Fantastic Food: Bell Peppers

ThinkstockPhotos-481247983My husband loves to eat bell peppers raw. He just slices them up and enjoys!

I’ve not always been a fan of bell peppers, and I don’t particularly care for them raw, but I’ve learned to love them in stir fry or sauteed  vegetables. Last night I made cauliflower rice (that will be next week’s Fantastic Food!) and added diced bell peppers to it. Not only did it add flavor and color, but it added so many additional nutrients!

Bell Peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C (more than twice the amount of vitamin C in an orange!) and they offer a very broad range of antioxidants.  Not only that, but they’re pretty! The more color you have on your plate, the more nutrient and antioxidant power you have in your food.

Peppers are a pretty commonly used vegetable so I may not be introducing you to something new. However, you might not know that peppers are one of the easiest vegetable to freeze. You need to know this even if you don’t have a garden because you can take advantage of “pepper season” at the grocery store.

If you’re going to freeze most veggies, you have to blanch them to stop the actions of enzymes.  However, bell peppers don’t have to be blanched. Just cut them up, bag them, and throw them in the freezer!

I love this for two reasons:

peppers1) I have instant diced peppers. I just pull the bag out of the freezer, squeeze it to separate the frozen diced peppers, pull out however much I need, and throw the rest of the peppers back in the freezer.

2) I can take advantage of sales. Right now you can find pretty good prices on bell peppers–yellow, red, orange, and green. In the winter, however, the prices go up. I can buy peppers now at great prices (or harvest them from my garden), wash them, dice them, and throw them in the freezer to use over the next few months!

Add some color to your food this week with bell peppers! While you’re at it, dice up some extra and throw it in the freezer. It will make reaching the goal of eating 27  different vegetables a week so much easier! (And yes, if you use four different colored peppers, that’s four different veggies…if you’re counting!)

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