Want to add color to your summer menu? Sweet Bell Peppers are found in a panorama of red, green, yellow, purple and orange and are a tasty accompaniment to any meal. Bell peppers have no “bite” at all, since they carry a recessive gene that eliminates capsaicin or the agent that makes other varieties of peppers hot. The familiar green bell pepper we know it, is really an immature pepper that is mature for its stage; in other words, it is fully developed, but not ripe. When a green pepper is left on the vine, it will eventually turn red, orange, purple, or even brown, depending on the variety. As bell peppers mature, their sugar content increases, so they become sweeter, and develop more nutrients, primarily vitamins A and C.
One sweet bell pepper provides 126% of the vitamin C and 90% of the vitamin A of the daily requirement. They are also low in sodium and fat free. The vitamins and nutrients in peppers may help prevent heart disease, stroke, some cancers and cataracts.
Sweet bell peppers are in markets all year in good supply, but they are slightly more plentiful in the summer months. California and Florida produce most of the domestic crop. Sweet bells are also imported from Mexico, Belgium, the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands.
Promote and push these colorful, versatile vegetables. Spruce up a salad, a veggie tray, grill, roast, or stuff them with your favorite ingredients. These are sure to please all summer long.