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Fruit and Vegetable Guide

Photo of Grapes

Peppers

Summer, Autumn

Description: Peppers fall into two basic categories: sweet and hot. Sweet peppers can be green, red, orange, yellow, or purple. Green ones are actually unripe and have a stronger flavor. Hot peppers (chilies) range from relatively mild poblanos to astoundingly hot habaņeros.

Selection: Look for firm, shiny, brightly colored peppers with no browning or mushy spots.

Storage and handling: Refrigerate 3-4 days in a plastic bag. Green peppers keep longer than ripe ones.

Preparation: For sweet peppers, cut around the stem, then pull on it to remove the core with seeds attached. Cut the pepper in half and trim any remaining membrane. For hot peppers, slice off the stem and halve the pepper. Remove the seeds and membrane if you wish to decrease the heat. Sauté sliced or chopped peppers in olive oil or butter, 3-10 minutes. Roast in the oven (SIS, p. 118). Microwave pepper pieces in a covered dish with a little water, 4-6 minutes for crisp-tender texture, 8-10 for very soft.

Serving suggestions: Add raw sweet peppers to vegetable platters or salads. Sauté peppers with other vegetables. Stuff whole sweet bell peppers (SIS, p. 130). Hot peppers are great in salsa (SIS, p. 163).

Nutrients: Vitamins A, B6, C, K; anthocyanin antioxidants (red and purple varieties), lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants (green and yellow varieties); fiber.

1 lb raw = 3 1⁄2 cups in strips
1 lb cooked = 2 1⁄2-3 cups

The Fruit and Vegetable Guide is reproduced here with permission of Herald Press, publisher of Simply in Season.

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