Bell peppers are among the easiest to grow and the healthiest to eat of anything you can raise in your vegetable garden.
As for growing, the plants of bell pepper are very undemanding. Basic requirements of good organically rich soil and full sunshine and adequate moisture are just about all you need to produce your own bell peppers.
Plants can be started from seed indoors early on to get a head start on the growing season, or just buy as many already-started healthy plants from your seed source or garden center as you desire to ensure a good supply of fresh bell peppers.
A good source of quality seeds is always the Burpee® seed company, which offers a variety of bell peppers to choose from. The Sweet California Wonder heirloom is a reliable favorite. This supplier also offers the young plants for sale if you don’t want to start your plants from seeds.
In general, mature bell peppers are about 2 to 3 inches across and 4 to 5 inches long with deep coloration. Green can turn to red as the fruit stays on the plant longer and gets more sunshine; this is not a problem at all and the peppers are still healthful and delicious to eat.
And, in terms of preparing bell peppers for the table, nothing could be easier. Just wash the surface and cut the peppers open to remove seeds. No need to peel; just cut the fresh peppers into strips and enjoy the sweet and crunchy goodness of raw bell peppers.
Strips of bell pepper work well on a party or snack tray alongside other raw veggies like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, or grape tomatoes. Or add raw pepper strips to fresh garden salads.
In terms of cooking, bell pepper is a perfect addition to almost any stir-fry dish you can think of; just add onions, garlic, celery, chicken, shrimp, snap peas, or whatever else pleases your taste buds.
And, don’t forget stuffed bell peppers loaded with rice, ground beef, ground turkey, or other goodies make a great main dish.
Not only is bell pepper a wonderfully tasty addition to your menu; it’s also one of the most nutritious foods you can consume.
Raw bell pepper is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A. It’s also a good source of fiber and vitamin K and very low in calories per serving.
So, that’s the low-down on bell peppers: easy to grow in your home garden (or inexpensive to buy at the produce market), easy to prepare for the table in a variety of tasty dishes, and loaded with nutrition.
No wonder Peter Piper was such a prodigious picker of peppers!