What Is Piper Nigrum Good For?
When it comes to flavoring our dishes, black pepper is undoubtedly a staple in most (maybe all) kitchens around the world. However, Piper nigrum, or black pepper as it is more commonly know, is not just a spice that adds a mild heat to our meals; nor should it simply be reserved for covering up bland flavoring of savory dishes. Black pepper holds a plethora of health benefits that have been recognized and utilized for centuries, as well as some less common culinary uses. In this blog post, we will delve into the various uses for Piper nigrum that stray from the norm.
Exploring the Culinary and Medicinal Benefits of Black Peppercorns
Unusual Culinary Applications for Piper Nigrum
You’d be hard-pressed to find a table setting that lacked a pepper shaker or grinder (regardless of whether in a home or restaurant). Black pepper is black pepper is literally the world’s most popular spice—used and traded more than any other spice across the gold. It is an amazing addition to just about every savory creation to add an incredibly mild level of heat.
It is quite difficult to find a savory recipe that doesn’t contain black pepper. We absolutely adore it in braises, stews, and on any type of red meat (especially venison). It is rarely a stand-out ingredient, though, and we think that should change.
A fresh ground black pepper grilled roasted turkey and swiss cheese may just change the way you feel about a more traditional grilled cheese. We’re not talking a small amount of black pepper. You need fresh grind it (in a grinder or using a mortar and pestle) and liberally apply it directly between two pieces of quality swiss cheese.
Somewhere in between the realms of sweet and savory are appetizers with fruits and savory spreads. One of our favorites involves a whipped black pepper goat cheese. Simply blend together equal parts of your favorite chevre and cream cheese and a decent amount of black pepper, drizzle in a slight amount of extra virgin olive oil for a smoother consistency. Schmear it atop toasted bread or crackers, top with fresh berries, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Next time you are making a batch of homemade whipped cream or ice cream,try adding black pepper to it. You won’t be disapointed. We especially love making cardamom and black pepper ice cream and topping it with a strawberry basil puree. Black pepper whipped cream is perfect for serving atop fruit pies or rich chocolate desserts.
Medicinal Uses for Piper Nigrum
Beyond its culinary uses, offers a wide array of health benefits—from aiding digestion and supporting weight management to promoting brain health and providing antimicrobial effects, and beyond. It has been treasured and utilized for centuries for its medicinal properties.
Black pepper is chock full of nutrients that could play a role in promoting overall health. Among these nutrients are manganese, iron, vitamin K, calcium, potassium,thiamine, riboflavin, fiber, and more. The king of spices owes most of its medicinal benefits to an alkaloid called piperine, though.
The high levels of manganese and the inclusion of piperine, may also help with weight management, through boosting metabolism and inhibiting the formation of new fat cells. Piperine has also been found to help with insulin resistance, has beneficial anti-inflamitory effects, promotes brain health and improves memory, aids in healthy digestion, and may even shows potential for anticancer activities.