Pepper refers to a group of varieties of the species Capsicum annuum, is widely used in cooking around the world. The different varieties of bell peppers produce fruits with different colors, the best known being green, yellow and red. However, there are other quite exotic varieties, such as white, purple, bluish, black and orange. They are native to Mexico, Central America and the north of South America.
This vegetable is a very appreciated food, as it is rich in vitamins and minerals.
The pepper is a native fruit from southern Mexico and Central America, belonging to the Solanaceae family, which includes potatoes, tomatoes, aubergines and peppers.
There are several types of peppers, and they can be divided according to color, size and taste. Usually they are green, red or yellow. In general, large ones have a sweet taste, while small ones are spicy.
The pepper can be served as a main course or used in salads, mayonnaises, sauces or stews. It is a good source of vitamin C (the green) and vitamin A (the red). Vitamin C provides resistance to blood vessels, prevents brittleness of bones, improper formation of teeth and acts against infections. Vitamin A is important for the eyes, helps the growth and preserves the health of the skin and mucous membranes, avoiding infections. Peppers, in addition, have calcium, phosphorus, iron and sodium. Like all vegetables, it does not have many calories because it is low in carbohydrates and protein.
Good quality peppers should be firm, sleek, chubby, have green handle and can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks. When it is not fresh, the pepper’s skin looks wilted and flaccid, it loses its luster and the color is paler. One should never buy peppers with spots or insect marks, as they are signs that they are not in good condition for consumption.
The pepper has a relatively long shelf life. It should be kept in a drawer in the refrigerator, preferably wrapped in plastic or aluminum foil. To be kept longer, it can be frozen, raw or cooked. The frozen pepper can be kept up to 9 months.
The red pepper is the only pepper contains all the vitamin C that is needed daily and still exceeds the recommended amounts. Additionally, the pepper includes antioxidants and carotenoids; compounds that lend it red color, also antioxidants and promoting skin youth. This combination fights free radicals, which are responsible for aging, and helps prevent wrinkles as well as increases blood circulation, keeping the skin and the whole body younger.
The pepper is also rich in fiber, vitamin B6 and contains only 30 calories. Another feature of the pepper is that it is both high in fiber and low calories, which promotes feelings of satiety.
To remove the skin from the pepper, place it in boiling water for about 1 minute or until it breaks the skin. To prepare stuffed peppers, cook them in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes beforehand.
As peppers sweeten, red peppers become more sweet than yellow and green peppers?