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Updated: Jan 11

How do you like your peppers??

Do you like it when they blow your socks off?

Or you more like me, sweet with very little heat?

There are so many different types of peppers it would be hard to go into them all.

So today I am going to stick to Sweet Bell Peppers!

But, let me tell you more about planning beyond the harvest!

As gardeners we are great at making a garden plan but what happens after the harvest?

We don’t always look beyond the harvest! Do you have a plan that goes that far?

If Yes, jump down to the recipes below!

If No, then you are in the right place!

I'm going to explain the ins and outs of when and how to harvest your peppers but more importantly I am going to share with you the steps needed to go beyond the harvest. I'm going to show you how to have peppers on your plate today AND in the middle of January!

Today, I'm going to be using my 4-step strategy that can be found in this blog post!

Sweet Bell Peppers

Sweet Bell Peppers come in a variety of colors but all have that characteristic bell shape. The green and purple peppers are going to be more on the tart side where the red, yellow, and orange are more sweet. They are packed with Vitamin K, B, C, and A. They also have a high water content that will add moisture to any recipe.

When Do I Harvest My Sweet Bell Peppers?

Picking your peppers at their peak is your goal and that comes with knowing the perfect time to pick. Here is how:

  • Peppers should be harvested once they are the desired size and color

  • Leaving them on for longer will make them sweeter

  • Remember ripeness and finish color will depend on the variety you have chosen

  • If you are planting more than one variety be sure to label them properly as almost all Bell Peppers will be green to begin with.

How To Harvest Bell Peppers

Once your Bell Peppers are ready to harvest they are going to need to be picked in just the right way. Here is how:

  • You can use a knife or shears to cut the pepper from the plant. This will protect your plant from stress that can occur when the peppers are ripped from the plant.

How to Store Bell Peppers

For fresh eating Bell Peppers should be properly stored to keep that great sweet taste. Here is how:

  • Place them in the veggie drawer of your fridge. Plan to use them in the next 10 days or they will spoil or lose flavor.

How To Preserve Your Bell Peppers

Freezing is the best way to preserve your bell peppers to last you through the winter. I personally don’t blanch them. Here is how with a few other ideas:

  • to preserve in the freezer: wash the pepper, core, and chop into small pieces(for omelets or to use in soups or chili) or slice into thin strips (for fajitas). Place in a sealable freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Label with name, date and place directly in the freezer. (Fill bags with however much your recipes on your menu plan need. I usually store 1 cup in each bag.)

  • To dry: wash the pepper, core, and chop into small pieces. Place in your dehydrator until all the moisture has been removed. (about 8 hrs) Place in a sealable freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Label with name, date and place directly in your cupboard or spice rack in a small jar.

  • Also your dried peppers can be ground to make pepper powder.

How To Cook Frozen Bell Peppers

To cook you can just sprinkle your desired amount into your favorite recipes:

  • I love adding a few to my morning scrambled eggs

  • Or my stew and chili

  • For fajitas just add frozen bell pepper strips to your pan once the meat is medium rare. Then both can finish cooking together.

  • For my Slow Cooker Fajitas just place frozen peppers in a crock pot with all the other ingredients.

How to Use Dehydrated Bell Peppers

  • You can easily just add them to any liquid recipe, like stew and chili, no problem.

  • But if you want to use them in any other recipes they need to be reconstituted first in some hot boiling water for about 5 minutes.

My favorite way to use frozen bell peppers is in my recipe Homestead Breakfast Bake. This recipe can be made the morning of or mixed together the night before and baked the next morning.

The next step is to add the above and more recipes to your menu plan. I got you started, now, have fun planning!

Pray, Just Plant

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