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Ring in the New Year with Bell Peppers

January 2023

The Canada’s Food Guide recommends eating plenty of vegetables and fruit every day. I know, it’s a mighty ask and even I, as a Registered Dietitian, don’t always follow through with this advice all the time.

Life gets in the way or we’re too tired to make a homemade meal or sometimes we just feel like comfort food like a poutine with extra cheese curds instead of vegetables for supper on a cold winter’s night.

During the winter months I often rely on frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh as they are picked at its peak of freshness and frozen right away. Getty Stewart has helpful tips on how to cook frozen vegetables.

Like many of you, what fresh produce is in my fridge depends on what is in season. Seasonal vegetables are generally more affordable. Price matters, especially with inflation and the increasing costs of nutritious food that we’ve been experiencing.

One fresh vegetable that is available all year round, even in January in Manitoba, is the bell pepper. I have a confession. I didn’t always like bell peppers. Perhaps it’s because I grew up not eating them often.

It can take up to 20 times before a child will like a new food. Adults are no different. If a taste is foreign to you it may take some try’s before you like a new food. Because of the patience I had for myself and many attempts, bell peppers are now a staple vegetable in my house. I can say that I am a bell pepper lover.

Bell peppers come in different varieties, bursting with the colours of the rainbow. Red, yellow, orange and green bell peppers are commonly found. Not only are they tasty and juicy, bell peppers are chock full of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. They are also a good source of antioxidants such as lycopene and carotenoids.

The secret in consuming fresh produce like bell peppers is not buying them. We have good intentions to eat what we buy, don’t we?  The secret to the success of eating the fresh produce we buy is to make a plan and follow through with the plan to use them. This way they don’t get forgotten in the back of the fridge or down in the crisper and go to waste.

Bell peppers are versatile. You can add them to:

  • Fresh salads
  • Quesadillas
  • Fajitas
  • Stir frys
  • Soups
  • Sauces
  • Chili

It doesn’t have to be fancy! Try pepper slices and hummus for a crunchy snack. I even add diced peppers to homemade nachos - a great finger food for a Saturday night. But if you do want to dress up a meal visit Nature Fresh Farms and try this stuffed pepper recipe.

There are many reasons for you to ring in the New Year with bell peppers. Give it a try!  

Submitted by Vanessa Hamilton, RD, Health Promotion and Community Development

Bell Peppers