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After returning home from vacation I found many of my jalapeños to be wrinkled and shriveled up. I suspect they are a couple of weeks past ripe, though I'm new to gardening so I don't know. Is it safe to dry them and use them in recipes? Or maybe just the seeds? Or should I just put them all in the trash?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Jalapenos turn red when they're fully ripe but even if they aren't you can still dry them for use as hot pepper flake. As long as there isn't any bad spots on the peppers I'd think they should be fine to pick and finish drying inside. A picture would help but are you sure the peppers aren't just in need of water since you were away from them?

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Also after drying, you can grind them to make your own chili powder (use a new coffee grinder - they're a lot cheaper than a spice grinder and do just a good job - just don't use it for coffee afterwards!); and the adventurous could try smoking chipotles (something I haven't tried). – winwaed Aug 3 '12 at 12:13

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