Crunchy, Sweet and Tasty Peppers
The crunchy, sweet and nutritious peppers, Capsicum annum, are native to South America. Their farming dates back to times before the Inca culture. Due to their ability to adapt to different climates, they were grown and adopted in various cuisines worldwide.
The pepper has more than 150 known varieties with different flavors and colors ranging from red to green, through yellow and orange, the first two being the most used.
The red, orange, and yellow peppers are sweeter, while the green and purple ones have a slightly bitter taste.
Peppers are actually green peppers that have been allowed to ripen before harvesting, making them sweeter. Paprika, a spice widely used in cooking, is prepared from this food.
It is often thought of as a vegetable, but peppers are technically fruits, as they are grown from a flowering plant and contain seeds.
Health Benefits of Peppers
Green peppers, because they are not fully ripe, have a bitter taste, half the vitamin C and one-tenth the vitamin A compared to red or orange peppers.
Peppers have high antioxidant properties as they have a carotenoid called lycopene, which is responsible for protecting cells from the negative effects of free radicals, preventing them from aging prematurely.
Lycopene is a carotene with anti-carcinogenic properties and gives the red color to ripe tomatoes, red peppers, and other vegetables. This antioxidant has been successfully tested to prevent many types of cancer, including prostate and lung cancer.
Red peppers contain nearly 300% of vitamin C’s daily requirement and are a great source of vitamin B6.
The combined effects of vitamin A and C mixed with lycopene makes red peppers a premium food.
Its high content of beta-carotene, such as capsaicin, and vitamins B2 and E, increases its antioxidant properties, preventing degenerative and chronic diseases.
These nutritional contents strengthen the immune system’s correct functioning through the production of red and white blood cells and the formation of antibodies. It also helps prevent heart disease and brain hemorrhages.
Pepper is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, also antioxidants that protect against certain forms of cancer, heart disease, macular degeneration, and possibly cataracts.
Among the minerals that the different varieties of peppers have, potassium stands out in a more significant proportion, followed by calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. As they contain little sodium, they are suitable for the diets of hypertensive people.
They also help to prevent constipation and to regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Their carotene content is immediately transformed into vitamin A when absorbed by the body.
Peppers provide fiber. They are perfect for weight loss diets due to their low-calorie content and stimulate gastric secretions and vesicular function, giving a sensation of satiety.
Red peppers have a mild thermogenic action that increases metabolism without increasing heart rate or blood pressure, unlike the others.
Among other properties, traditionally, they have been attributed with virtues such as aphrodisiac.
Peppers to Enhance a Healthy Diet
Pepper can be stuffed with beef, fish, rice, vegetables, couscous, cheese, mushrooms, and many more. They serve as a healthy snack when baked or roasted.
You can also grind roasted peppers with garlic and pepper and serve as a sauce for vegetables, or add a little virgin olive oil to the mixture and use it as a sauce for pasta.
Red peppers are crunchy and surprisingly sweet. When dried and ground, it is often called paprika.
Preserving of Crunchy Peppers
Peppers are traditionally used in cooking: raw, roasted, cooked, baked, dried, powdered, bottled, etc.
There is a wide range of industrial products that use it for food: frozen, dehydrated, pickled, canned, paste, and sauces.
It would be best if you bought those that stand out for their intense, clean and bright color, with smooth skin and no wrinkles, without spots, with firm flesh and rigid stem.
They can be stored unwashed in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. They will preserve very well without losing any of their properties.
It is necessary to wash them thoroughly before using them, as they usually have traces of soil, wax, or insecticides.
Crunchy, Sweet and Tasty and Pepper Recipes
Veal Brochettes with Peppers
1 1/2 pounds of veal loin
1 red pepper,
2 green peppers
3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
- Sprinkle with thyme, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with oil.
- Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Wash the peppers, remove the stalk and seeds and cut into squares.
- Skewer the meat, alternating with the peppers,
- Place in a large skillet and grill over high heat for 3 minutes on each side.
- Remove from heat and serve.
This recipe can be served with brown rice.
Peppers Stuffed with Ground Meat
4 red peppers
1 pound of ground beef
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and cook the carrots for 5 minutes in boiling water.
- In a deep saucepan, add the oil and heat over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and garlic to sauté.
- When the onion is transparent, add the diced carrots, chopped tomato, and ground beef to the pan, add salt and pepper and incorporate all the ingredients.
- Let it cook for 15 minutes, always moving so that the cooking is uniform.
- Wash the peppers. Cut off the top with the stem to make a kind of cover.
- Remove the seeds, clean them thoroughly inside, and set aside.
- Stuff the peppers with the ground meat stew.
- Place it in a greased oven tray with a little butter.
- Place the lids on the tray next to the peppers so that they are also cooked.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 350°.
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash the peppers, put them over high heat on a grill so that they get slightly blackened.
- When they are ready, put them inside a plastic bag for about fifteen minutes so that they sweat and then can be easily peeled.
- Once they are cold, peel them, remove the stem and seeds, and cut them into cubes.
- Chop the onion and the two cloves of garlic.
- Fry the onion in the olive oil over low heat until transparent.
- Add the peppers, season with salt and pepper, cover and leave to cook for about 15 minutes.
- Add the chopped garlic for a couple of minutes, stirring.
- Set aside the pepper sauce on a plate and leave the remaining oil in the pan.
- Beat the eggs, add salt and pepper, and pour them into the same frying pan over low heat.
- When the omelet starts to set, add the sofrito and spread it over the top.
- Fold the omelet in the center and leave for a few seconds until it is cooked to your liking.