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Eat Smart, Move More at Farmers Markets: Peppers



Authors as Published

Melissa Chase, Consumer Food Safety Program Manager, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; Austin Brooks, Project Associate, Family Nutrition Program, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech; Renee Boyer, Associate Professor, Extension Specialist, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; Carlin Rafie, Assistant Professor, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech; Anne-Carter Carrington, Central District Coordinator, EFNEP/SCNEP

Key Points

  • A rich source of vitamin C. Contain carotenoids that may be good for health.
  • Choose firm, brightly colored peppers with tight skin that are heavy for their size. Avoid dull, shriveled, or pitted peppers.
  • Wash hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Refrigerate bell peppers in a perforated plastic bag for use within one to three days.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Number of servings: 6


1 pound ground turkey
1/2 onion, chopped
8 ounces low-sodium tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup instant brown rice, uncooked
6 medium green peppers


  • Heat oven to 350°F.
  • Heat skillet to medium. Cook ground turkey in skillet until no longer pink. Remove from skillet and drain fat.
  • Cook onion until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, water, and black pepper. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in rice, cover, reduce heat, and boil on low for 5 minutes.
  • Once rice is cooked, add the cooked ground turkey back to the skillet. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, remove tops from green peppers and cut in half lengthwise.
  • Fill pepper halves with meat mixture. Place in a shallow baking dish.
  • Cover peppers with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
  • Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 219 calories; 8 g fat (2 g saturated fat); 16 g protein; 22 g carbohydrate; 3 g dietary fiber; 62 mg cholesterol; 89 mg sodium.

Tomato Salsa

Number of servings: 10


3 cups tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Stir the tomatoes, green bell pepper, onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, cumin, and pepper in a bowl.
  • Serve with baked corn chips, meat, or fish.

Per serving:  21 calories; trace fat (0 g saturated fat); 1 g protein; 5 g carbohydrate; 1 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 7 mg sodium.

Quick Tips

  • Bell peppers are available in green, red, yellow, orange, or even purple, making it easy to add color to your plate. If a recipe calls for one color, be adventurous and try another.
  • Use cut up peppers as part of afternoon snacks. Dips are always popular among kids, so try serving peppers with hummus or low-fat ranch dip.
  • Wash thoroughly with running water before peeling, cutting, or eating. Do not wash produce until ready to eat.
  • Dice bell peppers of any color and toss them on a pizza before baking, into pasta sauce as it cooks, or into an omelet before you fold it.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) This material was partially funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP – and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). SNAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA).

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Publication Date

February 8, 2021