Few plants grab the attention of both eyes and taste buds like spicy chile peppers. Harvest chiles in summer; enjoy their flavours all year by drying chilies in an oven, a dehydrator or the open air. Once dry, store them in a sealed jar or plastic bag, or crush into a powder. Dried peppers can be ground into coarse flakes or a fine powder for flavouring.

When drying peppers ensure you wear rubber gloves, avoid eyes and prevent skin irritation. Crushing can be done by hand with a mortar and pestle or a food processor. Coffee bean grinders are also well-suited for this purpose. Many people slice peppers open, remove seeds, blanch and freeze the chilies. They will keep up to 12 months in a deep freezer.

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