If you asked me what I love most about bell papers, my answer will be the colours. Bell peppers naturally exist in bright colours that enhance the beauty of your food. Before the amazing taste of the bell pepper, you always get a chance to appreciate the colours before
WHAT ARE BELL PEPPERS?
Bell peppers are part of the Capsicum genus family. They belong to the same family as the gamut of chilli pepper species. The difference is that the bell pepper is much larger, rounder, crunchier and milder than the small, spicy and stingy family members. For this reason, they are commonly called sweet peppers as well. The Bell peppers can be eaten raw, partially cooked or fully cooked
PHYSICAL APPEARANCE OF BELL PEPPERS
A good and healthy bell pepper has a smooth outer skin that protects the fleshy and crunchy layer inside. This is the same for all colours green, red or yellow.
Bell peppers are rather fruits not vegetables since they have seeds. The fruit is hollow, with a number of seeds clinging to the white membrane along the walls in the centre. The bell pepper seeds are harmless when ingested but have a slightly bitter taste. Most recipes, therefore, call for removing the seeds before cooking. You can remove the seeds by scooping them out or peeling the transparent white membrane.
FACTS THAT YOU DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THE BELL PEPPER
Bell peppers are actually fruits because they have seeds and come from flowering plants. They are hence not vegetables as they are mostly known.
A large bell pepper has 3 times more vitamin C than an orange. Bell peppers have the highest levels of vitamin C in the plant kingdom.
Bell peppers are the only members of the capsicum genus family that do not produce capsaicin. This chemical is responsible for the strong burning sensation you feel when you eat a variety of chilli peppers.
Bell peppers can be eaten at any stage as they grow, mature and ripen from green to yellow then red. It is important to note however that the Vitamin C Content, however, the vitamin C will be highest in the red and ripened bell pepper.
Red/yellow/orange bell peppers are simply green bell peppers that have been left on the vine to continue to ripen.
Red bell peppers are much sweeter than green ones. They simply become sweeter with age.
You need to use your bell peppers within five days after purchase, as they go bad very fast.
Quality bell peppers have smooth and firm skin, a tip you should not ignore while shopping for bell peppers
HEALTHY BENEFITS OF EATING BELL PEPPERS
Here are some of the healthy benefits of eating Bell peepers
Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, most especially the red pepper which is the ripest. Vitamin C is responsible for producing collagen in the body, which is essential for healing wounds and forming connective tissues. Other uses of vitamin C include supporting the immune system
Eating bell Peppers is a good source of vitamin A. vitamin A plays a good role in good vision, immune functions, reproduction, and communication between cells, cell growth, and normal functioning of organs
Bell peppers are rich in antioxidant properties. These help to protect against diseases like a few cancers, and inflammatory conditions like such as arthritis.
There are several recipes that will retire you to use green pepper for your seasoning and garnishing. Let’s look at the different ways people cook bell peppers
Roasting bell peppers: Bell peppers can be enjoyed roasted. Start by peeling off the transparent membrane to remove the seeds. Slice your peppers or leave them whole. Roast in a small amount of oil in the oven. If the skin blackens, remove the bell pepper from the oven and place it in a plastic bag to cool, this will help to remove the skin.
Frying Bell Peppers: sliced peppers can be fried in a frying pan or wok with some oil. They can be stir-fried as well.
Grilling Bell peppers: brush seedless bell peppers with a little olive oil and some little salt and place them on the grill.
Stuffed Bell peppers: scoop out the core of your bell pepper to expose the hollow space inside. Fill the hollow space with a mixture of beans, cooked rice, tomato, and seasoning before baking in the oven until tender. Ground turkey or beef works well here, too.
Puree: Make a dip by pureeing roasted peppers with garlic, capers, herbs, oil, and lemon juice.
Sliced peppers can be added to pizza toppings before cooking. They can also be added to an omelette or put into a sandwich or wrap.
Paprika: is a dried and powdered form of bell pepper. Paprika is used as a spice in cooking to give food a sweet and smoky flavour.