Season: July to November

Description: Peppers are a source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Vitamin C helps protect skin from bruising, helps heal cuts and keeps gums healthy. Eating foods with vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Peppers also provide potassium and fiber. Potassium helps maintain healthy blood pressure, and fiber helps control cholesterol and keeps you regular. Peppers are also a source of folate, which may reduce your risk of heart disease. Eating foods with folate before pregnancy helps lower the risk of delivering a baby with neural tube defects.

Vitamins: Vitamin C, Fiber, Potassium, Folate

Selection: Choose firm peppers with good color and smooth skin.

Storing: In the refrigerator and use within 3 to 5 days. Bell peppers can be frozen whole or chopped for longer storage.

Preparation: Clean well and remove seeds and stem.

Serving: Grill or roast green peppers in the oven until tender. Remove the skin and discard. Puree peppers in a blender with mayonnaise. Serve with cold chicken. Roasting peppers makes it easy to remove the skin and gives peppers a deep, sometimes smoky flavor. Home roasted peppers have much less sodium than jarred roasted peppers.

Recipes containing Peppers: