Peppers

farmers_market_407-peppers.jpg

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.  

Selecting Peppers: 

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. 

Recipes: 

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.