Harvest of the Month: Peppers

Looking for a great summer vegetable that can satisfy a craving for crunchy, sweet, or spicy? Try a new variety of pepper this season!

Green, red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are very common and also easy for beginning gardeners to grow, as they can thrive well in the summer heat.

However, there are many other lesser-known varieties that can easily be found in grocery stores or farmers’ markets this time of year. Banana and cubanelle peppers offer a sweeter taste that can be added to wraps, salads, or pizza, while chili peppers and jalapenos can spice up a Mexican dish or soup.

As far as health benefits go, red bell peppers in particular are chock-full of Vitamin C, and beta-carotene found in peppers has anti-inflammatory properties. Capsaicin, the substance in peppers dictating how hot they are, gives the body a slight metabolic boost.

How to select

No matter the variety of pepper, look for ones that are shiny, wrinkle-free, and firm to the touch.

How to store

Store peppers in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Do not wash or cut into peppers prior to using them, as the moisture will make them start to go bad.

How to prepare

To eat raw, wash the peppers well, then slice or chop them and go! Peppers can be cooked by grilling, baking, sautéing, or roasting. Look for peppers to become tender but still maintain basic structure. Most of the nutritional value is maintained by avoiding high-heat cooking.

Try peppers in the delicious recipe for Three Pepper Pasta Salad from All Recipes.

Tags: , ,