Spotlight on Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are low in calories and exceptionally rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet. Bell peppers come in a variety of colors like red, yellow, orange, purple and green.

Nutrition Facts

Fresh, raw bell peppers are mostly made up of water (92%). The rest is carbs and small amounts of protein and fat. Bell peppers are loaded with important vitamins and minerals.

  • Vitamin C. One medium-sized red bell pepper provides 169% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin C, making it one of the richest dietary sources of this essential nutrient.
  • Vitamin B6. Pyridoxine is the most common type of vitamin B6, which is a family of nutrients important for the formation of red blood cells.
  • Vitamin K1. A form of vitamin K, also known as phylloquinone, K1 is important for blood clotting and bone health.
  • Potassium. This essential mineral may improve heart health.
  • Folate. Also known as vitamin B9, folate has a variety of functions in your body. Adequate folate intake is very important during pregnancy.
  • Vitamin E. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E is essential for healthy nerves and muscles. The best dietary sources of this fat-soluble vitamin are oils, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.

Storing Bell Peppers

Peppers should be stored in the refrigerator when you bring them home from the farmer’s market or grocery store. Do not wash the peppers until you are ready to use. Keep them in a breathable bag in the low-humidity drawer of the refrigerator. Store cut peppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use peppers within 5 to 7 days from purchasing them or picking them from your garden. Eat cut peppers within 3 days.

You can also freeze peppers to be used later in cooked dishes because crispness will be lost when the peppers are thawed. Wash and core peppers, chop and lay out on a baking sheet to freeze, then transfer to an airtight container. Can also be blanched. Or roast peppers and then flatten them and pack into zip-top freezer bags.

Skillet Chicken Fajitas

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 2 tsp. Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tblsp. Honey
  • 1 Lime, juiced
  • 1 Tblsp. Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. Red pepper flakes
  • 4 tsp. Olive oil
  • 1 Red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 Orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 Yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 package Whole wheat tortillas

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine chicken, garlic, honey, juice from half of the lime, chili powder, cumin, paprika and red pepper flakes. Toss the chicken in the seasoning mix until coated, cover, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.
  2. Heat skillet with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. When the skillet is hot add in the sliced peppers and onion. Saute the peppers and onions for about 4 minutes or until they are golden and have softened slightly. Remove the peppers and onions from the skillet onto a plate and set aside.
  3. Add another 2 teaspoons of oil to the hot skillet. Add in the chicken mixture and sauté until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.
  4. Add the peppers and onions back into the skillet along with the juice of half a lime. Cook everything for another minute then serve immediately. Serve the fajitas on tortillas and top with salsa if desired.

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