The bell pepper, also known as a sweet pepper, is the most popular member of the Capsicum family. They have a characteristic bell shape with a crunchy, firm texture and sweet, delicate flavor. They aren’t hot like other peppers, making them more appealing to sensitive tongues.
Bell peppers come in many colors, which makes them visually appealing. But what’s the difference between green, yellow, orange and red bell peppers? The difference is how ripe the pepper is. A red bell pepper is simply a ripened green pepper. Yellow and orange bell peppers are earlier stages in the ripening process. Different varieties of bell peppers can even turn purple or chocolate brown when ripened. A ripened bell pepper is slightly sweeter than a green bell pepper.
When purchasing, choose peppers that have firm, bright skins. Avoid those that are shriveled, dull or have surface blemishes. Store dry bell peppers in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator and use within a week or so, washing just before eating. Cut bell peppers should be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and used within a few days.
So what about nutrition?
- Bell peppers have only 31 calories per cup.
- Bell peppers are also a rich source of vitamin-C, an antioxidant that boosts immunity and helps keep your skin healthy.
- Bell peppers also provide beta-carotene, B vitamins and the minerals potassium, manganese, magnesium and selenium.
Bell peppers can be served raw in salads, cooked in stir-fries or used as a topping on your favorite pizza. But one of the best ways to use fresh bell peppers is to serve them stuffed as a complete meal.
- 4 large bell peppers, tops, seeds and membranes removed
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 ° F. Spray an 8×8-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- Parboil the peppers in boiling water for about 3 minutes; remove and set aside to dry.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef with onions and garlic over medium heat until no pink remains; drain.
- Stir in tomatoes, rice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
- Stuff peppers with the meat mixture then place them in the baking dish, standing up. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes.
- Remove foil and top with cheese. Return to the oven until cheese is melted.
And there you have it, A Nutritious Dish…in a matter of minutes!™