November is National Pepper Month and we are celebrating the sweetest of them all, bell peppers! This Produce of the Month is a nutritional powerhouse that is as versatile as it is tasty. Bell peppers are a great source of vitamin C which helps our immune system stay strong to keep us healthy. This vitamin is a powerful antioxidant which fights free radicals that cause damage to our cells. Bell peppers are also loaded with other nutrients like fiber which helps with digestion and vitamin A which keeps our eyes healthy.
Different colored bell peppers have different tastes based on how ripe they are. If you like sweeter produce, stick to the red and yellow ones as these are more mature and have a bit more natural sugar. These veggies are grown year-round and can always be bought fresh. Here are a few ways you can add them to your diet:
- Eat them raw – They are crunchy and sweet which make for a great snack. Slice them and dip them in hummus or chop them up and toss on top of a salad.
- Stuff them – Stuffed peppers are a great way to make a complete meal. Use your favorite whole grain and lean protein, tomato sauce, and a little cheese on top. Visit the Produce of the Month page for a yummy plant-based Mediterranean Stuffed Pepper recipe!
- Top your pizza – Adding bell pepper slices to your pizza is an easy way to add veggies to your meal. Include other sweet and savory toppings to get a full serving of vegetables, like red onion, chopped spinach, and black olives.
Don’t forget to look for bell peppers in our dining halls this month!
As always, I’m available for free consultations to all USF Dining meal plan holders. Reach out to me with your nutrition and wellness questions. Talk to you soon!