Because of their self-preserving acid (capsaicin), hot peppers are easy to dry and use in soups, stews, salads, pizza, and many other savory dishes. Home-dried peppers cost a tiny fraction of those purchased from the spice section of grocery stores.
Some interesting facts about hot peppers:
Contrary to popular belief , the acid in hot peppers (capsaicin) can cure GERD (acid reflux), according to Earth Clinic at http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/acid_reflux.html and the Acid Reflux Natural Cayenne website at http://acidrefluxmenudiet.tahitivacations.in/acidrefluxnaturalcayenne, as well as many other sources.
I personally know four different individuals (one is a medical doctor) who either eat hot pepper or take cayenne capsules daily to prevent GERD (acid reflux) and heartburn.
How does hot pepper cure heartburn and acid reflux (GERD)?
It was once believed that pepper caused heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD, when in fact it was the fat-laden foods actually causing the adverse condition. Heartburn and acid reflux (GERD) are usually caused by the body’s inability to properly digest food. The indigestion can occur from overeating, overconsumption of fats, impaired liver function, or other reasons. Hot pepper remedies this problem by stimulating digestion, according to Discovery Health at http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/cayenne-pepper-herbal-remedies.htm
Hot pepper is actually used as a natural cure for heartburn and acid reflux (GERD).
How does one use dried peppers?
Dried peppers are great in soups, stews, salads, pizza, and many other dishes. Dried peppers can be placed into a blender, made into a powder, and stored in a pepper shaker (the kind with holes in the lid for sprinkling).
The pepper powder produced by a blender can also be put into gelatin capsules and taken as a natural cure for heartburn and acid reflux (GERD).
How to dry hot peppers:
Get a needle and thread. Thread the needle, making certain that the thread is doubled (for extra strength). String hot peppers together by putting the needle through the stems of the peppers. String them together in bunches of 5 to 10, as seen in the above photo. Too many peppers will be too much weight for the sewing thread to handle, unless a sturdier thread is used, such as string, upholstery thread or nylon thread. Hang the bunches of peppers where they are not laying against any objects. They should be in an area where adequate airflow is present (not a closet or basement, but out in an open room).
Do not dry mild peppers in this manner, because they lack the self-preserving acid (capsaicin), which inhibits the growth of mould and bacteria. This acid is present in all hot peppers.
This is a very “green” method for preserving hot peppers. No expensive equipment is needed, and no resources are being wasted in the process.
What to do with the bunches of peppers while they are drying:
Hot peppers come in a variety of colors (red, green, yellow), and are beautiful decorations when they are strung together for drying. Their vibrant colors add life and interest to a kitchen simply by hanging where they can be easily seen.
What to do with the peppers once they are dry:
The peppers are adequately dry when they contain only 10% water. They will be leathery to the touch, or even crispy. To prevent them from becoming dusty, they should be stored away in a container, bag, or drawer. They can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or the freezer. If frozen, they will keep their vibrant colors much longer.