Harvest of the Month: Bell Peppers

Bell peppers add color to a variety of dishes, including salads, stir-fries, and veggie trays. Bell peppers are most abundant and flavorful in the summer and early fall, so now is a great time to include them in meals and snacks.

The vegetable comes in a variety of colors including green, red, yellow, orange, purple, and even brown and black. They are a great source of vitamins C and E and contain carotenoids which provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits. While bell peppers can be eaten at any stage of development, their vitamin content is maximized and they are more flavorful when they are fully ripe.

How to Select

Choose firm peppers with smooth skins and avoid those with wrinkles or cracks. Regardless of the color of the pepper, optimally ripe bell peppers have deep, vivid colors, feel heavy for their size, and are firm enough to yield only slightly to pressure.

How to Store

Store unwashed bell peppers in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Bell peppers are sensitive to moisture loss, and it can be helpful to include a damp cloth or paper towel in the crisper drawer to help them retain their moisture.

How to Prepare

Wash the pepper in cold water before cutting. If it has been waxed, scrub it gently with a natural bristle brush. Use a paring knife to cut around the stem and remove it. They can be cut into various shapes and sizes depending on the recipe.

Try bell peppers in the recipe for Three Pepper Pizza from MyRecipes.com

Tags: , ,