Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, and Red Chili Flakes are all made from peppers, and they all have health benefits associated with them.
When it comes to adding spice to food, you want to make sure to have cayenne pepper, paprika, and red chili flakes on hand. They all add a kick of flavor and a lot of spice to a meal. Sometimes, a plain meal just needs a pinch of these to take it up a notch.
Originally Published On: August 21, 2018
Last Updated On: June 15, 2021
In addition to adding a bit of spice to a meal, cayenne pepper has many health benefits and has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb.
- Allergy Prevention
- Blood Clot Prevention
- Digestion Health
- Metabolism Booster
- Migraine Pain Relief
- Weight Loss
Cooking with Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is a perfect addition to meats, pasta, and vegetables. Just start small because it has a very strong flavor and can add too much spice for some (like me) if you go overboard.
RELATED: Recipes using Cayenne Pepper
Growing Cayenne Pepper
I haven’t grown cayenne peppers in the garden. I have grown bell peppers which are grown in a similar fashion. They thrive in warm, humid, tropical climates with a lot of sun and water. You can start them as seeds or starter plants. Make sure the peppers aren’t exposed to temperatures cooler than 60F.
It takes about 70-80 days for the peppers to grow, and they are ready to harvest when they are about 4-6 inches long and the stems will break easily. Remove the peppers from the plant. Hang them to dry until they are shriveled. It helps to use a small needle and thread to thread the tops of the peppers for them to hang. Once they are dried out, you can store them in an airtight container like this for months. When you need cayenne pepper, just use a grinder to make some into powder.
Purchasing & Storing Tips
Cayenne pepper can be purchased as a powder from the spice aisle at your favorite grocery store. As long as it’s in an airtight container it should last for a long time.
For many years paprika has been used for medicinal purposes. But new discoveries recently prove that it helps with a much larger variety of ailments than originally known. Paprika was discovered in the New World in the 1400s and brought back to Europe, Africa, and Asia where it became extremely popular in Hungary where they are especially known for their goulash with paprika.
- Aids in Autoimmune Conditions
- Anemia Fighter
- Blood Pressure Reduction
- Blood Sugar Reduction
- Eye Health
Cooking with Paprika
Paprika is made from ground red-colored peppers such as bell pepper, chili pepper, and cayenne peppers. Many cultures use paprika in a large variety of ways. In the US it’s commonly used on deviled eggs and in bbq recipes, ketchup, meats, potato salad, and similar dishes. Mexican cuisines use it for sauces and salsas.
RELATED: Recipes using Paprika
Since paprika is another type of red pepper it is grown in the same way as the cayenne peppers. Paprika peppers are ready to harvest when they are bright red in color. Hang to dry. Ground into a powder to use in cooking.
Purchasing & Storing Tips
If you are looking to buy ready-made paprika then you can purchase it at the store from the spice aisle. There are usually two types of paprika, either Spanish or Hungarian. They are similar in flavor. The Spanish Paprika is smoked to get the peppers to dry out while the Hungarian form is sun-dried.
Red Chili Flakes
For centuries, cooks in Southern Italy have been using red peppers to spice up their pasta and pizza even before knowing the plethora of health benefits that the plant gives us.
- Blood Sugar Reduction
- Cholesterol Reduction
- Heart HealthImmunity Booster
- Nausea Treatment
- Stomach Ulcers Protection
- Stroke Risk Reduction
Cooking with Red Chili Flakes
Adding red chili pepper flakes or crushed red pepper to your meal adds a spice to the foods. As with any seasoning, take it slowly to start as it can become overwhelming in high quantities.
RELATED: Recipes using Red Chili Flakes
Growing Red Chili Pepper
Red Chili Pepper Flakes are made from, you guessed it, red chili peppers. There are a few types of red chili peppers you can grow, though the one you choose will be based on how hot you want your flakes. They are grown and harvested the same way as the cayenne peppers and paprika peppers.
To make the flakes from fresh peppers, you’ll want to cut the stems off of the peppers and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Set the oven to a low temperature to dehydrate the peppers. You can also use a dehydrator or hang them in the sun to dry. Use a food processor and pulse the dried peppers to get them to the texture you desire.
Purchasing & Storing Tips
Pre-made red chili pepper flakes are, of course, the easy way to do it. These can be found in the spice aisle and sometimes with pizza toppings.
