Sweet red peppers are native to the Americas and well worth the effort if you grow them yourself. Red peppers add a splash of vibrant colour, a distinct sweet flavour and a crispy texture that can dress up any meal. Red peppers ripen on the vine from green to yellow to red, increasing in sweetness along the way. They are incredibly versatile, whether on the grill or BBQ, steamed, in dips, sauces or soups. They're cheaper in the summer, but well worth the extra cents in the winter; consider it an investment toward good health and great taste.
Selection and storage
Choose peppers that have a glossy thick skin, free of soft spots. Store them unwashed in the fridge for up to one week.
Red peppers are not only sweet, but ounce for ounce, they offer more vitamin A and C than citrus fruits. Peppers are very low in calories at 32 per 1/2 cup. They provide vitamin E, an immune booster, and carotenoids, which act as antioxidants that may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Drizzle a bit of olive oil or salad dressing on your peppers to help maximize vitamin E and carotenoid absorption and keep the cooking time short to preserve the vitamin C content.
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