Tame Spicy Food's Heat With Some Maple Syrup

If a quick taste test of the warming spicy bean stew recipe you have simmering on the stove has your mouth feeling like it is on fire, you're not doomed to toss out your entire culinary effort. Similarly, if you've ordered a dish at a restaurant that has you in a sweat, you may be able to subdue the spicy offender with a sweet, simple fix. 

While the right amount of spice can enhance flavors and add complexity to a dish, too much might send you running to look for milk to guzzle. But for those with a sensitive palate, there's no need to banish your favorite spicy condiments to the back of your cupboards. Whether or not you're dropping chili oil into a curry or seasoning penne arrabbiata, if you mistakenly added a bit too much sauce into the pot, we have an easy solution to help you save tonight's dinner.

Sugar and spice make everything nice

Although adding dairy products to an extra spicy soup can help tame a fiery dish, you may want to steer clear of dairy for health or dietary reasons. Fortunately, when working with sauces and marinades, you have another option: A bit of maple syrup or honey can help you even out the spice and turn down the heat levels of your recipes.

After you've decided upon your sweetener of choice, start by adding a bit and tasting as you go. You don't want to overcorrect and end up with a dessert. Use salt to round out flavors, and consider adding in more ingredients to level out the spiciness that's entered your kitchen.

This sweet hack can be applied to drink recipes, too. If you've found that you went a little too hard with chili powder while making spiced ranch water cocktails, try adding a touch of maple syrup or simple syrup to help bring the recipe back around.