Bell Peppers or ‘Sweet Peppers’ are under the variety of chilies and are classified as fruits-berries though commonly treated more as a vegetable. Being high in Vitamin A and C these are low in calories and are favored by many for their added slightly sweet, robust, tender flavor, and that added pop of color they add into the dish. Having different varieties and characteristics depending on the color, some might ask, which bell pepper is healthiest? How to grow peppers indoors? Or more about bell pepper nutrition? Read the article to find out more about these colorful peppery berries.
A Short History
The Bell Pepper scientific name and family falls under the “Camsicum” family, with the species “Capsicum annuum”. These are sometimes called sweet pepper, pepper, capsicum, or paprika. These peppers while in the chili family have no spice and are more so seen with the same shape and same genus, thus sometimes being called ‘sweet peppers’. Having different varieties from yellow, red, green, orange, white, purple, chocolate -colored, and even candy-striped. Are red peppers vegetables? Grouped under the ‘chili’ family these are classified as fruits or berries, though these are typically used as a vegetable as a main dish or side dish.
A native throughout Central America, South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Being imported around Asia and Europe by Spain. The name “Pepper” came from the unrelated peppercorn plant from India that was seen as a highly prized and important ingredient. Being seen as pungent and hot by Europeans, they extended this idea to the Capsicum to America. The seeds being brought back and forth to different countries and grown in different soils have a variety of types such as red peppers which are just the ripened version of green peppers, some unripe versions are colored purple or pale yellow, other colored varieties are dependent on the ripening process.
How to grow green peppers from fresh seeds? The Bell Pepper plant life cycle starts with the seeds (cleaned and fully dried), germinated in moist soil for 7 to around 21 days in seed trays, growing a few inches before being transferred into bigger pots or areas as it might need more space and adequate sunlight and fertilizer, these will then flower soon, then self pollinate, showing the first signs of fruits slowly growing from green to red. This being the important stage needing to be regularly inspected for diseases, damages, and pests. Reduce watering but not by a lot as it helps with maturing the plant, bearing it sweeter peppers. The said peppers are great to add raw or roasted into salads, pizza, pasta, soups, sauces, or main meals like the savory and cheesy stuffed bell pepper casserole, add these into fried rice and more!
- Bell pepper vs Capsicum – are one and the same, the name it’s called just differs depending on the country.
- Pimento vs Bell pepper – while they almost look similar, pimentos are smaller, typically red-colored, sweeter, and are more heat-shaped, which makes them not great for stuffing.
- Jalapenos – depending on the size, these can be stuffed. A spicier substitute for capsicum, to lessen the spice it’ll be best to remove the pith and seeds.
- Poblano peppers – taste closely like green peppers but a tad spicier when ripe. Best for raw or stuffed pepper dishes since these have thick walls that can handle being filled. These can also be used similarly to the peppers, just making sure to note its spice.
- Sichuan peppers – a great alternative to those allergic to bell peppers. It adds some spice, a slight tang, and great flavor.
Bell Pepper Benefits
More about red bell pepper nutrition? Questions about the difference between yellow bell pepper calories or green bell pepper calories? Depending on the colored pepper, a large one can have around 20 to 50 calories with the yellow peppers being the highest and the purple being the lowest. These have been studied to help with memory, joint pain, and reducing risks of cancer, and more like the following:
- Prevents cancer. These nutrient dense ingredients have ‘beta-cryptoxanthin’ which are antioxidant compounds that the body turns into Vitamin A and lowers the risk of lung, colon, and bladder cancer.
- Protect brain cells that help with memory retention and aging problems such as cognitive impairment due to the natural compounds called ‘anthocyanin’ which are also what gives the peppers its red color.
- Can relieve joint pain. Arthritis might be a result of the breakdown of cartilage or due to inflammation. Nutrients found in red peppers like Vitamin C and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the pain.
- Peppers are high in fiber and keep the colon happy and healthy. This means it can prevent stomach problems like digestion and even colon cancer.
- High fiber foods can also help reduce the risk of diabetes. Fibrous food slows down the breakdown of sugar into the bloodstream.
More about Bell Peppers :
- Bell pepper carbs?
These have around 4.6 grams of carbs for a serving of 100 grams.
- Growing peppers problems?
Due to the ingredient sometimes being unaffordable many have found themselves planting these in home gardens. A good lot of people grow peppers in containers with ease. But the bell pepper tree does come with some problems such as yellowing leaves, aphids, rotting and more. The best way to keep these healthy is to keep them in warm areas with adequate sunlight, given enough water, only watering it once the top of the soil has dried, and given nutrients like vermicast or calcium.
- Which bell pepper is the sweetest?
Red bell peppers are the sweetest, it also has added lycopene and the most nutrient dense.
- How to cut a bell pepper?
- Slice the top, removing the stem area.
- Slice into half or carefully remove the ribs and seeds by gliding a knife, following the shape of the berry.
- Remove the seeds and ribs (the ribs or the white lines are removed since these can cause a bitter taste).
- Keep whole to stuff with filling, slice into vertical slices or chop these into squares.
- Is bell pepper good for dogs?
Yes, these are not toxic and are good to give as a snack to your canine friends.
Are Bell peppers used in the Philippines?
Bell peppers in Tagalog are called many names, “atsal” mainly for red peppers or “Siling-pula” though it says ‘pula’ in Tagalog for the color red, this term can also mean any other color. Another name it’s been called is ‘Kampanilya paminta’ that literally translates to ‘handbell pepper’ the name given to the plant due to its shape. Filipino dishes that feature these tender and slightly crunchy and sweet ingredient are the popular and bellowed Chicken Afritada, simple Chop suey, the refreshing atchara, and many more Yummy Recipes. Typically Spanish-FIlipino fusion dishes found below!
Bell Pepper recipes:
How to enjoy bell peppers? Here are our favorite Yummy Kitchen recipes: