The Basics: Red Bell Peppers


Cooking Essentials 

The Profile

Red Bell Peppers 

Red bell peppers, are classified under the Capsicum annum species & more specifically the Grossum cultivar group. They are members of the nightshade family a group of annuals, perennial herbs & vining plants which include everything ranging from flowering petunias to potatoes, peppers eggplant & tomatoes. Red bell peppers are a large mild chili known for their distinctively sweet flavor registering on the Scoville Scale, a chart specifically designed to gauge the heat level of peppers, at the bottom with a rating of zero. The cultivars produce an extensive range of colors including red, orange, yellow, green, white & purple. Nutritionally speaking, bell peppers offer good sources for vitamins B6 & C as well as fiber. The fruit is primarily comprised of water & carbohydrates. It is the sugars such as glucose & fructose in the latter that in turn contribute to their sweet taste. When red bell peppers are dried they may be ground to create paprika, a spice that may be used to add lovely color & flavor to a wide range of foods

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How To Select, Use & Store Bell Peppers

Red bell peppers are often used with other colors when preparing tempting main dishes such as Rosemary-Garlic Tri-Tip Steak Kabobs. Aside from outdoor grilling classics, red bell peppers make lovely additions to mornay-based pasta dishes, chicken & sausage recipes &  over salad greens. Raw bell peppers add good texture & flavor to a variety of vegetable combinations. 


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When choosing red bell peppers for purchase, pick them up to properly inspect & look for glossy, firm, blemish free fruit. They should feel heavy for their size & have a bright green stem. A taut skin indicates its freshness while a wrinkled exterior reveals its age. It’s best practices to store peppers in the crisper of the refrigerator. Bell peppers will generally last 1 to 2 weeks without compromising their health benefits or quality. 

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