Peppers on Parade!

July 31, 2023 | Christine Hradek

various produce

It has been a fun month reading all about our favorite summer produce items. It is a real joy to have summer produce from the grocery store, farmers market or even your own back porch. I enjoy nearly all summer produce, but I would say peppers rise to the top for me. They are delicious raw and cooked and they can be sweet or spicy.

I eat bell peppers most often. I enjoy big ones as well as the little mini peppers you can buy at the grocery store now. I like them raw with dip and I cook with them all the time. I also like poblano peppers which are either dark green or red. Most poblano peppers are mild, but occasionally you will get a spicier one and the red ones are more likely to have some heat. If I want to add something with a bit more heat, I will use a jalapeno sliced or diced into a dish. If it is cooked it becomes a bit milder than when it is raw. I also love canned green chilies. You don’t have to worry about seasons for these, they are usually in the grocery aisle near salsa or canned beans. They are easy to keep in the cupboard to add a nice brightness to lots of dishes.

Here are some of my favorite recipes using peppers:

  • Stuffed Peppers are hearty and warm and a great use for big bell peppers.
  • Chicken Fajitas allow you to mix up the types of peppers that you use. You can blend bell peppers with some spicier ones to suit your tastes.
  • Summer Bounty Salad is a delicious raw veggie salad. It is a wonderful way to enjoy all of the produce that is in season this summer.

Did your favorite summer produce show up in this series? Let us know on social media what you can’t get enough of this summer!

Christine Hradek

Christine Hradek is a State Nutrition Specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She coordinates ISU’s programs which help families with low income make healthy choices with limited food budgets. Christine loves helping families learn to prepare healthy foods, have fun in the kitchen and save money. In her spare time, Christine enjoys cooking, entertaining and cheering on her favorite college football teams with her family and friends.

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