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5 Spicy Food Swap-Outs That Are Still Just as Tasty

You love spicy foods, but they’re starting to burn more than just your taste buds. Try these delicious flavor swaps instead.


Some people can’t get enough of spicy foods. Whether it’s a five-alarm chili or mouth-burning buffalo wings, the hotter it is, the better. Unless, that is, you happen to be someone who gets heartburn after eating spicy foods. (It’s common: 74 percent of people who suffer from heartburn see a connection between the spiciness of a meal and their symptoms). If that sounds like you, don’t worry that you’re going to be stuck with bland meals from here on out! Read on for flavor-packed ways to satisfy your taste buds without causing pain.

  1. In chili: Instead of adding tons of jalapenos, add some dark beer or unsweetened cocoa. They both add richness and depth to the stew without overpowering other ingredients.
  2. On vegetables: Instead of sprinkling on spices like cayenne pepper, get some major flavor by roasting the vegetables. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and sweet potatoes all benefit from spending time in a hot oven. The high temperature caramelizes the sugars in the vegetables, giving them a nice sweet taste. Roasted veggies also go well with herbs like rosemary and thyme.
  3. On Mexican food: Instead of salsa, make an avocado crema. Puree avocado, plain yogurt, a quick squeeze of lime juice, salt, and cilantro together and you’ve got a flavorful sauce without any heat.
  4. On scrambled eggs: Instead of topping your breakfast with a few dashes of sriracha, turn to fresh herbs like chives, parsley, or thyme. Add the chopped herbs at the same time you salt and pepper the eggs.
  5. On chicken: Instead of drenching your chicken cutlets in buffalo sauce, kick up their breading instead. Swap out all or half the breadcrumbs with almond meal, and add dried herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, and turmeric.