keeping a sweetened, icy cold glass of juice handy helps you keep the capsaicin burn at a minimum.

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