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Food Storage: Bell Peppers

Updated on October 23, 2011

Food storage tips for sweet peppers

Hubby and I love sweet peppers. When we lived in the country, we had a huge garden and grew all kinds of peppers, bell peppers and other varieties of sweet peppers included. Now I have to buy bell peppers. I recently needed a red bell pepper for a dish I was making. Guess how much red bell peppers cost in this particular market? $3.99. That was for ONE red bell pepper! As you might have guessed, I didn’t make the purchase, and I used a green bell pepper, instead. Ironically, a few days after I priced the peppers in that store, they put red bell peppers on sale. I guess they must have had a glut of them because no one wanted to plop down four bucks for a single pepper. Anyway, I took full advantage of the sale on peppers. I bought all they had on display. I also found, on the recommendation of a friend, a Hispanic farmer’s market in town that sold red bell peppers for $1 a bag. They weren’t big beautiful peppers, but the price sure was right! I bought some red bell peppers from there, too. So…what was I going to do with all these red bell peppers? The answer is: food storage.

After having my own vegetable gardens for years, I learned a lot about food storage. We didn’t let anything go to waste. I made jellies, jams, preserves, pickles, relishes, salsas, and chutneys. I froze all kinds of fruits, nuts, corn, and vegetables, too. I canned green beans, tomatoes, and soup mix. I often dried herbs, hot peppers, and seeds. I was a whiz at food storage!

I freeze peppers for lots of my pepper recipes.
I freeze peppers for lots of my pepper recipes.

Freezing bell peppers

Okay, back to the red bell peppers. In my humble opinion, the best food storage method for preserving bell peppers is by freezing. How to freeze bell peppers? Follow along!

1. Wash the bell peppers well and dry on paper towels until peppers are completely dry.

2. Remove any blemishes and soft spots. Cut peppers in half and remove stems, seeds, and ribs.

3. Slice or dice peppers. I actually do both. For some dishes, I use sliced peppers, and in other pepper recipes, I use diced peppers. I keep these in separate food storage bags.

4. Once you’ve sliced and/or diced the peppers, set them on a paper towel-lined cookie sheet to dry again, wicking away the juices from the peppers.

5. Line a shallow baking pan or cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place peppers on the sheet in a single layer, without allowing peppers to touch each other.

6. Pop the tray in the freezer until the peppers are frozen. Put the frozen peppers in zippered food storage bags.

That’s it! When you need peppers for stir-fries, dips, casseroles, or whatever, you can just grab a bag from the freezer and take out as many peppers as you need. Freezing the peppers not only save me money, it also saves me a lot of time when I’m cooking!

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    • profile image

      Iris 5 years ago

      My questions is, how do you store them in the refrigerator after cutting them the first time?? My peppers always get soft and slimmi..

    • gryphin423 profile image

      gryphin423 6 years ago from Florida

      Thank you so much for this article, I too love red peppers but I can't tell you how many times I've wasted them because I didn't use them quick enough. And the cost can be prohibitive as you mentioned. I will begin this method right away. Thanks again!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great tips! I love bell peppers and should try freezing them sometime.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      Sounds like you should have one! There is surely room for one in the shop. I'm now using the freezers in my two fridges since the big freezer went out. But with just myself, that's enough. I have an extra fridge in the garage for all the produce, so there're two upper freezers! I keep mostly meat in them, actually.

    • profile image

      jenubouka 6 years ago

      Great info! We do this single layer freezing method a lot in professional kitchens, it is a food cost life saver!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Nellie, I haven't tried the green food storage bags. Thanks for that tip! I agree that frozen is so much better than canned. I need a freezer, so I'm trying to get hubby to make room in his shop for one. Great to see you!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      Excellent tips, Holle! Yes, their grocery-store prices are sometimes atrocious. I've had a veggie garden too, with plenty of fresh produce. And between that and commuting to the ranch at the ends of the earth, 500 miles from Dallas and 100 miles from its nearest shopping, I also have learned a lot about keeping veggies. I agree that peppers can be frozen satisfactorily, but there are also some tips for keeping fresh produce longer.

      I use the original "green bags" by Evert-Fresh for almost all produce, but there are other manufacturers who have followed suit. These bags can be rinsed out and reused, by the way - and they pay for themselves in saved produce. I haven't tried the Debbie Meyer brand, but they're surely comparable.

      Any regular plastic bags for storing fresh produce, even if punctuated with openings, are negatively effective. The Evert-Fresh ones are semi-permeable so that produce can breathe, plus their construction includes the ability to absorb the ethylene gases which all produce emits as it ripens but which rots it unless removed by absorption or airing, which may dry out the produce.

      Also I find that lots of paper, both brown paper bags and paper towels, help preserve the fresh produce longer and absorb gases. Bananas, especially, benefit from brown paper bags. Allowing produce to touch ordinary plastic dooms it to early demise. Lining any plastic box with paper towels helps. Since I eat lots of freest fruit and veggies, it's really important to prolong it optimally as long as possible.

      The next best thing to fresh is, of course, frozen, if the veggie freezes well. They'll usually be great for cooking. The crispness of fresh is softened by freezing and made watery, though, but that doesn't matter in a cooked dish. So thank you for your tips on freezing peppers: - one of nature's BEST food for good skin, overall health and good eating.

      I usually buy my peppers at Sam's or Fiesta, by the way, where the prices are always reasonable. The red, gold and orange ones have additional vitamins. But NO pepper is worth $4!! Yikes!

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