Bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers, are closely related to the hot chilies, but they lack the spice. The thick pepper walls enclose a large hollow and segments which seeds are attached to. Although technically a fruit, peppers are prepared like a vegetable. Bell peppers come in a range of colors. They start out green on the vine, then turn red, orange or yellow as they ripen.
Best Storage Practices:
Peppers like a humid, cool environment. Store them in a bag in the refrigerator around 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fun Ways to Eat and Cook:
Peppers can be eaten raw, lightly cooked, roasted, pureed and in a variety of other ways. Red and yellow peppers tend to taste sweeter, while green peppers have more bitterness.
Select peppers with glossy, smooth skin that feel heavy for their size. Avoid peppers with blemishes or soft spots.
Why it's Good to Eat:
- Very high levels of vitamin C
- Rich in beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A
- Excellent source of vitamin E and a good source of folate (one of the B vitamins)
When it's in Season:
Peppers are a warm weather crop, available from early summer until the cool fall weather arrives.
How it's Harvested:
Peppers grow on low bushes. Once ripe, they are cut or plucked from the bush.
Stuffed Peppers - Remove top and de-seed medium-sized pepper. Fill with any mixture of cooked left-over vegetables or spaghetti bolognaise. Sprinkle with buttered breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake in moderate-temperature oven until tender.