All you need to know about … Capsicums
Capsicums are more than their pretty colours - they’re a great source of essential vitamins and dietary fibre, while also being an excellent healthy snack you can enjoy raw or cooked in a variety of dishes. There’s plenty more to learn about capsicums, so keep reading for our complete guide!
What are capsicums?
Capsicums have many names, they are also commonly known as bell peppers or sweet peppers. Capsicums originated in South America and were introduced into Europe in the mid 1400’s, however capsicum use in cooking has been dated back as far as 6000 BC. Capsicums are becoming evidentially popular in Australia as more and more Australians are including European and Asian dishes in their diets.
What’s the difference between the colours?
Believe it or not, there is technically no difference between a red, green, orange or yellow capsicum. They are all picked from the same plant at different stages of ripeness once they reach maturity. Capsicums always start off green, turn yellow, then orange, and finally red; each stage of ripeness holds different flavours and uses in the kitchen. Green capsicums are the most bitter of the four colours with yellow being a close second, both are best used in stir-fries or similar savoury recipes. Orange and red capsicums are sweeter more appropriate for “summery” dishes like salads, red capsicums contain the most vitamins of all the colours.
How do I pick the best capsicums?
Fresh capsicums should be firm, dense and void of any black marks or soft spots. Make sure to check the tops and bottoms for wrinkles while also checking that the green stem is healthy and intact.
Are capsicums good for me?
Capsicums are a great source of vitamin A and C, with red capsicums having the highest micronutrient content of all the colours. Capsicums are also a good source of dietary fibre which is great for your gut health. 100g of capsicum roughly equates to 100 kilojoules of energy, which is excellent if you’re looking to stay healthy and eat guilt-free.
How do I store capsicums?
With most fresh produce, store your capsicums in the crisper compartment of your refrigerator. Keeping them in plastic bags can cause them to sweat, so only use fridge storage bags and they’ll last in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.