It’s time to pick a pack of bell peppers. At its peak right now, this vegetable can be red, orange, yellow or green–depending on ripeness and when it’s harvested.
A cup of red bell pepper contains 157 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your body grow and repair its tissues in all parts of your body according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Bell peppers also contain beta-carotene, an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, according to the agency. The NIH also says that beta-carotene from food may reduce the risk of cancer.
Bell peppers are also a good source of Vitamin B6, which helps you maintain normal nerve function and make antibodies to fight many diseases. Vitamin B6 also helps the body make hemoglobin, break down proteins and maintain blood sugar (glucose) in normal ranges.
At the market, choose bell peppers that feel firm and heavy for their size. Look for smooth, shiny, unblemished skin, which indicate freshness. Eat red bell peppers within three or four days of purchase, since they tend to spoil more quickly, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Veggie-Stuffed Bell Peppers use the spices and herbs of a traditional recipe and replace ground meat with cherry tomatoes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Per serving: 45 calories, 0.9 grams of fat, 79.5 mgs of sodium
Servings: 8, Serving Size: 1 piece (129 g)
4 bell peppers (red or green)
2 cups, cherry tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 cup, basil leaves
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp., olive oil
¼ tsp., salt
¼ tsp., pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Farhenheit. Lightly oil a large shallow baking pan.
- Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Arrange peppers cut sides up in baking pan and lightly oil cut edges of stems.
- Halve cherry tomatoes and chop onion and basil. Finely chop garlic.
- In a bowl, toss the tomatoes, onion, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon equal portions of mixture into peppers and roast in upper third of oven until peppers are tender, about 20 minutes.
Recipe, courtesy of the USDA.