Featured Vegetable: Bell Peppers
Crunchy and crisp, bell peppers make a delicious addition to many dishes. Originally from Central and South America, these bell-shaped beauties are now a popular vegetable enjoyed around the world. In the 15th century, it was Christopher Columbus who first introduced peppers to Europe, bringing the seeds back from his voyage.1
Colorful and Nutritious
While bell peppers come in all different colors, most start out green before transforming into hues of red, orange, yellow—even purple! In fact, because green peppers are harvested before they have a chance to fully ripen, they are not as sweet as the other varieties.
Not only do bell peppers add color to your dish, they also provide an excellent source of vitamin C—just ½-cup of green peppers provides 100% Daily Value. Red peppers have 1.5 times the vitamin C of their green counterparts, and boast an excellent source of vitamin A. For less than 25 calories per ½-cup serving, bell peppers are a nutrient-dense, colorful addition to your diet.2
Pick a Pepper
Choose peppers that are firm, brightly-colored, and heavy for their size. Avoid ones with soft spots and wrinkles, as these are signs of decay. Peppers develop the best flavor and texture when stored at room temperature (out of sunlight), but if you don’t plan to use them immediately, they can be stored in the refrigerator for use within five days.3
Prep a Pepper
Cutting bell peppers can be tricky—but this video from Fruits & Veggies—More Matters® provides helpful hints to improve your technique.
How can you enrich your dishes with more delicious peppers?
- Go to the grill. Make vegetable kebabs that feature a rainbow of bell peppers—try adding other veggies like onions, cherry tomatoes, and summer squash.
- Start snacking. Slice raw peppers into strips and dip them in Bolthouse Farms® Yogurt Dressings or Pace® Black Bean Dip.
- Enhance texture. Add chopped peppers to pizza, salads, pitas, pasta or omelets.
- Boost flavor without fat. Roast peppers easily in the oven, which is a great way to bring out their natural sweetness.
Need some more ideas? Campbell’s Kitchen® has an assortment of delicious recipes that pack a “pepperful” punch:Good-For-You Stuffed Peppers
Italian-Style Chicken & Peppers Sauté
Pan-Grilled Veggie & Cheese Sandwiches
Italian Chicken & Peppers
- University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.
http://www2.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/plateitup/beefy-stuffed-peppers/Plate-it-up-demo-guide-Beefy-Stuffed-Peppers.pdf. Accessed April 10, 2014.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2013. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page,
- Bell Peppers: Nutrition, selection, storage.
http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/bell-peppers Accessed April 6, 2014.