Tips for Cooking Peppers—and Their Health Benefits
It’s pepper season! Hot peppers, sweet peppers, bell peppers, aji peppers—they’re all delicious and, at The Chef’s Garden, harvested fresh at the peak of flavor and nutrition. So, what are the best ways of cooking peppers? To get that answer, we talked to Chef Jamie Simpson of the Culinary Vegetable Institute—and here’s what we’ve learned.
No matter what kinds of peppers you have in your kitchen, there are two basic approaches to cooking them. “You get them on and off heat quickly,” he says, “through stir frying, a hot boil, blistering, or a quick fry. Techniques like that. Or you let them stew in their own juices until they’re really tender. This is what you do with chili, with pepper sauces. You cook the peppers in a way that makes them soft and homogenous.”
You can also juice them, whether hot or sweet. “Red bell pepper juice is super sweet and so tasty that I would happily drink it,” Jamie says. “You can also use the juice in soups and sauces. You can also caramelize red pepper, reducing it with sugar, butter, and dairy. Take it down gently and you have a nice, clean glaze.”
He encourages you to consider peppers as a fruit (which, in fact, they are). “There’s lots of sugar in them and you can put them in a salad raw, just like you would with a strawberry. In fact, you can put a really hot vinaigrette over raw, shaved, sweet red peppers. Simple and delicious.”
Jamie has one more tip—to take a small bite of a pepper before you use it in a recipe. “They’re all delicious but, if it’s a super-hot variety, then you know to use small quantities. If it’s mild, use plenty of them.”
Fresh Pepper Recipes
On the plate
- Tomato Bell Pepper Rice
- Farm Fresh Salsa
- Marinated Brussels Sprouts
- Fresh Eggplant, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich
- Easy Ratatouille Recipe
- Jalapeño Beet Salad
- Fresh Heirloom Tomato and Zucchini Salsa
In the glass
- Golden Bloody Mary
- Orange Bell Pepper Pineapple Gimlet
- Roasted Jalapeño Cocktail
- Cilantro Jalapeño Chaser
We also encourage you to enjoy our Sweet Pepper Marmalade in your family recipes!
Health Benefits of Peppers
On The Chef’s Garden’s site, we recently did a deep dive on peppers, including their health benefits. There, we shared information from medical sources, including how bell peppers may:
- lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts
- reduce the risk of developing anemia
- help to protect people against cancer and heart disease
- lower blood pressure
- delay memory loss that’s associated with age
Bell peppers are a marvelous source of vitamin C and A, antioxidants, folate, fiber, and vitamin B6 and E.
The Chef’s Garden/Farmer Jones Farm Difference
At The Chef’s Garden, our peppers are regeneratively farmed with love for the maximum in flavor and nutrition—and independent testing has demonstrated how we grow produce that has 300 to 600 percent more in nutrients than the USDA baseline.
Delicious. Nutritious. In Season. At the Peak of Flavor. Order your peppers today!