Chips coated in Sriracha or chocolate bars studded with chipotle are seemingly everywhere these days—there's something completely addictive about that heat. Aside from being tasty, the cayenne or chili peppers included in these recipes have pro-health benefits: They kick up your metabolism, boost heart health and even offer a natural appetite suppressant thanks to capasaicin, the compound that gives peppers their kick.
Here are four delicious, easy-to-assemble snacks you can make at home that are guaranteed to turn up the temp.
Sweet and Spicy Pecans
Despite having spent five too many hours experimenting with pecan recipes in culinary school this week, I'm still a fan of these nuts. Tossed up with this sophisticated spice blend, they're tasty alone or great crumbled in a salad.
To Make: Simply toss raw pecan halves in a bowl with cayenne pepper, salt, dried rosemary and enough maple syrup to ever-so-lightly coat the nuts. (Wanna get really fancy? Add our test-kitchen-approved secret weapon: orange zest. The hit of citrus is perfect.) Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes on a lined baking sheet, stirring every five minutes or so. Refrigerate immediately to get them extra crispy.
Wasabi Tea Sandwiches
These mini heat-packed sandwiches quell hunger with a high dose of nutrition from seaweed and veggies. Try them with whatever veggies are in your fridge right now.
To Make: Brush a thin strip of wasabi paste onto a piece of nori (the same seaweed used for sushi). Next, add a layer of thinly sliced vegetables like carrots, zucchini or cucumber—whatever you've got. Top off with another square of nori. Extra hungry? Add a layer of hummus for a solid dose of protein.
You don't need to whip up a Caesar to use these tasty, crunchy bites (though we swear by that, too). Instead pop 'em individually as a quick snack. Sure, you could buy store-bought ones, but mixing them up at home makes it easier to keep an eye on the sodium content.
To Make: Simply coat 1 can of (rinsed, drained) cooked chickpeas with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with chili powder, cayenne, cumin, plus salt and pepper to taste. Roast at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes until crispy.
Two-Pepper Potato Chips
Chips in the grocery store are a dime a dozen. So go rogue and make your own snack. Want a 5-chile spice level? Just toss in more jalapeno bits.
To Make: Thinly slice a sweet potato (highly recommend using a mandolin, if you've got one) and drizzle with olive oil, red chile pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes, flipping over at around 10 minutes. Let cool and mix with finely chopped jalapeno bits for added heat.
Stay healthy with our nutrition guide.