Black Pepper, AKA 'Black Gold,' has not only been people's favorite spice for thousands of years, it's also been used to pay for dowries, rent, & as an exchange for other goods. The ancient Greeks swapped it for gold, & at the time of sacred rituals, offered it to the gods.
These days, Black Pepper is not just one of the most popular spices in the world, it's also highly beneficial for our health, & thanks to its famous component, Piperine, can kill bacteria
More Than Just Salt's Other Half!
Did you know that Black Pepper can be added to almost every single hot and cold savory dish, not to mention, cakes, sweet biscuits, and fruit?
Well, this is not so hard to imagine, bearing in mind its fabulously sharp, pungent taste sensation, which gives even the plainest dishes, a flavorsome kick!
And let's not forget the fun we have turning the pepper grinder or pressing on a battery-operated version.
Fun Facts: ground Black Pepper doesn't have as much flavor & is not as pungent as peppercorns that have been freshly ground. And it doesn't last so long! Also, meals always taste better if the freshly ground version is added after the meal had been prepared!
Black Pepper or black peppercorns, derive from the much-coveted pepper plant. This is found growing several meters high amid magnificently lush, tropical areas, including Southeast Asia and India.
Each pepper plant is grown for at least three years, and during this period, it develops small flowers, which become green berries. These are removed from the pepper plant before they ripen. They are then dried out, causing them to shrivel up and become black or dark brown.
And low and behold, we have the peppercorns that are magically grinded to tantalize our taste buds and transform countless dishes.
Tips for Using Black Pepper in Your Cooking
- Grate on stews, soups, sauces, marinades and stock
- Use on Vegan Black Pepper Stir Fry, Tofu with Bok Choy; Corn and Black Bean Chips; or Vegan Chicken Steaks–tofu laced in a peppery, mildly sweet, and mega-savory sauce
- Add to salad dressings alongside the olive oil, salt and cider vinegar
- Spice up fabulous egg and cheese dishes, such as egg mayonnaise and omelets
- Give pineapple and strawberries an extra special kick!
- Enliven your seafood
- Flavor freshly made sausages, rissoles and hamburgers
- Rub on to vegetable-based meat, chicken or fish before cooking
- Add to roast, baked and mashed potatoes
- Make a fantastic Black Pepper soup or sauce
- Boost the flavor of sauces, salsas and dips
- Enjoy spicy sweet biscuits by adding Black Pepper to the mix
So, What Science-Backed Health Benefits Can I Get from Black Pepper?
When we eat food that is served with Black Pepper, we can help promote optimum health by empowering our bodies to absorb valuable antioxidants, vitamins & other nutrients, in a far easier way, than without it!
This is what we call the Black Pepper Double Whammy! Not only does the Black Pepper enliven and taste-up our savory dishes - be it our main meal, soup, starter, or even an awesome sandwich; it also helps us ameliorate a broad spectrum of unwanted common ailments.
These issues include:
- Playing a key role in the digestion and metabolism of food
- Acting as an anti-microbial agent that can protect our food
- Working as an antioxidant that can scavenge damaging free radicals and help us fight disease, degeneration, and premature aging
- Settling the stomach, and feeling balanced
- Relieving gas and flatulence
- Clearing up colds, flu, and viral infections (when added to mint tea, etc.). Helps us cough up hard to shift phlegm and mucous
- Boosting our circulation
- Inducing sweating to cools us down
- Ameliorating symptoms that denote a fever
- Increasing mental clarity (which makes it perfect when we are in the middle of a difficult work task, or educational studies)
- Inducing urination (which is excellent when our kidneys are under par)
- Helping to digest and break down meat proteins and fats due to its ability to generate the gastric juices and saliva that are essential for our stomach's normal digestive processes
- Stimulating various parts and processes of our body, including the stomach, circulation, kidneys and heart
- Providing the minerals iron and manganese, which are crucial for optimum body functioning
- Treating tiredness and fatigue
- Rousing the appetite (which makes it excellent for those with anorexia, or other similar issues
- Improving cognitive function
Zou L, Hu YY, Chen WX. Antibacterial mechanism and activities of black pepper chloroform extract. J Food Sci Technol. 2015;52(12):8196-8203. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4648884/
Meixner, M. (2019). "11 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Black Pepper." Healthline.