Since people all over the world go crazy for chilli we want to show our appreciation. So we decided this calls for a celebration. Read more to discover where Chili really originates from, 5 impressive health benefits and a few different ways you can prepare your own, clean chili.
Chili is Mexican right?
You might not believe it but this is actually wrong. Contrary to popular belief, and a lot of marketing, Chili actually originates from San Antonio in the State of Texas. The chances of you finding a real, authentic bowl of chili in Mexico are pretty slim. Unless it’s a tourist destination. However regardless of where it came from, people all over the world love it. And quite rightly so. There are even national world chili championships held every year where people go out of their minds battling it out to prove they have the best chili recipe.
What goes into the best chili?
It’s a complex topic. Everyone will have their own opinion of what makes “the best chili”. But the best thing about chili is how versatile it is. Here are a few different ways you can prepare your chili to suit your taste.
Chili con carne- “Chili with meat”
Chili con carne is the most popular chili dish. Translated from Spanish it means “Chili with meat” and is known as a stew consisting mainly of chili peppers, beef, tomatoes and beans.
The best chili con carne should have the following:
- A balanced combination of sweet, bitter, hot and fruity flavours
- Lean steak or good quality minced beef or other kinds of meat like chicken, venison and pork work well too
- Tender beans- kidney and/or chickpeas
- And a thick, deep, spicy, tomato sauce
Unlike many other dishes, the vegetarian version of chili takes just as good as one with meat. You can pretty much add anything to your vegetarian chili. The combination of flavours should remain the same and it should still have a thick, deep, spicy red sauce. But you can experiment with so many other kinds of ingredients such as:
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
Fruit and nuts
Fruit and nuts might sound like an odd ingredient to add, but actually work very well in chili. Adding a sweet taste it complements the other spices. Try out the following:
- Dried fruit such as raisins, apricots and cranberries – just ensure they have no added sugar
- Many add chocolate to their chili for extra creamy richness-keep it clean by adding unsweetened cocoa powder for that same rich flavour
Spices and seasoning
- Chili powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Paprika powder
- Fresh chilis-green and/or red
- Ground cumin
- Guacamole is always a must – discover the Freeletics clean recipe
- Low fat cheddar cheese
- Low fat sour cream or low fat curd for extra protein
And the best thing about it is…it’s healthy too!
Stick to the fresh ingredients above and a good, homemade bowl of chili is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Here are 5 ways that chili benefits your health:
- If you prepare your chili with beef, it’s a valuable source of protein. Even if you’re a vegetarian, the beans in your chili still ensure you aren’t missing out on your daily dose of protein: eat chili, maintain muscles.
- A big bowl of chili can even help you lose weight. Capsicum found in chilies and peppers raise the body’s heat production, therefore speeding up the metabolic rate.
- Vitamin A and C, found in chilies will boost your body’s immune system, so best grab a big hearty bowl of the stuff when you’re next feeling ill.
- Chilies, peppers and beans are all valuable sources of fibre. This is super important for a healthy, balanced diet, preventing diabetes, weight gain and improving your digestive system.
- Suffer from a sweet tooth? Ingredients in chili which include capsicum, so peppers and chili, will lower your cravings for sweet and fatty foods.
Experiment and try out a new chili recipe today. Just remember to keep it clean and your chili won’t just taste good, but it will also be the fuel your body needs for that next gruelling workout.