Capsicum, Sweet pepper
Bell peppers come in a variety of colors, including, green, red, yellow, and orange. Also, yet rarely, they can be found purple, white and brown. Bell peppers are technically a fruit but usually referred to a vegetable, in the culinary sense. Originally from Mexico, Central and South America. Later brought to Spain and from there spread to the rest of Europe and into Asia. The bell pepper is mild in spiciness and can be enjoyed raw or cooked.
Can be used in pasta, stir fries, fajitas and in vegetable platters.
When buying fresh you want to look for peppers with the brightest and deepest color, that which is firm with no holes, bruises or wrinkled skin.
Cut around the green stem and take out then seeds. Wash thoroughly, then cut as you wish.
Can be stored unwashed in the refrigerator for up to a week. Bell peppers can also be frozen whole, with out being blanched.
Buy in season or grow your own. If there are too many to use right away, wash, remove seeds, dice into small pieces. Freeze to use in recipes such as hushpuppies, casseroles, pizzas, etc.
Peppers are one of the worst vegetables for pesticides. i soak mine in vinegar for at least 30 minutes before using. I've never seen organic peppers in the store, but I'll be growing my own this summer.
I also cut peppers into slices, and freeze, to use with stir-fry and sausage. Buying in the summer (or growing your own) while cheap and plentiful, saves money in the winter. You can also cut off the tops, take out the seeds, and freeze whole to make stuffed peppers later.
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