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The Differences Between Bell Peppers

Bell peppers belong to the plant family called Nightshade and are actually berries. Some other plants that are in the same family are potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, mandrake, eggplants, etc. Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Since their flavor varies based on their color, it is useful to know which bell pepper to pick next time you go to the grocery store.
5-Minute Crafts prepared a few notes so you can have a guide to these vegetables.

1. Color

Bell peppers vary in color — so they can be either green, yellow, orange, or red. They all come from the same plant that is picked in different stages of their ripeness. Green peppers are harvested before they achieve their maturity and are the least ripe. If the green pepper is not harvested, then it proceeds to turn yellow or orange. Finally, the red pepper is a fully ripened fruit because it can develop more and more pigment over time.

2. Nutrition

First of all, all bell peppers are a great source of antioxidants, fiber, beta-carotene, and have a very high amount of vitamin C. But the exact quantity varies depending on the color of the fruit. For example, the red bell pepper has 9 times more beta-carotene and 2 times the amount of vitamin C than the green pepper. The green ones have the lowest nutritional value because they’ve spent less time on the vine.

Bell peppers also contain some vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Vitamin B6 (important for the formation of red blood cells)
  • Vitamin K1 (important for blood clotting and bone health)
  • Potassium (an essential mineral that may improve heart health)
  • Folate (also known as vitamin B9),
  • Vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant, essential for healthy nerves and muscles)
  • Vitamin A (a major supplement that is beneficial for vision, growth, reproduction, and immunity)

3. Flavor

The color of the bell pepper is not just an indicator of its ripeness but also of its flavor. The more colorful it is, the sweeter it is. Green peppers have slightly bitter notes compared to all the others in the family. Yellow and orange peppers are less bitter than green, and finally, the red bell pepper is the sweetest.

  • Note: Red peppers are often cooked in a stew or made with gravy, as they can give foods the yellow-red-golden or brown tones that many people find appetizing to look at.

4. Price

Harvesting the bell peppers sooner will also affect their cost. Green peppers are usually the cheapest to buy because, since they are picked earlier than the others, they don’t require as much care. The production also goes faster, so more produce can be sold. On the other hand, red bell peppers need more time to ripen, and it is more expensive to take extra good care of them. Consumers also buy more red bell peppers since they have a sweet taste.

Bonus: how to store bell peppers properly

Like other fresh produce, bell peppers also have a limited shelf life, so it’s important to store them properly. Some factors, like whether are they stored in one piece or have been cut, or whether you keep them in the freezer or in a place with room temperature, can affect how long they will last.

Let’s break it down:

  • Cutting: This will reduce the shelf life, regardless of whether the bell peppers are stored in the fridge or on the counter (room temperature). It is recommended to cut the veggies only when you intend to eat them right away.
  • Room temperature: Bell peppers stored at this temperature have the shortest shelf life. The fruits will not last more than 5 days. If the peppers are cut, then they might only last for a couple of hours.
  • Refrigerator: Whole bell peppers will last up to 2 weeks when stored in the refrigerator, but again, the cutting will shorten their shelf life, even if they are put in the fridge. You should use the cut pepper in the following 3 days.
  • Freezer: Whether they are cut or whole, they can be stored in the freezer for a year since the super low temperature will slow bacterial reactions that cause spoilage.
5-Minute Crafts/Food/The Differences Between Bell Peppers
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