Friday, October 4, 2013

My newest obsession....and it's hot!

I've always loved jalapenos, but recently, I've been sticking them in/on everything!

These past few weeks, I've enjoyed those palate poppers in homemade salads, nachos, and my new breakfast of brown rice, sesame oil, soy sauce, avocado, and eggs.  

And let's not forget jalapeno margaritas! Delish!

Below is a an example of a tame margarita with pretty little jalapeno slices.

I like mine muddled and nasty!

And not only do jalapenos kick the taste up a notch, but these hot peppers contain a naturally occurring chemical called capsaicin that boosts up your metabolism, quickens your heart rate, and increases the amount of calories you burn during digestion!

Capsaicin is also the culprit that causes the stinging sensation after handling jalapenos.  I actually like the pulsating waves of warmth that jalapenos leave on my hands and sometimes even my face if I accidentally spread the oil on it.  It's weird.

But one time, I made the mistake of cutting jalapenos and taking out my contacts later that night after only washing my hands with soap and water.  Big mistake.  Not only did my eyes feel like they were on fire, but oddly enough, I started drooling as well.  

Me in the bathroom that night.
After some online research, I decided to (a bit fearfully) test out some solutions.  Since capsaicin is more soluble in oil than in water, people suggested dissolving the capsaicin with olive oil.  Then you are supposed to wash your hands with soap and water, rub isopropyl alcohol over your hands to remove any remaining jalapeno oil, and soak your hands in milk to soothe the burning.  Milk contains casein which binds with capsaicin and neutralizes it.

I tried the olive oil and the rubbing alcohol last night, and one of my eyes stung a tad bit when taking out my contact.  The other eye was absolutely fine.  It was definitely a different experience from when I took no proper capsaicin-removing measure and my eyes were filled with hurting tears. 

My research also indicates that sugar neutralizes the capsaicin.  A scrub made of sugar and olive oil was recommended.  Sour cream was also another burn reducer.

The obvious easy solution is to wear gloves when one cuts jalapenos.  But I just don't see myself doing that.  Anyone have any other secrets to getting rid of jalapeno oil?

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