About Stacy


I am not a nutritionist, dietician or doctor. I am just a mom who lost 80 pounds and is trying to maintain her weight loss while getting her family to eat healthier.

Five a Day the Fun Way is full of REALISTIC recipes, tips, research, activities, and ideas to make eating healthy fun for the entire family.

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Day 49: Some like it hot

In general I don’t like spicy food or hot peppers, but jalapeños are the exception. I find jalapeños to have a great flavor, mild heat, but not an overwhelming spiciness. My husband on the other hand, loves spicy food. The hotter the better!

I wish that I enjoyed more hot peppers because they are extremely good for you! The capsaicin in hot peppers is rich in a whole host of nutrients, including beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin C. Hot peppers have even been used as a remedy for colds and coughs because of their high vitamin C content. 

Want to feel good naturally? Just like exercise, hot peppers raise your levels of feel-good endorphins. Hot peppers are even a metabolism booster! The active ingredient boosts energy metabolism and suppresses body fat accumulation. Sign me up! 

Capsaicin can also help with pain relief. Have you ever noticed capsaicin as a top ingredient in pain-relieving creams? They even sell a capsaicin arthritis pain relief cream at Walgreen’s. The capsaicin is a vasodilator, which enhances circulation and increases body temperature. 

Hot peppers can also help aide digestion and prevent ulcers. If you are like me and prefer a milder hot pepper, remember that the smaller and more pointy the pepper, the hotter the taste. 

I absolutely love jalapeño poppers, but at 447 calories and 36 grams of fat for a mere two poppers, it is a treat that I do not indulge in frequently. So, I was so psyched to see that Shape magazine (March 2010 issue) published a recipe makeover for healthy jalapeno poppers. They turned out absolutely delicious! I honestly like this version better than the typical restaurant fare. Try out the recipe and let me know what you think: 

Gooey Jalapeno Poppers 

Ingredients

  • 6 jalapenos, halved, seeds and ribs removed
  • ½ cup shredded 75% reduced fat Cabot chedder cheese
  • ¼ cup reduced fat cream cheese
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs (you can find the Ian brand at Harris Teeter)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cooking Spray 

Instructions

  • Preheat the broiler on high. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the prepared jalapenos on the sheet on the top rack. Cook for two minutes or until the jalapenos start to char.
  • Preheat the oven to 450
  • Mix chedder and cream cheese in a small bowl.
  • Using a teaspoon, fill each pepper half with the cheese mixture, packing tightly.
  • Get three shallow bowls. Put the flour in one, panko in another and egg whites (whipped until foamy)  in the other.
  • Dredge jalapenos in flour, then add to egg whites, then finally bread in panko.
  • Lay jalapenos on baking sheet and season with salt & pepper. Cook for 20 minutes. 

Nutrition for 2 poppers

144 calories, 5 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 16 carbs, 10 grams protein, 3 grams fiber 

Do you like hot peppers? Do you have a favorite? Any good hot pepper recipes to share?

2 comments to Day 49: Some like it hot

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