I really think some of the very best and tastiest food is vibrant and beautiful- even if it’s super simple. Remember, we eat with our eyes first!
Colors are part of the art of eating, but they also indicate potent beauty nutrients contained within the foods themselves, including antioxidants. So we can see in nature the truth exemplified that true beauty truly IS synonymous with true health.
You may be inspired to buy beautiful bell peppers because they are so vibrant, but then not be sure what exactly do to with them. But I have you covered, with my Bell Pepper Medley & Kale Salad Recipe.
The Beauty of Bell Peppers!
Bell peppers are beautifying and healthy- though our minds tend to go straight away to dark leafy or other green cruciferous vegetables like broccoli as the “big dogs” for health… :)
But recent studies have taken a close look at the presence of enzymes in bell peppers called cysteine S-conjugate beta-lyases and their role in a sulfur-containing metabolic pathway called the thiomethyl shunt (a mouthful to pronounce, I know!). Basically, these enzymes and this pathway may be involved in some of the tremendous health benefits of bell peppers.
Bell pepper’s are also an excellent source of carotenoids, containing over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. One study took a close look at vitamin C, vitamin E, and six of these carotenoids, including: alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin—in all commonly eaten foods and guess what? They found that only two vegetables contained at least two-thirds of all the listed nutrients. You guessed it, bell pepper was one (the other was tomato)!
Maximizing Peppers’ Nutrients
In order to maximize the availability of vitamin C and carotenoids from bell pepper, we need to allow these peppers to ripen. The vitamin C content and the carotenoid content of bell pepper both increase with ripening, and when they increase, so does their total antioxidant capacity— leading to great health benefits.
If you talk to any farmer, they will tell you to allow bell peppers to ripen on the plant prior to harvesting. That’s the best way for sure in an ideal world!
Most, but not all, green bell peppers will turn red in color over time as they continue to ripen.
A good rule of thumb is to judge by their color quality, overall texture, and feel. Whichever color you go with, optimally ripe bell peppers will have deep, vivid colors, feel heavy for their size, and are still firm enough to handle a bit of pressure without our fingers sinking in. Bring it on- the more colors the better!
Give this simple, easy, and nutritious salad ah-go, and fill your body with a rainbow of colors! ;)
See this full tasty recipe below…
- 2 medium bunches destemmed Lacinato/dinosaur kale, finely chopped
- ¼ cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 1 organic cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, chopped
- Huge handful of sprouts (whatever organic sprouts you can find locally)
- 1 avocado, mashed
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1-2 Tbs. of nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup coconut or plain water
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Toss vegetables together.
- Mix dressing together and toss with vegetables.
- Serve immediately.