Some pepper recipes at the end of this post.
When it comes to health, we tend to overlook peppers quite frequently. I have to admit to always having some in the freezer, waiting for when I need them. I remove the seeds, chop and then freeze, which works great for us, but isn’t the best option for everyone. Peppers do add a little splash of colour, and realistically, my choice of peppers would always be sweet ones, but it’s been an acquired taste for me. I don’t use them often enough to buy and always have some fresh, so freezer options for me are the best choices.
Why Eat Peppers?
Put simply, peppers add lovely tones of colour and are full to bursting with healthy nutrients. I don’t include chilli’s in my pepper cupboard, as I class those more as spices, and adding extreme heat to food, just isn’t my choice. Some of you might be surprised to find that peppers are actually a fruit, in the same way that a tomato is, but with a definite slight kick to them. We tend to eat bell peppers here in the UK, and we’re most used to seeing them in shades of red, yellow, green and orange. As they aren’t spicy, they do well in most dishes, but the green it a little too spicy for me, although my kids happily eat them.
Nutritional Content of Bell Peppers
Each pepper, average:
- Calories: 37kcal
- Carbohydrates: 7g
- Fiber: 5g
- Saturated Fat: 0.36g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0.084g
- Protein: 4g
Peppers on average, also contain vitamins and minerals, such as:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic acid
- Riboflavin (B2)
- Niacin (B3)
- Thiamin (B1)
- Vitamin K
As if that isn’t enough, they also contain Phytonutrients that help alleviate stress.
- Carotenoids such as lycopene and lutein
- Polyphenols such as luteolin
The Vitamin C Boosting Ingredient
Bell peppers are high in Vitamin C, which helps the body to regulate its own immune system, to remain healthy. There is about double the amount of Vitamin C in a red pepper, than there is in a medium sized orange, which I find surprising, and an easy way to get this nutrient into savoury meals. This is a major boost, given that a lack of Vitamin C can lead to increased risk of colds and infections.
How to cook and eat Bell Peppers
As they’re so versatile, they really can go in almost anything savoury. I add to burgers, mince, soups, stews / casseroles and stirfries, as well as padding out fishcakes, pasta dishes, pies, bubble n squeak, topping pizzas, roasting them whole with a filling and much more. Some people even eat them raw in a salad, or use cut them into strips for dipping, but for me, that’s a step too far with a pepper.
Some Pepper Recipes Below
Home Made Burgers with Red and Orange Peppers
- 800 g Lean Minced Beef.
- 60 g Red Pepper chopped.
- 60 g Orange Pepper chopped.
- 50 g Onion finely chopped.
- Half Teaspoon Salt.
- Half Teaspoon Pepper.
- Put your mince into a bowl, and then pour in the chopped vegetables.
- Add in the salt and pepper.
- I use my hands for best effect with this, as I find that a wooden spoon takes too long, and just doesn't allow the peppers and onion to be fully mixed with the mince. It takes a couple of minutes to thoroughly mix the food together until it is in a loosely bound state.
- I use a cheap burger press I bought from Lakeland that makes burgers around 180g each, but before that, I used to make mine by hand, simply taking a dollop of the mixture and shaping it into a patty with my hands.
- For smaller burgers, you could easily get around 10 from this mix, but I made 5 larger burgers.
- Everyone had different requirements for how they like their burgers cooked, ie red in the middle, fully cooked, or almost burned black. I like mine well done, so gauge your own timings for cooking in a moderate oven for as long as you need to.
Roasted Stuffed Peppers – Onion, Mushroom and Cheddar Cheese, Served with Quails Eggs and Salad
- 6 Whole Peppers Red, Green or Yellow (can be mixed)
- 500 g Mushrooms Chopped
- 2 Large Onions Chopped
- 250 g Cheese Grated
- 12 Quails Eggs
- Salt & Pepper
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- Put your oven on to pre-heat at approximately 180 C.
- Slice the top of your peppers and put it to one side. I had to take slivers off the bottom of mine to make them stand up, otherwise they just toppled over. If you buy your peppers loose, you can look for the perfect peppers to do this with. Hollow out the peppers and remove the seeds.
- Fill the peppers with grated cheese, pop the lids back on and place them on a baking tray. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top, and drizzle olive oil over the top of the peppers.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until the peppers are soft.
- Lightly fry the mushrooms and onions in a frying pan and put the Quails eggs on to boil. 4 minutes in boiling water only.
- When the peppers are cooked, place them on a bed of lettuce or salad leaves. Take off the top and fill with the onions and mushrooms, add sliced quails eggs and serve.
Mixed Pepper Bake
- 2 Red Peppers
- 2 Yellow Peppers
- 1 Green Pepper
- 3 Small Onions
- Handful Green Beans
- Rapeseed Oil
- 400 g Turkey Bacon
- Barbeque Flavouring
- Stir fry chopped onions and green beans in a frying pan with some rapeseed oil until they soften. If you plan to add some flavouring, this is the time to add it.
- Use a slotted spoon or spatula to put onions and green beans into a shallow baking tray.
- With the remains of the oil used for the onions, lightly fry your turkey bacon until is cooked to your taste. With the barbeque flavouring still in the pan, ours took on that flavour.
- Pop the chopped peppers and turkey bacon into the baking tray and bake at 180C for twenty minutes, or until the peppers are cooked through.
Mashed Potatoes with Chilli Peppers
- 3 - 4 Kg Kestrel Potatoes Scotty Brand Potatoes
- 2 Oz Butter
- 100 Ml Fresh Milk
- 2 - 3 Chillies or Peppers Choose brightly coloured options and chop finely
- Simply boil potatoes in a pan for 15 - 20 minutes until soft.
- Drain potatoes and begin to mash. After a minute, add the butter and mash a few more times. Then add the milk to finish mashing your potatoes into a thick creamy consistency. I add my milk a tablespoon at a time, just in case. Too much milk will also spoil the consistency of the potatoes.
- Serve and top with chopped chillies or peppers (or both)