Red Pepper Flakes are simply dried peppers that have been ground up just enough to leave you with a mix of flakes, seeds and ground pepper. Any kind kind of peppers can be used, most often cayenne, but sweeter peppers like ancho, guajillo or even bell peppers can be used. We use the dried peppers like a spice, even though they are botanically a fruit since they contain the seeds of the plant.

This easy and delicious recipe has a twist – and we’ve pointed it out below in bold. You’ll need to roast your squash FIRST in order to add it in later. The squash is seasoned with the pepper flakes to add a little contrast to the sweet squash.

Chilies and dried chili flakes are a wonderful addition to a healthy meal like this.They can be used to help treat digestive problems, circulatory problems, infections and arthritis. Most crushed red pepper mixtures contain a variety of different peppers such as bell, jalapeno, ancho and cayenne peppers, which range from mild and peppery to hot and spicy. The pepper seeds are included to increase the spice level.

They add flavor without many added calories, fat or sugar. And don’t forget about the wonderful capsaicin you get from the red pepper chili family.  It is a molecular compound found in spicy peppers that is found in every part of the pepper except for the seed, although the highest concentration is found in the inner wall where the seeds attach. It has the ability to help diminish the frequency of headaches, manage diabetes and help you lose weight.

Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 ½ Cup Minced Red Onion
  • 2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 Small Butternut Squash, Chopped and Seasoned with Olive Oil, Sea Salt and 1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes – Roasted in the oven at 400F for 30 minutes.
  • 1 Roasted Red Pepper, Chopped
  • ½ Cup Coconut Milk
  • 2 Cups Veg Stock
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • ½ Cup Red Lentils
  • 1 TB Lemon Juice

Sauté the red onion in the oil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. When slightly golden – about 5 minutes, add the garlic. Cook and stir until fragrant – about 1 minute. Add the roasted squash. Red pepper flakes, coconut milk, veg stock, season with salt and pepper. Add in the lentils. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the lemon juice and taste for salt and pepper.

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