If you’re looking to turn up the heat a little with your meals this season, look no further than chili! While it’s debatable whether chili falls neatly into a soup or stew category (and we won’t even touch the “it’s a topping!” debate), it’s clear that this hearty and healthy dish is up there with the best when it comes to satiating hunger throughout long winter days.
The Making of Chili
It’s difficult to pinpoint a single inventor of chili, but variations of it have likely been around for hundreds of years, if not longer. The origins of this dish’s core ingredient can be traced back to early farmers that grew and harvested chili peppers around 10,000 years ago. Accounts of chili-like foods can also be found peppered throughout historical accounts from South America in the 1500s, to the 1800s’ Texan cattle trails.
Today, many of the popular recipes we know and love feature red chilies stewed together with a mixture of crushed tomatoes and, of course, beans galore! While many cooks and traditional recipes choose to throw meat into the mix, vegetarian and vegan variations of chili can offer impressive levels of nutrition and health benefits all on their own.
Tomatoes often get overlooked in a crowd of more hyped up “superfoods,” and they were once even considered poisonous due to their association with the deadly nightshade family. Despite having some unsavory relatives in their family tree, tomatoes actually contain a ton of healthful ingredients, like vitamins C and K, potassium, and folate. They’re also a wonderful source of the antioxidant lycopene, which can help protect the skin from sun damage and might even lower the risk of cancer. Lycopene is so desirable that there are many tomato-derived supplements for it on today’s market—so why not get your dose of antioxidants directly from the source instead?
Stock up on Eden Crushed Tomatoes with Onion, Garlic & Basil to add an organic variety of tomatoes to your next chili recipe. This unique blend is made from Italian Roma and Napoli heirloom tomatoes that offer high nutritional value and an irresistible, sweeter taste.
We can’t talk about the core ingredients of chili without talking about…well, chili. These hot peppers may be known for packing a punch of flavor, but they’re no slouches in the health department either. Also hailing from the deadly nightshade family, chilis are known to have antioxidant-like components—only in this case, the star ingredient is capsaicin, the source of chilis’ signature heat.
Capsaicin is found in many pain-relief remedies, as it can bind with pain receptors to create a slightly burning (but ultimately soothing) effect on sore muscles and injuries. While chili peppers tend to be eaten in relatively low quantities, over time, those who regularly consume capsaicin can potentially become more desensitised to certain forms of pain. Multiple studies have even found a link between chili consumption and a reduction of heartburn-associated pain.
Try Eden Ground Chili Pepper made from the dried, ground seed and skin of chili pepper pods (the hottest part of the plant!). Preserved in a protective amber glass jar, just a pinch of this organically grown chili guarantees more flavor and spice in every bite.
Not all beans make a regular appearance in chilis, but some of the more popular varieties—like pinto, black, kidney, and Great Northern beans—are great plant-based sources of protein, fiber, and other healthy ingredients. Let’s look at just a few of the reasons to include these beans in your chilis:
Pinto beans are considered a low-glycemic food, meaning that they won’t raise your blood sugar and have a heart-health stamp of approval. Following a low-glycemic diet is also incredibly beneficial for managing diabetes.
Black beans contain a type of fiber, known as resistant starch, that actually stays whole as it’s processed through our digestive system. This cues the gut to begin a fermentation process which helps more “good” bacteria to thrive.
Kidney beans get their colors from antioxidants called anthocyanins, known for their effectiveness against free radicals in the body. Those who regularly consume foods with anthocyanins have been found to have reduced markers of inflammation-related issues (such as arthritis, high cholesterol, and heart disease).
Great Northern beans are rich in B vitamins like thiamin (B1) and folate (B9). In fact, of the 13 essential vitamins we need, 8 of these are B vitamins! They play a key role in helping our bodies turn the nutrients in food—like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats—into usable energy that allows us to power through our day to day lives.
In a Rush?
For those that lack the time or energy to whip up soups from scratch (we’ve all been there), we recommend trying one of Eden Foods’ convenient, ready-made chilis. Each offers a nourishing combination of complete proteins and half the sodium you’ll find in most canned chilis on the market today. Try Kidney Bean & Kamut Chili, Black Bean & Quinoa Chili, Eden Pinto Bean & Spelt Chili, or Great Northern Bean & Barley Chili. Eden’s chilis are conscientiously packaged in BPA-, BPS-, and phthalate-free cans.
Chili Made the Organic Way
Whether you’re heating up a bowl of chili at the office or feeling creative in the kitchen, Eden Foods provides endless ways to enjoy this classic winter staple—with no compromises on the health of your family or the planet, guaranteed.
Founded in 1968, Eden Foods is the oldest principled independent organic food company in the United States. Its mission is Creation and Maintenance of Purity in Food. Eden brand is the authentic alternative to commercial food; the purest, best tasting grains, beans, and vegetables on the planet, from known trusted growers. Healthy soil, long-term organic, non-GMO.