Food Storage: Bell Peppers
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!
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!