Produce Spotlight: Peppers
This month we are talking about peppers! There are many different types of peppers, each having their own flavor. The best time to plant peppers is June - August since peppers are sensitive to frost and extreme heat. Peppers take 80 - 100 days to harvest depending on the type of pepper. You can find peppers in season during July-October.
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Types of Peppers
Peppers come in many different types, each having their own taste. Some are sweet and mild while others are spicy.
Bell Peppers are one of the most common peppers seen and used in many different recipes. Bell peppers are sweet and crisp. They also come in many different colors. Unripe bell peppers are green and can mature into red, yellow, or orange in color. Since green bell peppers are not ripe they have a slightly bitter taste compared to the red, yellow, or orange ripe bell peppers. Bell peppers can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw bell peppers are a perfect crispy snack to dip into Homemade Ranch Dip. Couscous-stuffed Baked Sweet Peppers is the perfect quick and easy recipe for cooking bell peppers.
Chili types: Chili peppers have thin flesh and are the spicy peppers we are all familiar with. There are many types of chili peppers, jalapeño, poblano, and serrano, which are some of the common chili peppers that are seen at the grocery stores and at Farmers Markets. Jalapeño peppers are small, dark green, and are hot to very hot. Poblano peppers have a very dark green color, are large, and can be mild to quite hot. Serrano peppers are very small, medium-green or red, and very hot. ONIE’s Roasted Poblano Chicken is a delicious, quick, dinner recipe that uses poblano peppers. Jalapeño peppers are great in our Chipotle Black Bean Salsa and Jalapeño Turkey Enchiladas.
How to Store Peppers
Storing your peppers properly will help keep them fresh longer and help them to keep their delicious flavor. To keep bell peppers fresh longer, store them in your fridge crisper drawer. Raw bell peppers can last 1 to 2 weeks and cooked bell peppers can last 3-5 days. Make sure your bell peppers are dry before putting them in the fridge to avoid them from molding and becoming slimy. If you want to precut your bell peppers for easy snacking, store them in a sealed container or plastic bag with a paper towel to absorb any extra water. Cut bell peppers will last about 2-3 days in the fridge.
Fresh, raw bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin A (specifically red bell peppers). Bell peppers provide 169% of your daily intake of vitamin C which is important for the immune system and wound healing. The vitamin A that is in red bell peppers is good for eye health and potassium helps keep a healthy heart.