Spotlight on Peppers

Can you think of a vegetable that might be green, red, orange, or yellow?  Or it may be brown, purple, or white? It can be eaten raw, stuffed, roasted, and pickled. If you guessed peppers, you are correct!

Peppers truly are one of the most versatile vegetables out there. Originally, they came from Central and South America. Peppers finally made it to Europe in the 1500s. Now, because of their popularity in many countries’ cuisines, they are grown all over the world. This vegetable is packed with vitamin C and available at the grocery store year round. 

Shopping: When shopping for peppers, pick ones that are firm and brightly colored. Also choose peppers that seem heavy for their size.

Storing: Keep your peppers in the refrigerator. They will last for about 2 weeks. You can also freeze sliced or chopped peppers.     

Cooking: Peppers are delicious raw or cooked. Sliced raw peppers make a sweet and crunchy snack that goes great dipped into hummus. Raw peppers can also add texture to chicken, tuna, or pasta salad. Check out our recipe for 3-Bean Salad which uses raw green peppers.

Adding peppers to things you already cook is an easy way to eat more vegetables. Try putting peppers on pizza before cooking, into pasta sauce, and in chili! For breakfast, mix some diced peppers into your scrambled eggs.

Peppers are a vital ingredient in fajitas and our Harvest Fajita recipe is a fast and easy dinner, great with a side of brown rice and beans. If you want to get even more creative with your peppers, cut the top off and use it as a cup for other ingredients. A pepper cut in half vertically makes a cute bowl to bake an egg in (just remember to remove the seeds)!  

Growing: Peppers are great plants to grow in your garden or in a container. Small pepper plants or seedlings can be bought using a SNAP/EBT card if they are available for sale at your grocery store. Make sure to plant them outside mid-May or later, as they do not like cold weather. For more information on how to grow peppers, check out their profile on the Grow It, Eat it website.

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© Eat Smart, Be Fit Maryland!Maira Gall