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Canada Red Peppers

Canada boasts a large variety and steady supply of fresh vegetables year-round. The varied climate and technological advances have produced a thriving greenhouse sub-sector and some of the most advanced storage and packaging solutions in the world.

Canada vegetables range from the traditional—broccoli, carrots and sweet peppers—to the exotic, such as our native fiddleheads. Potatoes, sweet corn and green peas are the most extensively-grown vegetables. More than half of our world-renowned potatoes are processed, mostly into French fries.

The Canadian vegetable industry is well positioned to satisfy the needs and tastes of global food consumers. The country's rich multicultural heritage is evident in the huge variety of vegetables grown here and efforts to introduce even more products. In fact, exports of our vegetables are on the rise, due in part to our farmers' work to customize production for foreign market requirements. Canadian farmers are now producing crops such as pak choi, bok choi, nappa and Chinese broccoli to meet demand in global and domestic markets.

Canadian yields of vegetable crops are comparable to those of similar crops grown in the US or Europe. However, unlike our southern neighbors, we grow only a single vegetable crop on the same land in a year; therefore, total yields usually reflect only one harvest.

Red peppers are available in most states during the summertime and are also available year-round in large volume. You sometimes see a light supply from late May thru June and that's because Red Peppers are the last picking of the season. Let’s take Canada for instance - the summer months are June thru August, so with Red Peppers being the last pick, we don't get any supplies until the end of August or beginning of September. This is because Red Peppers are green at first. Sweet peppers will mature to various colors with red being the most prominent color. The green pepper that we eat is the immature version. Like I said, most common varieties of bell peppers will turn from green to red, with other varieties turning yellow, purple, or even brown as the pepper matures. As peppers mature their sugar content increases. Some yellow varieties are the only color found in both immature and mature peppers. Red peppers have a real sweet flavor and green and yellow peppers have a mildly sweet, slightly spicy flavor.

Selecting

Look for Red Peppers that are fresh, firm, bright in color, thick-fleshed with a bright green calyx (stem). Pick up the pepper and shake it. If you hear the seeds rattle inside, pass it by; that means the pepper is old. Soft, pliable, thin-fleshed with a pale color indicates the peppers are old as well.

What color bell pepper is better for you to eat?

Choose red bell peppers for their high levels of antioxidant vitamins A and C which help protect cells from free radicals. One cup of chopped red peppers contains three times the minimum amount of vitamin C and nearly 100 percent of the vitamin A recommended for a typical 2,000 calorie-a-day diet. Green and yellow peppers fall short in vitamin A. All peppers are naturally fat free and low calorie, and they contain three grams of fiber per chopped cup, making them excellent snacks or mealtime fillers.

Storing

Refrigerated in the crisper drawer, red peppers will keep for up to three or four days, but they will lose their crispness and turn limp in fairly short order. Left at room temperature, they'll lose their crunch in a matter of hours. Don't wash until you're ready to use them. Red peppers are low in calories, free of saturated fat, sodium free, cholesterol free, fat free, and high in antioxidant vitamin C. Red bell peppers are a versatile addition to any luncheon or dinner menu.

Recipes

Other recipes from Produce Pete.

   

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