Many people have their own recipes when it comes to making chili and those recipes often call for a variety of ingredients to be added. Adding vegetables to your chili is a good way to thicken the consistency of your chili and give it a flavorful texture.
Bell pepper is a good vegetable choice to add to chili. They are used frequently in Mexican cuisine, such as in fajitas and burritos. They add a slight crunch and can intensify the flavors you've already put together. Red or orange bell peppers are appropriate choices if you want to give your chili a sweeter taste. Green bell peppers do not offer that same sweet flavor, but can still be blended in with the rest of your ingredients to add texture and a savory taste to your chili.
Some chili chefs like making healthier versions of chili, in which case consider adding some diced zucchini. Zucchini absorbs the surrounding flavors and becomes soft as it cooks. While the zucchini may not diversify the texture of your chili, it can help thicken up the base so your spoonfuls are even heartier. Consider making a white bean, chicken and zucchini chili for a healthy edge. You might also use a combination of yellow and green zucchini to make the chili colorful.
Many people add diced carrots to their chili. When carrots are cooked, they get a sweet flavor, making it a nice vegetable to offset the spiciness of the chili. Carrots will make your chili chunkier, while making sure you get some essential nutrients at the same time, such as carotene and vitamin A.
If you are adding carrots to your chili, go ahead and add some celery, too. Carrots and celery are often paired together to create a base for stews and soups. Cut your celery into small slices or cubes so people can avoid the stringy fibers that longer pieces contain.
Chili is not complete without onions. You can cook onions in the chili, reserve some diced onions for the topping of your chili or eat fried onions on the side. Select your onion based on how much spice you want to add to your chili. If you want a mellow or mild onion flavor, go with a sweet onion.
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Kyra Sheahan has been a writer for various publications since 2008. Her work has been featured in "The Desert Leaf" and "Kentucky Doc Magazine," covering health and wellness, environmental conservatism and DIY crafts. Sheahan holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.
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