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Harvest of the Month: Peppers

Posted by itsupportgroup
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on Tuesday, 07 November 2017 in School Nutrition Blog

Picture of peppersWelcome to November! This month, here at Whitsons we would like to highlight our Harvest of the Month, peppers. According to scholars, peppers originated in South America and have been cultivated for more than 9000 years! There are many varieties of peppers currently available in the United States; the most common include sweet peppers and hot peppers. Sweet peppers such as bell peppers come in a variety of bright colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, white and even purple. Hot peppers such as pimento, Tabasco, cayenne, chili, and paprika are wildly popular and are added to meals to add spice but are mostly eaten on their own in hot sauces. Since peppers contain a multitude of nutritional benefits, they are included in many different recipes throughout the school year.


Nutritional Value of Peppers:

The bell pepper comes to the top of the list of foods that contain the highest levels of Vitamins. Red bell peppers contain more vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant that is also helpful in aiding the immune system, healing cuts and scrapes, keeping body muscles strong as well as decreasing the risk of high blood pressure.  Peppers also contain high amounts of Vitamin A.  Vitamin A helps to maintain healthy skin, eyes, and can also prevent us from becoming sick. Keeping your child’s immune system strong will help them stay healthy throughout the colder school months.


Purchasing and Storing Peppers:

When selecting your own peppers, there are certain qualities to look for. Bell peppers, for example, should be firm and brightly colored, with a tight skin. It is important for them to be heavy for their size, as this ensures that they are crisp and contain the maximum amount of nutrients. Try to stay away from those that are dull and shriveled. When storing, peppers should be refrigerated in a plastic bag and used within 5 days.


How to Enjoy Peppers:

There are many ways to enjoy the great taste of peppers and adding more color to your plate.  Bell peppers, for example, can be stuffed and baked with your choice of filling; your own mixture of beans, brown rice, and vegetables are perfect for this. They can also be sliced or diced into an omelet, salad, or as a topping for pizza. We like to include peppers on wraps and in sandwiches to add texture and flavor.  Eating peppers in its raw state is best since high heat destroys some of its natural nutrients. Slicing raw bell peppers into sticks and eating them on their own or with a healthy hummus dip is a great way to enjoy them as a snack.  No matter which way you choose to eat this delicious vegetable, it is sure to be a nutritious addition to your meal. Follow us this month as we feature peppers in recipes.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of the author and should not be construed as the opinions of Whitsons Culinary Group or any of its affiliates.  All content and material contained in this blog is provided for informational purposes only, and no representation is made as to the accuracy or completeness of this information.  It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual.  It is not medical advice and should not be treated as such.  You should not rely on the information in this blog as a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.

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