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SIUH teaching kitchen uses chili peppers to boost metabolism


Want to stay warm and fire up your metabolism this winter? Then turn up the heat by adding chili peppers to your next recipe.

That's what Staten Island University Hospital Executive Chef Fernando Marulanda did today during a pop-up teaching kitchen demonstration at the Ocean Breeze hospital cafeteria.

Debuting this month's hospital superfood – chili peppers – Chef Fernando and Nicole Presti, a hospital dietitian, whipped up spicy BBQ carrot tostadas which uses a tasty combination of jalapeno and serrano peppers.

"Both peppers provide two different kinds of flavors," said the chef. "The jalapeno is a little bit spicy, but not too much, and the serrano has a smokiness."

There are literally hundreds of chili pepper varieties ranging in all sizes, shapes and colors.

"Our main ingredient is peppers which has capsaicin. This is the ingredient in peppers that gives them 'heat'," explained Ms. Presti. "Capsaicin makes you feel full and boosts your metabolism."

Nutritionally, peppers are high in in Vitamin C (essential for the immune system), and generally a good source of beta carotene (the body converts beta carotene into vitamin A which is responsible for maintaining a healthy immune system, vision and cell growth), potassium (a very important mineral for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs in the human body) and Vitamin B6 (which supports brain function). Peppers are low in calories and sodium, and also contain some fiber and Vitamin K.

The dish-of-the-day also incorporated carrots in a BBQ sauce to give it a meaty texture, guacamole, fresh salsa and pineapples to give it a sweet-and-sour kick.

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