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Saved By The Bell

Food Editor Caitlin Dickinson tells you how to get the most out of your peppers this National Pepper Month

Cayenne I get a shout out for all peppers, all colours, all shapes and sizes this National Pepper Month? Whether it is green, orange, yellow, red or sometimes even white and purple... the pepper is the staple vegetable in everyone’s Aldi basket, and the bulk of every meal. You can eat them raw with hummus, cooked with pasta, noodles, rice and in salad. I would like you to suggest something you cannot do with this amazingly versatile vegetable.

As you can already guess I am peppers biggest fan girl at the moment and I highly suggest if you have  not included them in your weekly shop you should start this very moment. As National Pepper month is happening, why not get a family pack for around £1.29 at Aldi and have a field day with inventing weird and wacky creations with these bad boys!

I highly suggest if you have not included them in your weekly shop you should start this very moment

Bell peppers are my focus for this article, or alternatively known as sweet peppers, are deliciously sweet. They have a recessive gene in them that removes the spicy element of the pepper, which a chilli pepper would possess. For the mild pepper, this gives them a zero score on the ‘Scoville Heat Units’, unlike a jalapeno which would earn around 2,500 to 4,000 points. Red peppers are arguably the sweetest colour of peppers, and the green bell pepper does have a slightly bitter taste. But as with all vegetables, this will vary upon how ripened the fruit is.

If peppers cannot get any better than this, let me sell you some more. Peppers are rich sources of vitamin C and antioxidants. For red peppers in particular, this is nine times more likely, unlike their green counterparts. This yummy nutrients help your body fight against inflammation, boost immune systems and protects against scurvy. If you feel conscious of calorie intake, this is the food for you, because per hundred grams you will approximately get only 1 calorie! If you are not completely in awe of this food yet, I do not know what else will sell you.

Yummy nutrients help your body fight against inflammation, boost immune systems and protects against scurvy

If you feel lost on where to start cooking with these bad boys, then try a simply stuffed pepper with feta and sundried tomatoes. Simply chop the top off the pepper, fill with pre-cooked cous cous and then sprinkle chopped sundried tomatoes and feta on top. After you have baked this for 15 minutes in the oven, you will be good to go.

Alternatively, a pepper will taste delicious when you pan fry slices of them in a stir-fry with chilli powder and turmeric, or using them in strips as a fajita filling. If spicy cooking is not your thing, then peppers also go well with a pasta dish. If you chop then up into small squares, take out the bitter white seeds, and then dry fry with Italian herbs, they taste wonderful. This would need to have chopped tomatoes added to, and sometimes some chorizo to get that rich taste.

However, if I was to have a pepper any way it would be over roasted with paprika, onions, garlic and olives to create a vegetable accompaniment that would pair well with spiced chicken or salmon. This is much healthier than pan frying, and makes the pepper softer and sweeter to eat.

If this is not your scene, and you find that cooking in general is not up your street, then do not fear! Peppers taste delicious as part of a sandwich or in a salad. This way you just need to slice them up, no cooking prep needed. In salads, peppers pair well with feta cheese, rocket and cherry tomatoes.

This can be dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, which is surprisingly filling healthy to say there is so little ingredients needed! Or if you fancy a sandwich, peppers taste fabulous with goats cheese and chutney, which can be served hot or cold.

Peppers are for me the only vegetable that is this versatile whilst also tasting so divine. If you feel the need to get some, which you must do after having read this declaration of love, a trio of colours comes in at under 90p from Aldi, or a family pack for £1.29. Go ahead and spice up your life with these wonderful creations.

English Literature BA Undergraduate and Redbrick Food&Drink Editor. (@caitlinabby)


29th November 2017 at 10:00 am

Last Updated

29th November 2017 at 11:28 am