Want a printable version of the entire list of Essential Herbs and Spices and their health benefits? Click below to receive the list in PDF format.
Sources for Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, and Red Chili Flakes information:
34 thoughts on “Essential Herbs and Spices for a Healthy Kitchen, Part 3: Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Red Chili Flakes”
Oh man your post is the wrong one to read when you’re starving! Oh your recipes sound so good! Since I am a huge believe in natural remedies and essential oils…I LOVE that you included the health benefits of each spice. It was great to find out some of the history of each spice too. Like, I said I completely addicted to natural remedies so this article deserves an A+ in my book.
I have been diving into the natural remedies and oils as well. That’s part of what lead me to research the spices that we use in the kitchen all the time.
I love paprika but the other spices you mention – they’re TOO spicy for me!!
I don’t like a lot of spicy, either. I use paprika often, but the others are usually in VERY tiny amounts if I have my way. My husband likes the spicy, so he adds more to a meal after it’s cooked.
wow, this post is a treasure! All three gathered and currated perfectly in one place! I could not choose honestly, don’t make me choose I love them all so much! I use paprika on anything, I’m basically addicted! Red chilli flakes on top of my soups at winter and cayenne pepper in my herbal tea with lemon and honey! Yum!
I won’t make you choose 🙂 They are all great for different things and have so many health benefits.
Confession time. I have been seriously lacking on seasoning my food. I’ve been doing a lot of meal prep but it’s all coming out bland. Your post is reminding me that the seasoning has health benefits too!
Yes! The seasonings add both flavor and health benefits!
Oh I LOVE seasoning! My favorite is paprika! I’ve been putting thyme in my meatloaf and my husband doesn’t like it! I’m like whaaaat it tastes so much better with in my opinion, ESPECIALLY since he wont let me put onions or peppers in it!
I’ve never tried thyme in my meatloaf, either. I do add onions sometimes, though, and I put cheese in the middle 🙂
What a beautiful list! 🙂 I love this and it makes me want to run to the grocery store now and buy all of these fresh, lovely and healthy ingredients for our home.
Just add them to the list for the next time you make a grocery run 🙂
I love cayenne pepper! I had no idea that it had so many health benefits. Like antifungal? WHO KNEW?!?! I’m so excited to incorporate some of these recipes! I’ve got my eye on that Nacho Dip!
I know, it’s amazing how many health benefits there are in the spices we use all the time.
Smoked paprika is one of my favorite spices to use. I didn’t know what type of plant it came from though. This was really informative.
It’s always interesting to dig deeper into the origins of ingredients. I love researching food 🙂
I love spicy food and plates, although some of them might cause me stomach ache or just an irritation. Paprika is my all time favorite!
Spicy food doesn’t always agree with me, either. But paprika is good on so many things!
We love cooking with peppers, often times we sauté them and put them on pizzas or in stir fries. I didn’t know all the benefit they had though.
We don’t put peppers on pizza much, but I love having them in a stir-fry, too!
I put crushed red pepper on everything! I don’t know what it is about the heat that I love so much 🙂 Great choice of spices, here.
My husband is the same way, he loves adding spicy anything to his food.
Who knew that food could have so many health benefits. Would much rather go natural rather than use medicine where possible x
Me, too! We’ve been using a lot more natural remedies lately, including being conscious of the food we eat.
I had no idea spices had so many different health qualities! I’ll definitely be giving some of your suggestions a try!
It’s amazing what good our food can do for us!
I don’t know much about paprika but I heard cayenne pepper is very very healthy! Thanks a lot for the information, that is great.
Yes, they are all so healthy in so many ways!
I love anything spicy so I would cook with this for myself. My husband is a bad Texan and hates spice
Well, then I am a bad Texan, too, since spicy doesn’t agree with me. My husband loves it, though!
Peppers in all varieties but especially the fresh hot kind are part of my cooking spices. I love hot foods and fresh scotch bonnet peppers are my favorite.
Unfortunately, spicy foods don’t always agree with me, but if my husband is making something for himself he includes all the spicy peppers, too!
I have all of these items in my kitchen! I did not realized all of the great benefits of them though. So glad to learn I am using healthy ingredients and did not even know it!!!
Doesn’t that make it even better?! You are adding all these health benefits and didn’t even know it!