A pinch of black pepper is added to almost every type of recipe imaginable.
Once used as currency and presented to the gods as a sacred offering, it is fortunate that this most popular of spices is available throughout the year.
Black pepper comes from the pepper plant, a smooth woody vine that can grow up to 33 feet in hot and humid tropical climates. They begin to bear small white clustered flowers after 3 to 4 years and develop into berries known as peppercorns. Ground peppercorns produce the spice we call pepper.
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) stimulates the taste buds in such a way that an alert is sent to the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. Hydrochloric acid is necessary for the digestion of proteins and other food components in the stomach. When the body's production of hydrochloric acid is insufficient, food may sit in the stomach for an extended period of time, leading to heartburn or indigestion, or it may pass into the intestines, where it can be used as a food source for unfriendly gut bacteria, whose activities produce gas, irritation, and/or diarrhea or constipation.
Black pepper has long been recognized as a carminitive, (a substance that helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas), a property likely due to its beneficial effect of stimulating hydrochloric acid production. In addition, black pepper has diaphoretic (promotes sweating), and diuretic (promotes urination) properties.
Black pepper has demonstrated impressive antioxidant and antibacterial effects, yet another way in which this wonderful seasoning promotes the health of the digestive tract. And not only does black pepper help you derive the most benefit from your food, the outer layer of the peppercorn stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, keeping you slim while giving you energy to burn.
Can’t go wrong with cheese and potatoes.
Cheesy Potato Rounds
Copyright 2012, Christine’s Pantry. All rights reserved.
3 large potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, chopped
Preheat oven to 400.
Brush both side of potatoes with butter, place potatoes on ungreased sheet pan. Sprinkle black pepper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender, turning once.
When potatoes are done, remove from oven, top with cheese and green onions. Place potatoes back into oven, until cheese melted. Enjoy!
You may also like these recipes: