Chocolate peppers have nothing to do with chocolate, except for their reddish brown chocolatey color. Many sweet and spicy pepper varieties come in a chocolate color, including sweet bell peppers, habanero and cayenne. Chocolate peppers are a good source of vitamins C and K and several B vitamins, as well as magnesium and potassium with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits and blood pressure and cholesterol lowering properties. Chocolate peppers are low in calories and a low glycemic food with minimal effects on blood sugar.
What are chocolate peppers?
Chocolate peppers are not just one variety of pepper, but rather a pepper color. There are sweet chocolate bell peppers, chocolate Round of Hungary or Romanian Gogosari peppers, chocolate chili peppers, chocolate Habanero peppers, chocolate cherry peppers and more. Chocolate peppers have a darker grayish red to reddish brown skin, or a muddy brown purple skin in some cases, reminiscent of the color of chocolate, hence their name.
What do chocolate peppers look like?
Chocolate peppers have a darker grayish red to reddish brown skin, or a muddy brown purple skin in some cases, reminiscent of the color of chocolate, hence their name. The flesh inside is typically redder. Because chocolate peppers belong to more than one variety, their appearance varies significantly. For example, sweet chocolate bell peppers are large, deeply lobed and somewhat bell-shaped, with thick, meaty, crisp, juicy flesh. Chocolate habanero peppers are small, somewhat wrinkly peppers, rounded at the stem and pointy at the end opposite to the stem, not too meaty. Chocolate cayenne peppers are long and slim, tapering peppers.
Types of chocolate peppers
- Sweet or non-pungent chocolate peppers (e.g. chocolate bell peppers), a source of non-pungent capsaicinoid compounds.
- Spicy or pungent chili chocolate peppers (e.g. habanero chocolate peppers), a source of capsaicin and other pungent capsaicinoid compounds.
What do chocolate peppers taste like?
The taste of chocolate peppers varies according to cultivar. Chocolate bell peppers taste sweet, with pleasant non-pungent pepper flavors, and so do other non-pungent cultivars. Chocolate cayenne, habanero and other chili peppers taste spicy, with varying degrees of heat. Unripe chocolate peppers taste bitter.
Chocolate peppers nutrition facts and benefits
- Low in calories and fat, chocolate peppers are a good food for creating a calorie deficit and losing weight.
- Minor benefits for constipation owed to a good dietary fiber content that improves transit time.
- Modest source of vitamin C with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune system boosting benefits.
- Modest anti-hypertensive benefits owed to a good magnesium and potassium content.
- Modest cholesterol lowering properties owed to vitamin B3 and dietary fiber.
- Benefits for eyesight from carotenoid antioxidants with vitamin A activity.
- Free radical scavenging benefits owed to vitamin C, pro-vitamin A carotenoids, chlorophyll and colorless antioxidants.
- Anti-anemia benefits owed to a good content of B vitamins and vitamin C which boosts iron absorption.
- Benefits for skin owed to vitamin C which stimulates collagen production for better skin elasticity and fewer, less pronounced wrinkles.
- Benefits for blood coagulation owed to vitamin K which has antibleeding effects.
- Benefits for teeth and gums owed to a good content of vitamin C which stimulates the production of special types of collagen needed for teeth structure and strength and strengthens the walls of capillaries vascularizing gums.
- Good food for diabetics with a low glycemic index score and minimal effects on blood sugar. The GI score for chocolate peppers, all varieties considered, is lower than 50.
- Tonic, hydrating properties owed to a good mineral content and a high water content of around 90%.
Chocolate peppers side effects
- Acid reflux. It’s possible for both sweet and spicy varieties of chocolate peppers to cause acid reflux with regurgitation of stomach juices, a bad taste in the mouth, excessive burping that smells like pepper and other symptoms.
- Heartburn. Spicy chocolate peppers in particular can cause heartburn from the regurgitation of stomach juice.
- Digestive upset. Spicy chocolate peppers and, to a lesser extent, sweet chocolate peppers can cause digestive upset in some people, especially in those with conditions such as GERD, gastritis or a stomach ulcer.
- Hemorrhoids flareup. Chocolate spicy peppers can cause a hemorrhoids flareup with itching, bleeding, discomfort and pain if eaten in excess.
- Asthma attack. Spicy peppers of all colors, chocolate included, and spicy paprika can trigger an asthma attack if inhaled or ingested in amounts sufficient to cause acid reflux and heartburn.
- Allergic reaction. If you have a pepper allergy, then chocolate and other pepper colors should be avoided in all forms and preparations.
- Irritation of mucous membranes. Spicy chocolate peppers contain pungent capsaicin compounds which can irritate mucous membranes such as the throat and stomach lining, the nose and eyes, the lungs and even skin, causing a burning sensation of varying intensity.
This post was updated on Thursday / August 5th, 2021 at 10:27 PM