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Peppers, Green

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Preview of Pepper, Green

Available

August 15 - October 15

Harvest Period

August 15 - September 15

The Capsicum genus represents a diverse plant group, from the well known sweet green bell pepper to the fiery hot habanero chili. Peppers been known since the beginning of civilization in the Western Hemisphere where ancient Olmecs, Toltecs, Aztecs and others took the wild chili, piquin, and selected for the dozens of types known today, placing peppers among the oldest culti­vated crops of the Americas.

What to Look For

Look for firm, plump, shiny peppers, whether they are sweet or hot.  There should be no soft spots or cracks.

Cleaning and Preparation

Peppers simply need a quick scrub under cold running water before using them in myriad of ways.  Peppers do not need to be peeled, although roasting until the skin blisters, and then peeling, brings out a sweet caramelized flavour.

Storage

Place peppers directly in the crisper section of the refrigerator where they will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.

To freeze, wash and cut bell peppers into desired sizes (dice, strips, or whole).  Hot peppers can be left whole. It is not necessary to blanch peppers before packing into freezer bags or containers.

Nutritional Information

Peppers provide more than heat and taste to foods. They also pack a powerful punch when it comes to being a good source of antioxidant vitamins A and C. Green peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C by weight than citrus fruits, and are a very good source of fibre, folate, and vitamin K. Red bell peppers are simply ripened green peppers that have three times as much vitamin C as the green variet­ies and eleven times more beta carotene.

Red peppers, like tomatoes, are one of the few foods that contain lycopene.  They are also an excellent source of vitamin B6 and contain ben­eficial phytonutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin.

1 cup of chopped, raw, green peppers has 39 calories, 0.4g fat, 9g carbohydrates, 3g fibre, and 1.5g protein.

How to Use

Peppers can be eaten raw in salads, chopped up for flavouring in appetizers, soups, and entrees, or even used as a cooking vessel when they are stuffed and baked whole.

Varieties

The following varieties begin green and ripen to red: Merlin, Lady Bell, Northstar, Superset, King Arthur, Bell Captain, Ranger, Mayata, Bell Star and Bell King.

Yellow peppers grown in Ontario include: Klondike and Marengo