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Bell peppers Colors
Bell peppers come in a variety of colors, with yellow and orange varieties being sweeter, and red ones being nothing else than the mature versions of green peppers. This versatile veggie has few calories, but plenty of vitamins, making it a great choice for raw snacks and for being part of more complex dishes.
Flavorful and colorful, all fresh bell peppers should be firm and unblemished. You can tell a pepper is old by its soft, wrinkly skin, and sometimes mold may also be present. Always discard slimy, moldy peppers.
Similarly, when the cut side of sliced bell peppers turns white, that is a clear sign they are getting old and should be tossed. Nonetheless, you can still use wrinkly peppers with zero mold for cooking.
How to Store Bell Peppers ?
Whether you are environment conscious and wish to avoid wasting precious food, or you simply aim to lower the budget spent on what you eat, storing food can be a sound option, but only as long as you do it properly.
Like the other fresh vegetables on the market, bell peppers do not come with a best before date. However, there are ways to store them in order to make them last past their purchase date.
Proper storing is also important if you don’t want your food to make you sick. When in doubt, check a trustworthy website, such as that of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Long story short, store your bell peppers ; here’s how:
- 1. Keep red and yellow peppers on a shelf – they will stay fresh for up to five days. Green ones have a slightly longer shelf life, of about a week.
- 2. Whole peppers can be refrigerated unwashed in the vegetable bin. Simply place them there in a plastic bag. Note that it is important not to wash them first, because they will rot if moist.
- 3. You can also store them in the refrigerator or vegetable crisper, again sealed in a plastic bag.
- 4. Sliced or chopped peppers are best frozen. Simply spread the peppers on a tray (but make sure there is enough room so as not to form more than a single layer) and freeze them for a little while. Once they are frozen, take them out, transfer them to heavy-duty freezer bags, and freeze them once again.
So, how long do they actually last? In the vegetable bin of the refrigerator, fresh whole bell peppers last 1 – 2 weeks on average, more specifically 1 – 2 weeks for red, orange and yellow bell peppers, and 2 – 3 weeks for fresh whole green peppers.
Cut bell peppers are only good for 1-3 days in the refrigerator, regardless of color; they should be sealed in plastic bags until eaten.
The ones that last the longest when frozen are chopped bell peppers, about 4 – 6 months. On the other hand, whole peppers are good for 10 – 12 months in the freezer. The above are true if you want your peppers to be of best quality; otherwise, you can simply store them at 0 F all the time and they will still be edible.
To sum up, green peppers stay fresh longer than red, orange or yellow ones, and a whole bell pepper outlasts a sliced one, except when you choose to freeze the chopped pepper. Both frozen and defrosted chopped peppers are best cooked as soon as possible.
Storing for the winter: roasting, freezing, marinating and canning
On the other hand, if your goal is to preserve your bell peppers for the winter, you have two main options, namely roast and freeze them, or can them.
Remember to first seed and slice the peppers before roasting and freezing them. You can then easily add bell peppers to any dish any time, by simply taking out of the freezer the amount you need and rinse it quickly under lukewarm water.
When it comes to canning, you can choose to either can plain slices of bell peppers, or make them into a dish such as a tomato relish, and then can the dish altogether. You will be able to enjoy the canned dish for up to one year.
- In order to marinate and can just slices of plain red bell peppers, that you can then eat as such or roast, all you have to do is char the fresh veggies on the grill. Next, peel off the blackened skin and seed the peppers. Prepare a marinade from 2 cups white vinegar, 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 2 garlic cloves; bring these ingredients to a boil in a saucepan. Bottle the peppers and pour the hot marinade over them. The jars are now ready to be refrigerated, where they will last several weeks.
- If you need your bell peppers to last even longer, place the jars on a rack in boiling water for 15 minutes. Let them cool, then store the jars away in a cupboard.
Peppers that are prepared in a dish are good for a very limited amount of time, which differs from dish to dish. Generally though, bell peppers last no longer than the ingredient that expires the quickest in the recipe.
If you want to enjoy your bell pepper dishes longer, consider freezing your prepared dish. This makes for an easy meal later on, since you will only need to defrost and reheat your food. Great frozen pepper dishes include chili soup, tortilla and other soups, as well as quesadillas and fajitas.
Summer is the bell pepper season, and the green ones reach maturity around August. Since fresh bell peppers only last a couple of days, they are best eaten right away, either raw, or grilled, baked, sautéed, and even roasted. Given their versatility, you can eat bell peppers in a wide variety of dishes, from raw slices dipped in hummus to grilled Italian-style sandwiches; they are also great pizza toppings.