Bell peppers can be excellent on pizza, in sauces, stir-fries, curries and salads. Technically a fruit, bell peppers are treated as vegetables in cooking, as tomatoes are. Bell peppers come in a variety of colours, including green, yellow, orange, and red. All these colours are very charming, but do the colours make any difference?
Yes the colours do make a difference.
Taste and Nutritional Value
One obvious difference I’ve always noticed is that the green bell peppers taste less sweet than the yellow, orange, and red ones. This is because the green ones are actually unripe bell peppers.There is, however, a variety of bell pepper which stays green even when ripened.
As the pepper ripens, it becomes sweeter and the colour changes to red. While the green peppers contain a lot of chlorophyll, the yellow peppers have lutein and zeaxanthin. Orange peppers contain alpha, beta, and gamma carotene. The red peppers are the sweetest and contain the highest amount of lycopene, astaxanthin, and vitamin C.
The coloured bell peppers are more expensive than the unripe, green ones because it takes some time for the peppers to ripen before harvest.
Did you know that you can actually eat the seeds and the white parts inside the bell pepper?
Where Did the Name “Pepper” Come From?
When Christopher Columbus brought the “pepper” plant to Europe after pillaging, the Europeans named it as a pepper, as peppercorns (a completely unrelated plant) were very sought after and all spices that tasted hot and spicy were called “pepper” as a result.
The bell pepper is the sole pepper in the Capsicum genus which does not contain capsaicin. This is why you do not have to worry about the burning sensation or spiciness with bell peppers as you would with all the other Capsicum peppers.
Roasting Your Bell Peppers Will Bring Out Their Flavour
Roasted red bell peppers are simply delicious. Once roasted, you can use them in soups, on pizza, in burritos or sandwiches.
Roasted Red Bell Peppers
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- While your oven is heating up, prepare your bell peppers. Wash them and cut them up lengthwise. Remove the seeds and membranes.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the cut peppers onto the sheet, with the insides facing down.
- When the oven is ready, roast the peppers until the pepper skins look wrinkly and charred. This could take approximately 25 minutes.
- Let the peppers cool for a minute or two, and then remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a bowl.
- You can peel off the skins, but I just leave them on. If storing the roasted peppers for longer than a day, cover the them with olive oil, put a lid on the container, and put it in the fridge. It is not advisable to store the peppers for longer than 2 weeks.