Friday, July 19, 2013

My New Favorite Snack

Meet my new favorite snack: Red Bell Peppers!

My two favorite things about red peppers are the crunch and sweetness. Its scientific name is Capsicum Annuum and is a nightshade veggie.  Capsicum is the "hot" part of a pepper, but bell peppers have very little of this, therefore they are on the sweet and tangy side. 

One cup of these crunchy yummy goodnesses only have 1 gram of fat. That is impressive and is chock full of nutrients, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Are you ready to see all the many vitamins and minerals bell peppers have? Here goes in descending order:
vitamin C
vitamin A
vitamin B6
vitamin E
vitamin K
vitamin B2, B3, B1
vitamin B5

Did you know paprika comes from powered bell peppers? Yep, that's right. 
Do you know how to choose a good one? Choose those that are deep in color, no spots or dark areas. Heavy and firm are good traits for them to have.

They are sensitive to moisture. If you refrigerate them, cover with a damp cloth.  If you want to speed up their ripening, sit them on your counter.  

I prefer my bell peppers raw, but there are many great ways to prepare them. When we get closer to autumn, I'll post my stuffed bell pepper recipe. Other ways of eating them are sautéed, stuffed, finely chopped in recipes, roasted, and part of the Louisiana Trinity of onions, celery, and bell pepper,  

Just remember that bell peppers are one of the dirty dozen meaning they have more pesticide than other veggies. If you have the option, choose organic for this tasty snack.

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