Sweet Bell Peppers eaten raw or cooked provide essential nutrients for our bodies. They are rich in Vitamin C, iron, and fiber along with other minerals that are healthy for us.
They are classified as a fruit even though the majority of our population considers them vegetables and serve them in dishes as vegetables. Sweet Bell Peppers are also given their name because they look like bells.
Did you know that the spice “Paprika” is actually dried finely grounded green and red bell peppers?
Sweet Bell Peppers can be found in a variety of colors and flavors such as: green red, yellow or orange. The green variety is the least sweet in taste because it is actually picked before fully ripened.
The longer you leave on the vines the sweeter they become and the redder they will become. The red version will be very sweet in taste as it is fully ripened.
Sweet bell peppers can be cooked and served in a variety of ways from steamed, sautéed, baked, grilled to stir-fried.
I grow bell peppers in my vegetable garden every summer. You can start them by seed and they are also available already started at your local produce store (they will be a couple of inches tall).
You will need to protect them from frost in early spring by covering them with containers or a plastic covering that is high enough off the ground not to smash them.
If your going to sprout from seeds, we recommend the California Wonder heirloom variety.
California Wonder Heirloom Bell Pepper Seeds available on Amazon
Plant them where they get a lot of sun and fertilize them well. They enjoy plenty of water, but don’t allow them to soak in soil that is too wet.
Deer also like to eat the tops off of the plants so you will need to take that into consideration if you have a lot of deer around. They bit mine off one year but they also were able to grow back and produce that year.
I like to pick them fresh from my garden for salads and additives to my home cooked dishes. When they start coming in abundantly I chop them up and freeze them in zippered baggies for later use in spaghetti, meatloaves, stir-fry, and other dishes.
One of my favorite dishes is stuffed peppers; I am including the recipe for your future use.
Wash about 6 medium sized green bell peppers. To clean your peppers start at the top of your pepper and cut around the core a little larger than a fifty cent piece.
Cut out the seeds inside of the pepper with a knife and rinse the inside of your peppers. Line a large baking pan with aluminum foil for easy clean-up leaving enough foil to cover your peppers during cooking. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl combine 1 pound of hamburger, 1 large can tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon Worchester sauce, 1 small onion chopped, 1 egg, and 1 cup of uncooked rice.
You can substitute one package of Spanish rice if you desire or if you don’t like rice substitute corn flakes or bread crumbs to hold your mixture together.
Use a tablespoon to spoon mixture tightly into your bell peppers. Spread a small amount of ketchup on top of your peppers and then place in the already prepared baking pan.
Cover with foil and cook for one hour. Uncover and cook until peppers look done; which should take about 30 more minutes.
They should have a wrinkled look about them. Poke a few holes in the peppers to drain excess grease before serving so they won’t be so messy when you cut into them.