December 6, 2015

Know your ingredient - Bell Pepper.

Every Sunday, we head to checkout one ingredient (Veggie / Fruit / Grain / Protein / Dal / Dairy / Leafy greens etc). Learn a bit about that and checkout whats on offer using that ingredient as a star in any dish.

First in this series is Capsicum / Bellpepper / Sweet pepper. Its my MOST fav veggie, and I can pick this anytime at the market with my eyes closed , and even if there is some at home, I do pick them up , for I love the aroma when its sauteed and the crunch that comes from the salad / curry to which its added to.

A wonderful combination of tangy taste and crunchy texture, sweet bell peppers are the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world with their beautifully shaped glossy exterior that comes in a wide array of vivid colors ranging from green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown to black. Despite their varied palette, all are the same plant, known scientifically as Capsicum annuum

They are members of the nightshade family, which also includes potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant. Sweet peppers are plump, bell-shaped vegetables featuring either three or four lobes. Green and purple peppers have a slightly bitter flavor, while the red, orange and yellows are sweeter and almost fruity. Paprika can be prepared from red bell peppers (as well as from chili peppers). 

Bell peppers are not 'hot'. The primary substance that controls "hotness" in peppers is called capsaicin, and it's found in very small amounts in bell peppers. 

Benefits of Bell pepper:

  • Bell pepper is not only an excellent source of carotenoids, but also a source of over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. 
  • While bell peppers are a very popular vegetable, they have not always shared the health research spotlight with other members of the pepper family due to their very minimal content of the phytonutrient capsaicin, the well-researched pepper compound that gives hot peppers their "heat." 
  • Once active in the body, capsaicin can bind onto nerve cell receptors and change pain sensation, and it may also have important anti-cancer and blood-sugar balancing properties. 
  • his vegetable actually provides us with a very broad range of antioxidants. In terms of conventional nutrients, bell pepper is an excellent source of vitamin C at 117 milligrams per cup. (That's more than twice the amount of vitamin C found in a typical orange.) 
  • Bell pepper is also a good source of another antioxidant vitamin--vitamin E. 
(source : here)

Lets check what all has been dished out using this versatile Veggie:


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