Peppers are part of the Solanaceae family, more commonly called nightshades. They come in red, green, orange, yellow, and purple. Red peppers are actually ripe green peppers, but can also come from plants that produce red color to start. The red color is a carotenoid phytonutrient which is an antioxidant. Of the four colors, red peppers have the most Vitamin C and Vitamin A, good for health skin and adjusting to night vision.
I often just cut a half pepper in slices for a lunch side, or put some in a small bowl for my kids. If you don’t like their straight-up, watery crunch, perhaps you might like them grilled or broiled in an oven until the skin is burned. Scrape off the burned part, rinse and cut into soft slices. The heat caramelizes some sugars and imparts a smokey taste in the peppers, making them flavorful and sweeter. Drizzle with a smidgen of flavored oil such as basil, and add to your favorite salad or sandwich. Red pepper slices are a perfect mix of delicious health.
Catherine Frederico, MS RDN LDN
Our Nutritional Expert
Many of the images used in our Picky Eater's section are from Veggie Garden Palooza! created by Catherine Frederico.