How to Take the Bitterness Out of Bell Peppers

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Bell peppers are a very popular vegetable in the United States. They are rich in vitamin C and come in different vibrant colors, adding a great nutritional value and a visual appeal to a dish. Sometimes, the usual sweetness of a bell pepper gives way to a bitter taste due to many factors including poor irrigation, premature harvesting and the existence of seeds. This problem can be encountered more frequently when using green peppers, since they are the unripe form of "sweet" peppers.

Things You'll Need

  • Bell peppers
  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Salt
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Choose the right bell peppers. The best bell peppers are the ones with vibrant colors and taut skin. Red, orange and yellow bell peppers are usually sweeter than green peppers, as sugar in the latter wasn't given as much time to form.

  • Remove the seeds. Before you use a bell pepper, chop off the top just under the stem, and remove the core, which holds most of the seeds. Rinse the inside of the pepper to get rid of the remaining seeds.

  • Cook bell peppers thoroughly. The cooking process will bring out the natural sweetness of bell peppers.

  • Skin the pepper. The easiest way to do so is roasting, baking or broiling the bell pepper in the oven for five minutes, then peeling the skin off the flesh with your fingers after it cools down. The heat will cause the skin of the pepper to blister, making it much easier to remove.

  • Add salt, lemon juice or a pinch of sugar to your recipe. The acidity of lemon juice will cut off the bitter taste. Adding sugar should be the last resort.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid charring your bell peppers. Black char adds a bitter taste to peppers. If you choose to barbecue your vegetables, remove the char before serving.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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